Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Estes Park Marathon Race Report

Start and the first big accent (miles 0-10)
It was a really beautiful course but I think scenic = tough at least in Colorado. Around mile 2 we started a steady climb all the way to mile 6. Once at the top my muscles felt dead already. Also at the top of this climb I ate my first gel and it made my stomach queasy. Then it was long decent back to Estes Park. The downhill felt almost as bad as the uphill, I am not sure why downhills tear my quads apart. I ate half an orange at mile 9 which made my stomach feel even worse.

Around the lake (miles 11-16)
We got back into town where it’s actually flat and I ate my 2nd gel at mile 11. I almost puked, I didn’t although I wish I had. My legs were in terrible shape, my stomach hurt and I was getting hot. I came really close to giving up here, my car wasn’t far and I could have easily hopped in and drove away. I have given up on a marathon once before and that was way worse than any pain I was feeling. During this time I kept drinking liquids but I had given up on solid food.

Second loop out of town (miles 17-22)
The second loop started with 2.5 miles of steady climbing. The nice thing was as soon as we climbed a bit there was a light breeze and I felt cool again. My altitude had changed to “I will finish” and I was cooling down so things were looking good. The climb peaked at mile 20, here I looked at my total time for first time in the race. I wasn’t happy with my current pace and I was thinking the 5hr goal was gone. Running down the other side of this loop I picked up the pace a bit but my stomach seemed to be the limiting factor. I still hadn’t eaten anything since mile 11.

Back into town and the finish (miles 23-26.2)
At mile 23 I decide to eat a banana at a water station. This time it went down fine and a mile later I starting to feel a lot better. I looked at my watch for the second time in the race and saw that I there was still hope for finishing under 5hrs. I ran nonstop the last 2.2 miles at a 9:23 pace and a bpm 170-185.

Results and the big picture
I finished in 4:52:23 just under my medium goal of 5hrs. Which is not a great time, I am pretty sure that I could run it a lot faster if I was fresh. I showed up to this race pretty beat up and mentally exhausted having run 2 marathons in the previous 9 weeks. The real goal behind this was to join the marathon maniacs club. The entry requirement is 3 marathons in 90 days. Now that I have met this goal it’s time to take a break from marathoning and see some shorter distances.


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