0-10 miles (7:53 avg Pace)
I wasn’t really sure what time I wanted to shoot for today. But I knew that I had to start fast enough to give myself the opportunity to run a PR. During this first 10 miles I felt really relaxed and comfortable. It felt like the effort wasn’t too hard to continue throughout the marathon. I hit my first challenge of the day when my calf cramped around mile 5. No not the calf muscle again, I wasn’t happy about this and I was just about to speed up and go to my PR pace. The calf cramp wasn’t too serious it locked for about a half step and felt funny for about a half mile. But this was only the start of my calf problems because the same thing happened around mile 8. This is when I got passed by the 3:30 pace group.
11-20 miles (7:58 avg Pace)
The 3:30 pace group was way ahead of their target so I decide to run with them for a while with the plan of going ahead of them in a few miles. The first half of this race has a lot of up hills followed by a long downhill from 16-20. Going up one of these hills I lost the 3:30 pace group completely. I could see them up the road and on the downhill I gained on them very slowly finally catching them at mile 20. It took 5 miles for me to catch the pace group. Again during this section I kept having calf cramps. Each time this happened I would slow down a bit and wait for the pain to dissipate (felt like a charley horse) it was very frustrating.
20-26.2 miles (8:33 avg pace)
My family was at mile 20 and I had just caught up to the 3:30 pace group. I was feeling good and I was thinking I could still get a PR. When I went to take some salt I realized that I had lost my Ziploc with my salt tablets. The cramping got much worse and now it was both calf’s taking turns cramping. The 3:30 pace group left me in the dust and I slowed significantly. For the first time in the race I felt out of breath and the temperature was rising. These last miles were extremely difficult, I didn’t look at my watch once the last few miles. I knew I was dead meat but I was hoping I could make it to the finish.
-I finished in 3:31:30 which isn’t too bad and only a few minutes behind my PR.
-Even though I didn’t get a PR I still feel like I am in the best shape of my life. Muscle cramps limited my pace at times but my cardiovascular system was hardly in any difficulty.
-The last 4 miles I averaged 8:45 with the slowest being 8:54. I am pretty happy that this is my survival pace. A few years ago my dead man walking (or running) pace was 12:00-14:00 per mile.
-Thinking back a few month this really puts the difficulty of that trail marathon into perspective (4:56 vs 3:31)
-The last 3 road marathons were 3:27, 3:26 and 3:31 in all 3 of those races my calf’s were my limiting factor. If I want to get any faster I am going to need to strengthen those muscles.
I have now run this race 3yrs in a row and I plan on running it every year than I am able.
2011 - Marathon #4 - 4:28, 2 minutes off my current PR
2012 – Marathon #8 - 3:27, Huge PR of 27 minutes
2013 – Marathon #11 - 3:31, 5 minutes behind my current PR
Finally some pictures
Shirt, bib and finisher metal
My favorite Spectators