God’s Country Marathon

God’s Country Marathon

Following is the email I sent to my running coach and strength trainer post-marathon:

re: God’s Country Marathon

I finished. What a race, wow.

First half finished in 1:46:– with a previous PR of 1:51:– so that was epic. I knew my heart rate was about 7 bpm higher than it should be (which is confirmed by the garmin data) but I felt wonderful, except for a little cramp in my quads at mile 14, it felt like I had been tazer’d in my quads first then instantly rolled into both calves… Plus my left ankle went numb, switching my breathing to in in out out solved that instantly as compared with in 3 steps, out 2 steps.

(…continued after video)

Slideshow of Race

Photo credit goes to my wife, Marlena

The Second half was a whole other adventure.

Walking the 3 mile steep part wasn’t too tough. Since I had a few cramps I doubled the VegaSport hydrator… Had been taking exactly 4oz of water every two miles like clock work. On top of the hill I ate 1/4 banana because I thought maybe I needed potassium for my electrical system. Half mile down the other side my right side (tummy) cramped like a mule kicked my gut and my core tightened like a brick… I breathed into my belly deeply and forcefully exhaled to no avail moaning and grunting. So I figured it would be 30 – 45 minutes till the bananan digested enough and returned blood to the bonked legs. It hurt as much to walk as to sit on the guard rail, so I walked a 14 minute pace. By mile 22 the cramp slowly dissolved and I tried to wake up the legs but a 9:30 was the best I could recruit till my quads started cramping, and my entire back & shoulders started tightening from a cramp or dehydration or both.

I walked to the last turn and tried to look good running across the finish line.

Had to lay down for about an hour and drink 3 water bottles, chocolate milk, more bananas, and some other stuff before I could walk without instantly cramping.

Today (Sunday) I can’t even feel I ran a race yesterday except for some shin splints kind of tightness in my left foot.

Final take is this. I ran like it was a half marathon and PR’d nicely (5minutes) even being a pretty nice uphill. The mistake was to let myself go by feel on race day instead of sticking with my race plan of a 8:15 to 8:30 pace on the first half. I don’t know what I can learn from nutrition or fluid intake? Maybe for sure not eat course food ie the banana if I expect to keep running. The VegaSport gel every 45 minutes and VegaSport hydrator kept me feeling satisfied and no dry/parched lips.

I just went out too fast for the marathon.

Marathon time 4:24:–

See race pics on Facebook 

Thanks for your excellent training plan, Chris! I will be sitting down with Angela & company (emPower) in the next week or two to brainstorm a longer term plan and hope you will consider continuing to be part of my coaching team!

Onward and upward,
Paul