After drafting this race report I decided to split it into two separate parts. Check out part 1 here.
3:29:29 / 8:00 overall pace / Average HR 187 / New PR by 15 minutes!
Second to last 10k (miles 13.1 – 19)- 2:38:02
I stayed remarkably strong after the half and was able to hold my pace at about 7:55. This was one of the first races ever that my pace didn’t start to taper off right after the half. Normally, I go out a bit too fast and start to pay for the early speed around mile 15 or so. I honestly think that my GU and water strategy was what got me through these miles on pace. I ate a GU every 6 miles and took small sips of water and Gatorade with salt each mile. I wore my water belt which enabled me to drink when I wanted to which was totally worth the extra weight. I’m going to continue to do that until someone can convince me that drinking every three miles is better. Well, that or until I can drink from those cups while on the run. Right now most of it ends up in my nose, on my face, and down my shirt.
I did have a bit of a ‘scare’ around mile 18. I believe the term is ‘runners trots’ or maybe ‘runners gut’….or possibly the ‘I’ve gotta crappies”? Either way, I all of a sudden had the very strong urge to go #2. While I wish I had a great story of me going behind a bush, getting caught by a cop, and getting thrown into jail, I don’t. THANK GOODNESS I was able to keep on running and the cramping subsided. Possibly phantom cramping?
Last 10k and finish (miles 20 – finish) – 51:27
I read somewhere (likely a blog) that a marathon is actually a 20 mile jog followed by a 10k race. I never thought much about that, but they are right. Having the juice to run a solid 6 miles after running 20 is really the key. Ha! Sort of like getting a root canal… all you do is just sit there and open your mouth. It looks easy and straight forward but the devil is in the details.
Fortunately, I did have the juice to hold a decent pace for the last 6.2 miles. While I didn’t completely hold 7:55, I was able to keep it up to 8:10. I did resign myself to a quick pee break during mile 23 which burned an amazingly long 60 seconds. You’d think I was rubbing one out in there or something. Fortunately, I was planning on slowing down a bit, so this 60 second break just ate into my 2 minute “bank”. Miles 20-24 were completed using pure grit and I’m honestly not sure how I finished miles 25-26. I only vaguely remember these last few miles.
The finish itself was remarkable. The 3:30 pacer hadn’t passed me yet, so I knew that unless I completely fell on my face I was going to meet my goal. We finished in the climate controlled Fargo Dome with each runner being displayed on the jumbotron. Incredible. My wife, brother in law, in laws, and some native Fargo/Moorhead family friends were in the stands all cheering me on as I crossed the line. While I was walking around in a dazed state getting the usual post race garb: medal, bagel, banana, chocolate milk, etc I was able to take everything in. It was really fun.
While I was cooling off and stretching, we met up with two people from my hometown that both finished their first marathon. They finished in ~3:55 and ~4:40. Based on initial reaction, I think that they both had fun and met their goals. In fact, they both did it while looking remarkably well rested afterward! My mother in law said that we needed to take a group picture to put in the local paper. I had been done for over an hour and still looked frazzled. They however, both looked like they could go do another loop of the 13.1 mile course. Nice work ladies!
Finally, my brother in law said he heard the announcer say something just before I finished that brought tears to my eyes both now and then. The announcer said “Let’s cheer this next group on they are all going to be finishing before 3:30. Finishing a marathon in less than three hours and thirty minutes is sometimes known as what separates racers from runners”. I had never heard of that before, and I’m not sure if it is true, but I like it.
I’m a 3:30 marathoner. I’m a racer.