Monday, June 13, 2011

Marathon 2 Marathon Race Report

The Urban Dictionary, the source for most of my knowledge, defines the term "Sand Bagger" as: A person who pads a handicap or acts as if he/she is at a lower skill level than he/she actually is so he/she can achieve better during competition.  If there is one thing that I am, I am not hygienic .......what people call "intelligent"  a sandbagger.  I set goals that stretch my abilities to the extreme.  As such, I'm prone to a bit of crash and burn during races - which is exactly what happened this weekend.

Time: 3:32:21
Pace: 8:06
Place: 24 out of 180
AG Place: 2 out of 10 (Male 20-29)
Average Heart Rate: ?? (Still need to download)

Like I said in my previous post, the Marathon 2 Marathon was going to be my homecoming race - except there would be no smoking under the bleachers or heavy petting after the dance.  This race was my spring race to set a PR!  My stretch goal was to run a 3:15 and my primary goal was to run a 3:20.  I have been really hitting my training runs so I thought that it was a realistic goal.

The race was a point to point race that ends in Marathon, Ia - population 302 - approximately 30 miles from where I grew up. It has actually gained quite a bit of a following given the small population in the area.  That said, it was certainly going to be a small race.  200 marathoners, 100 half marathoners, and maybe 50 spectators.  I figured that it would really give me a chance to run by myself and talk to the voices in my head that tell me to burn things.

Race morning at a small race = REAL bathrooms!
I THINK my phone camera noise was off when I took this....

While I was waiting for the start of the race, I not only met up with C2Iowa but also saw a guy I went to high school with!  He was running his first marathon and decided to make the home course his first attempt.

Tom, first time marathoner, and myself.  What is up with my shirt in this picture?  I look like I'm 12.


Miles 0 - 6.5: I'm the king of the world!
With a quick pep talk by the race director via bull-horn, we were off!  I soon settled into a 7:20ish pace run right behind a gal with a strange oval shaped tan line that must have been from a one piece bathing suit - either that or she is horrible with sunscreen.  While the Rock and Roll San Diego crowds never thinned out, the M2M course was single file after the first half mile.  I could tell from the start that this was going to be a very different race than I am used to naked running? - in a good way.

The course wasn't closed, but we had no issue with traffic


Miles 6.6 - 13.1: Rolling rolling rolling!  Keep those doggies rolling!
I continued to hit my mile splits and, while I started to realize that there were quite a few rolling hills, nothing seemed to be too horribly large.  Honestly?  These miles flew by.

The 'scenery' during 90% of the race......much like the 'scenery' for 90% of Iowa


Miles 13.1 - 20: Boom goes the dynamite
This is where the wheels fell off.  As I crossed the midway point in 1:37 (right on a 3:15 pace), I was still feeling okay.  My breathing wasn't labored, my HR seemed to be under control - but my sweat rate was quite a bit higher than it normally was in Phoenix.  It wasn't until 16 miles that I felt a slight twinge in my quads.  This slight twinge turned into full on cramping at mile 17.... and the race spiraled downward through the circles of crappy race finishes from there:

  • "Oh, maybe I'll just slow down for the next half mile to take a quick rest"
  • "Well, that didn't work, legs still killing me.  Maybe I'll just start walking through the aid stations"
  • "Still tired, what if I just keep walking for 30 seconds - but that is it!"
  • "If I called a cab, I wonder if the race director would notice me being dropped off 1/2 mi from the finish"
  • "Must....move...forward...."
I've never had cramping before - ever.  On Saturday, I'm not sure if it was poor fueling, the high humidity, or it just wasn't my day

Gutting it out - or maybe trying to push out a poop?


Miles 20-26.2: So, this is what the Trail of Tears feels like
Possibly one of the worst feelings during a race gone awry is the feeling of other racers passing you by.  Nothing against the racers themselves (as you don't know their story) of course, but being passed again and again is demoralizing.  As I ran/walk the last 10k of the course (taking 30 seconds or so a mile breaks to try to stretch out my quads), I couldn't help but feel the urge to trip people as they ran by wonder what kind of race everyone else was having.  Did they handle the humidity and rolling hills well?  Were they too 20 min off pace?  As my mind wandered, I eventually found myself at the finish line with a medal around my neck.

As I walked through the finishers chute and received a medal, a very nice finisher snarked something to the effect of "Oh, you did finish!? I wasn't sure if you were the way you were walking".  Let me tell you, if it would have been socially acceptable to punch them in the mouth, I think I would have. Besides, I doubt I could have mustered up the gumption.  (Of course, I'm mostly kidding.  MOSTLY)

As I think back to the race, I am pretty disappointed with how it turned out.  I tried for a stretch goal and fell short.  But, I'm plotting my comeback.  I'm going to work in more hills, more progression running, and figuring out SOME way to do some humidity training.  I know that I can run faster, it is just a matter of putting the right race together and training for all possible circumstances.  And that, gives me hope.

38 comments:

Brian said...

Hey Adam, sorry to hear you didn't meet your goals. Humidity is a killer.

I understand about the getting passed. I started my first (only) marathon with the 4:30 pace group, but then quickly realized that this was a little slower than I was comfortable. 18 miles later, when the 4:30 pace group passed me, it was one of the worst feelings I've ever had running. (I ran/walked miles 22-25 and eventually made it across in 4:58.)

All you can ever do is give the best effort you can give, and learn what lessons you can.

I'm also surprised to hear another finisher talking trash at you -- that's ridiculous. My wife was in a duathlon this weekend and as we walked to the transition area, some guys were openly laughing at her 20-year old mountain bike. Some people are just dicks.

Brian said...

Hey Adam, sorry to hear you didn't meet your goals. Humidity is a killer.

I understand about the getting passed. I started my first (only) marathon with the 4:30 pace group, but then quickly realized that this was a little slower than I was comfortable. 18 miles later, when the 4:30 pace group passed me, it was one of the worst feelings I've ever had running. (I ran/walked miles 22-25 and eventually made it across in 4:58.)

All you can ever do is give the best effort you can give, and learn what lessons you can.

I'm also surprised to hear another finisher talking trash at you -- that's ridiculous. My wife was in a duathlon this weekend and as we walked to the transition area, some guys were openly laughing at her 20-year old mountain bike. Some people are just dicks.

Nitmos said...

Cramping! It has ruined many a runner's race. Well done to press on and complete in an upright position.

bobbi said...

Damn - so sorry that it didn't go your way. Humidity is tough...even when it's cool, it takes its toll.

(and seriously? someone actually said that to you in the chute? people are a**holes)

Katie said...

treadmill in the bathroom with the hot water running? sigh.

sorry you had such a crappy race. i won't insert a positive "but think of all the things you learned" comment here. it just sucks.

girlevolving.com said...

Sorry to hear about your race - I know how much those suck, especially when you know you had more in you but it just didn't happen that day. Also, I think you SHOULD have hit that person. I can't believe they said that!

Kate said...

What the hell? you finished in 3:30 and someone was talking shit? *I* want to punch them in the face. I know it wasn't what you wanted to hit, but that's a darn good time. You said it your stretch goal, and where's the glory in those coming "easy"? It'll just be that much sweeter when you do achieve it.

MotherRunner said...

Sucks that it wasn't your day, but way to go gutting it out and setting your sights on your next race. Your "boom goes the dynamite" made me laugh so loud I woke up my sleeping toddler. :)

C2Iowa said...

Adam - the conditions were sub-par. However, I believe that you did well. The humidity hit a lot of people.

I would have punched that person. Fair is fair. ha

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Sorry you didn't have a great race. Humidity is part of the devil's arsenal I believe. And the shmuck who was mocking you can suck it. Most people these days would still kill for a 3:30 finish and that guy is just a jerk. Boo.

SupermomE12 said...

Heat and humidity SUCK!

I am sorry you had a tough time at the end, but you still finished with a really great time overall. You will get your goal next time I have no doubt!!

The Sean said...

I think I would have found some gumption for that a-hole at the chute... Way to keep on, that is part of the endurance journey.

DLW said...

Sorry it was not your day, but Kudos for hanging in there and not calling the cab. The 3:15 will be all that much sweeter when you do it and no doubt you will.

I had to reread that line about what that guy said to you. Are you kidding me?? I have found 99% of runners to be good people (I am new to running....), but those 1% can be such jerks!

Good Job Adam!!

Nobel4Lit said...

Hey, you still ran a good time! Yes, it was a stretch goal, so don't feel bad!

Ace said...

Great work! You finished. Despite cramping and humidity and having to run in Iowa ;). Awesome accomplishment.

Getting passed stinks. I recommend you use my strategy. Start in last place and stay there. No getting passed, and the finish line is usually closed by the time you get there so no jerkwads with rude comments! Unfortunately doesn't work as well for fast people like you...

giraffy said...

Sorry you bonked :(. Boooo on humidity, #2 reason I left Florida!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Sorry this wasn't your race. Humidity sucks!

BrianFlash said...

Still a very solid time - even with your issues.

How the heck you can run thru that featureless terrain you call a state is a mystery to me!

Shocking that a runner in a small race talked some smack. That is absolutely terrible. I think a fist fight would have been completely justified. Oh course, since they just out ran you, they would probably just beat you up too. :)

Kovas said...

Bummer, but you gutted it out and still a very respectable time.

Val said...

So sorry to hear you didn't have the race you wanted to. I know how it feels to have the wheels fall off early and have to gut it out for hours. Ug! You will get your 3:15, though, I'm sure of it. I'm so impressed with the way you've progressed as a runner. You're an inspiration!

Joni said...

Adam...training in South Texas in the summer is the perfect getaway for you...we have heat, hills and humidity! Actually, a couple of women from here in San Antonio created a product called Cool Off...they are individual moist towels in a little envelope, fit in short pockets easy. They have natural botanicals...but I'm not kidding, they really give you a quick chill and last for another 30 minutes or so...
God knows between menopause and marathons..I've tested them in the worst conditions. I don't run in Texas during the summer without them. Just sayin'...
Good Luck! joni

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Wow... I can really really identify with this post...

Congrats on the finish... and keep stretching those goals. I always question if I should've kept my mouth shut about my goals, because they are usually a stretch and I'm at about a 70% failure rate.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

You should have whispered, just loud enough for the douchebag at the finish line to hear "For that comment, sir, I will wait 50 years and murder your grandchildren."

Char said...

How rude of that finisher to make a comment like that. You were very restrained in not physically or verbally abusing him.

XLMIC said...

Gosh, I wish I could think of something super mom-like and comforting to write…I should be able to, but the fact is it blows when your race turns out that way. I am most impressed by your determination to finish, your incredible self-restraint regarding the snarkmeister, and you unwavering and awesome sense of humor. I was totally singing 'Rawhide' and knowing it was 'ominous' music. And your 12-yr old's shirt comment killed me (I have an 11.5 year old son). The Rosie Ruiz reference… Just everything. Thanks, Adam, for keeping us in stitches even when your run didn't work out :)

Cynthia said...

I like the dialogue you have with yourself!
I totally would have wanted to punch that person at the finishers chute in the face. Maybe accidently trip them when they are not looking haha.

Congrats! It might not have been the race you wanted to have but you still rocked it!

Quix said...

Humidity sucks. Sorry it wasn't your day, you'll get it next time. And seriously? I may have not had that restraint for the snarky spectator, heh.

Pam said...

I think it would have been COMPLETELY acceptable to punch that dick in the teeth.

Her Name Is Rio said...

Ugh. So.Sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I've had about the same ending in races, but at a MUCH slower pace. :) Also, I'm going to have to talk to you about your photo captions. My kids were reading them above my shoulders and bursted out laughing....

The Rookie said...

It was nice to see a familiar face before my inaugural marathon. You ran a great race even though you came up short of your ultimate goal. Well done!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Well Adam you are still an inspiration. Don't forget the opportunity to run Camelback's track with me this summer, and we can always work the hills just to the North of my house. I think we should run at 1:30 in the afternoon to teach our bodies 'who's boss??' And best of all, you can get naked at my house afterwards. To SHOWER!!

Jamoosh said...

Races get me more and more confused each time I run one. I can never figure out how I am going to do before hand. In Houston I felt great but ended up having a crappy (according to me) race. A few weeks later I am out at Surfside feeling so-so and I PR...on the sand. Go figure.

Joanna said...

We have all been there--I was there just a few weeks ago. You'll be back with a vengeance though, I have no doubt!

kilax said...

I hope this doesn't sound bad, but I love reading this race report because it makes me feel better about how I tanked at Madison. I look up to you as a super runner, so to see you have a less than ideal race makes me feel better. Of course, your less than ideal race is a dream finish time for me, but whatever :)

You still finished in an awesome time (what was up with the dick comment from the other finisher) but I totally get the feeling of frustration with the hills, humidity and cramping. You'll figure all of that out though :)

Jeri said...

I would've punched that dude in the face. Twice.

I can't imagine going from dry heat to humidity. When I did the vegas marathon I was shocked that I wasn't sopping wet when I was done.

regardless, great job getting another done. you'll get your goal. :)

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

What a bummer! Hope you can get to the bottom of the cramps so it doesn't happen again. That's an awful long way to have to run with cramping.
Of course, you're a rock star, still.

Chris K said...

Those were not 3:15 or even 3:20 conditions. I already told you my feelings about racing in the summer.

Was that email too harsh? Hope not.

Hell yeah you will make a triumphant comeback. I'm clear you will. Soooo many things have to come together to get an "A" goal. Remember, the best hitters in baseball fail 7 out of 10 times.

Charles Baisden said...

If you need some humidity, come join us down here in Pensacola,FL for a run! It's a blast! :-)