Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon Recap

OK here it is. We all got up at about 5:30, although after I looked at my watch at 5:00 I couldn't really sleep. I kept thinking that I hadn't set the alarm right and that we were sleeping in too much. I finally just got out of bed and got ready. We got down the the starting area at about 6:00. We actually were able to park right at the start/finish area. It was nice. I walked around a bit and stretched and jogged. I was feeling great. Here I am less than five minutes before the start of the race.

And here I am about 200 feet after the starting line. I look great.

This is about the five mile mark with a time of about 40 minutes. For the first half of the marathon I had a pretty good pace. I felt great.

So great in fact that at the half way point (13.1 miles/1 hour 47 minutes) I was still enjoying so much that I was smiling big. Someone a few feet further up from this photo called me "smiley." I thought that was pretty funny, but I felt great. I thought I was going to be able to break 3:30 for sure.

After the half way point I slowed down to probably a 9 minute per mile pace or even 9:30 for the next 6 or 7 miles. That must have been my wall. I hit it pretty hard too. I never noticed a sudden lack of energy like I have heard people tell of, but I just gradually slowed down and felt like I couldn't keep going, but I did keep going, one foot in front of the other. I decided not to get a split time at every mile, although I wish now that I had done that so that I could analyze exactly where it was that I slowed down the most and such. I did however get a few splits. The first split was at mile marker 22 my time was 3:17:51. I wanted to see how much I had slowed down. At mile marker 23 it was 3:28:21. It had taken 10:30 to do one mile. I really had slowed down. By that point I had started adding 30-40 second walks every five to ten minutes. I was feeling pretty tired. My legs cramped up too. It was also about that point that I started noticing my lower back tighten up. I hurt it pretty bad just two week earlier, and I decided that I would rather get a really slow time, than really hurt my back again. So I didn't push it too hard. I could feel that my legs were really tight and after mile 23, I walked pretty much the whole way. I tried jogging every 5 to 10 minutes for 20-30 seconds, but I just couldn't do it. My legs were so tight that by the end of the 20 second jog, I would have to walk and try to loosen it out so that it wouldn't cramp so bad that I wouldn't even be able to walk. I actually got splits on all those last miles. At marker 24 my time was 3:47:40 (a 19:19 mile), at marker 25 my time was 4:11:23 (a 23:43 mile), and at marker 26 my time was 4:29:50 (an 18:27 mile). With all the energy I could muster I told myself that I could jog the last .2 miles to the finish. I did all but about 5 seconds where my legs started cramping. I came in to the view of the finishing crowd and forced myself into a jog again. Here is the grand finish:

At least I had enough energy to raise my arms as I crossed the finish line. It took me 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go that last .2 miles. My final time (unofficial, from my watch) was 4:32:19. Am I disappointed with that time? Yeah, but it is something I can live with. I have lots of excuses: I hurt my back two weeks earlier, because of that I missed five good runs, I didn't eat enough, etc. etc. I can look at how I did and plan how I need to change. I think I need to load up on more carbs the day before. Maybe a bit more of a substantial breakfast too. All I had was a Powerbar. I was had four Gu energy gels that I took along the race too. There was only one point where I was getting a little bit worried. For probably about a mile before the last aide station, I started getting a little shaky. First my pinkies started tingling, then my ring finger too, and pretty soon my whole hands and arms were tingling and feeling numbish. I definitely needed more sugar in my body. It was right about mile 24 that I came upon the last aide station. I think it was actually a little after mile 24. I drank two cups of Poweraide. That was it. I really should have stopped and got more, like an orange or two. But I didn't want to stop. I was feeling much better within 10 minutes. My arms and hands stopped tingling.

As you can see by the video below, I look really worn out. I come across the finish line pretty darn slow. I must say though that I had a really great crew cheering me on. My daughter had a really big voice. I was actually quite surprised that I heard her from so far away as I approached the finish line: "Go Daddy!" She was great. My wife must have worked hard to teach her to be vocal like that. Thank you Amanda for getting such great photos of the race.

It is now 11:00 Sunday night. I woke up this morning feeling really sore. I took an ice bath about an hour after the race, then again last night when we got home. I also took some Motrin last night. Once I got up and started moving around I felt better, but I was still sore all day. It is hardest going up and down stairs. It is easier to walk down backwards. I don't think I will try running tomorrow. It all depends on how I am feeling. I hope I can go for an easy three mile jog by Thursday or Friday and run five or six on Saturday. I definitely need to do some more speed work to get ready for the next marathon. There is a pretty good hill about a mile and half from my house that would be perfect for hill work. I can jog over there for warm up, do the hill 4 or 6 times, it is about .25 miles up, then jog back to cool down. I'll also do more track work. I would like to be able to get my mile time down to 5:30 or even 5:00. I don't know about sub five though. Probably not while training for my next marathon. We'll see. I think it would definitely help develope my fast twitch muscles.

Well, I'm sure I have rambled on too much about this. That is it. I ran. I jogged. I walked. I raced. I finished. Make sure you watch the video.


TheRev1953 said...

So are you on for this year?

pilotboywa said...

I'd like to be but I've moved to the Northwest. I'll have to find a marathon here in the Seattle/Tacoma area to run.