Saturday, I ran a true marathon race for the first time since 12/4/2004 (Tuesmuch trail 5:34) in Grand Rivers, KY. My time was 5:17.54, just over 12 mins per mile. If my opinion that trail races take 10% longer than road races, this would mean I'm in 4:46 marathon shape, about what I thought, and how I've been training.
As typical for the trip to this race a couple of friends, gregg and chris, went with me and also finished the marathon, apparently only a few minutes ahead. Personal comment: they should have ran 30 minutes faster.
Also, as usual we stayed at my sister's house, which makes for an easy trip. Thanks Susan and Danny!!
The weather was perfect, 40 at start, overcast, light breeze, 60 at end. This race is one of the best organized and with great volunteers, making this race one the best, if not the best, I have ever run. It helps to have a great trail to run, a fair course, runable all plus with 4 major hills on KY lake side. This year it was dry and soft, perfect.
The start is in Grand Rivers at lighthouse landing down by the waterfront. In trail races unless you know exactly how a course was measured you never know its true length but the advertised marathon appeared to be this:
1.9 miles on road to trail loop
11.3 miles trail loop x 2 (note: since 2010, last time I hiked the course, changed a little)
1.7 miles road back to finish
26.2 miles total, I think its pretty accurate.
Overall, I will admit to thinking I could run 5 hours or under, but I just do not have the mental toughness to run thru the pain and tiredness like I used too. Maybe that will come with more racing, especially short races, as I re-learn what a race day effort feels like again. I love to run, but racing is done to test myself and doing this makes racing fun. I love to do workouts then race and see how they relate to each other.
So on to the race. My splits:
1.9 miles road = 20.10 at 142 hr- seemed real easy but HR was high
loop 1 - 11.3 miles = 2h 15 m at 150 hr - just cruising, running easy and steady how I felt
loop 2 - 11.3 miles = 2h 25 m at 151 hr - more of a struggle, had to concentrate more- drank 33 oz of tailwind drink which seemed to keep energy level good
1.7 miles road to finish = 18.57 at 150...a mental struggle, almost cramped in hams on downhill finish
Overall race avg hr was 150/ max 163
Overall, a very even effort, even hr, even energy level. I'll see in the results how I did overall.
My legs seemed to fatigue earlier in the quads then I expected. I know from past racing this may mean I trained a little too hard the last 2 weeks (the key workouts I have noted in other posts) or possible just normal fatigue from a long trail race. Maybe I need to starting my leg extensions exercises again for my quads. Anyway, I was happy to see I did not slow down that much over the last half of the race. I passed a few people and a few passed me.
I ran in Hoka One Evo's. They did good. My bottom of feet feel good, no heel pain, no left foot pain (Thank You Mettler Center!!) and no knee pain, just good ol' soreness from the marathon. Had not felt this for many years....crazy but a good feeling that I've missed, although it reminded me I need to be lighter weight and better trained.
My nutrition plan going into the race was to drink the Heed at the aid stations the first loop then use my new hydration pack with 32 oz. bladder filled w/ tailwind sports drink. I felt very good plus I ate 3 gels. I forgot the gels go down better with water as I did not time the gels well.. However, my stomach had no problems. Chris had told me of reading that taking 1 pepsi AC at the race start might keep the stomach settled. Well, my stomach felt great, maybe the pepsi AC was why.....I will definitely do this again.
Now, its on to recovery for a few days and losing a few more pounds. Next planned races are June 8, Shadow of the Gaints 50K in Fish Camp, Calif., which will be more of a sight seeing/hiking trip with Gregg in and around Yosemite National Park. After that is Howl at the Moon 8 HR, August 10. In between I want to run some shorter races (road races and trail) but with so many to pick from you do not have to sign up early which is nice.
Next week will be easy but hope to keep the miles up. Heartrate this morning was 50, about 6-7 more than normal, so I need a few good nights sleep for recovery.. Time changed this early morning so its back to dark for mornings and more light for evening's, which means more walking the dogs.
It was good to see Ed running but I must admit I missed seeing most of the runners when I would hike backwards on the trail in past years.