Well that's it, all she wrote. Finally here and gone, it feels good, kinda empty, but alright. I guess I took the cards that were dealt and did the best I could on the day. Sure the time 3:03 is a great time, but my fitness was definitely better than that.
Weeks before I ran the police half and did a really big week immediately after. I felt alright then, but a little later I strained my hamstring(about 2 weeks ago) my hip had been bugging me as well(which I think caused the hamstring strain) and also some sore calves, and even quads. It might have been my peaking that was slightly off, my body def. needed rest and I tapered as much as I dared to try to heal up properly. I tapered so much that I was afraid I was loosing fitness.
So with all that going on you know the background going into this race. I went with a formal carbo loading regime written up by powerbar, and used and really recommeded by my good buddy Chris Hooper. I hadn't really used any plan before this. So Saturday I aimed at consuming 700-900grams of carbs. Wow is that ever hard to do, I took in nearly 4000 calories and still only hit about 750carbs. Yikes that's a lot of carbs!! I went to bed about 10 and woke up bright an early ready to go. I went to bed actually feeling sick from all the food I ate. I was a bit worried that it was too much, but I trusted Chris. I had to take some advil as my head was hurting too!
The morning started at about 4:30, got some coffee going and I got my race stuff on, prepared my small breakfast. Then I sipped my coffee while Lisa got some last minute ZZZzzzs. She took me to the stampede area and dropped me off and I walked to the race site. I had no clue if we would be able to stay somewhere warm and I was delighted to see that we could hang out inside the stampede grand stands area. I went to the washroom on the main floor, then discovered there was more washrooms upstairs with no lines. NICE!! I lined up for the start just before, spotted Chris and Melissa, wished them both well and got ready for the start. Anndddd off we go. I settled in at a pretty good pace, well I hoped it would be ok, the first 10ks I was running 4:10s-ish, sometimes a lil under sometimes a touch over.
Near 12km we turned south away from the 20km course. That's where we started climbing up and up. None of it steep, but it was def. noticeble. And I could already start feeling my hamstring, not favoring it, just knew it was there! Right around 14km the 10 person all connected with surgical tubing guiness book record attempt team ALL stopped for a nature break!! It was the funniest thing I've ever seen in a marathon. 10 of them all side by side, feet against the curb and peeing into the bushes. lol there were people taking pictures, just wait till those surface online. That'll make good slowtwitch discussion. So I passed them while they were pissing as I was just behind them till that point. I had read that they were aiming at a sub 3 hour time for the record. I ran for about 3km further before they came up behind me and went by. I stayed with them for a km or two and actually drafted them for a bit. But they're pace was a bit too tough for me so I let them go just before we came to mount royal. We had to run up that false flat all the way to the far end of Mount Royal, turn the corner there and that was the half way point. My split 1:27:XX, pretty good, maybe a bit fast, but I usually need some in the bank to loose in the second half. Although as we started hitting some downhills I could feel more and more of the hamstring. The pace was still good at this point I was right on 4:15s which is right on the 3 hour pace.
Then back over crowchild, where we had a false flat downhill, then turned north and down a steep hill. Wow that really messed up my quads. Shortly after that and at about the 28km point my hamstring started really hurting and the quads didn't have anymore power. My pace started slipping, first 4:20, then 4:25, which would be ok, I thought if I could just hold onto that pace I'd still finish under 3. But it kept slipping although I felt really good! My stomach wasn't upset(which is usually a problem) and I was able to eat gel as needed. I carried a flask with about 5 gels in there, I probably ate 4 of them throughout the race, which was perfect. Anyways the carbo loading really worked too as I never bonked and physically I felt great! My quads and hamstring were just done and I gritted my teeth and pushed as hard as I could. Then my calves also started twitching, now this is completely normal, I always get the calf cramps. I kept sipping my gels, taking gaterade at aid stations, hoping they wouldn't cramp up.
I gotta say I'm impressed with the race here. They always had problems with the marathoners running into the back of the 5k, 10k, half mary race. So we're hitting the back of those races, the walkers and I have nothing against walkers, but the last ones seem to string themselves across the entire road giving no room for us to get by. Not this year, they actually gave us a separate lane to run in!!! Much kudos to the race for that, at first it took me a bit to catch on that the pilon'd off middle lane was for me! How special, ha ha. So I ran in that lane and got some nice cheers from people on memorial and I was hurting, specially with 4km to go I was running about 4:40 pace by then and I fought tooth an nail to try and speed it up. A few runners passed me in the last 5km, got chicked a couple times. But I ran proud, I was NOT going to walk today. My last stand alone marathons haven't been pleasant, and this one wasn't quite at my ability, but I kept fighting! That's really what makes me proud, I had the mental strength to fight through, despite the slipping pace. Then we hit the last km and turned into the stadium, my calves nearly locked up here. I was just hoping they wouldn't cramp up and I would fall on my face. My pace plummeted here as you can see the last 0.3km was above 5min pace. But w/e I had already established at about 8km to go that I wouldn't be able to go under 3 hours, and I got close, BQ'd so that's alright I just didn't want to loose teeth when my face hit the concrete. So I slowed down to try and prevent that and crossed the finish in 3:03:XX. Not too bad, happy it's over. Now as I write this I'm wondering how long the recovery will take. Marathons are pure torture for the muscles. I cannot walk down stairs I have to hobble down them sideways, and walking is really tough. Could be 2-3 weeks before I can run at all?? Oh and the weather was great! There was almost no wind and the temp started at about 5 degrees and only went up to maybe 10-12? Cheers,