Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Eugene Marathon 2007

On Sunday April 29, 2007 I ran the Eugene Marathon.

As I have stated here in the past I was running for a sub 3 hour marathon.
I came tantalizingly close: 3:03:05 Second fastest marathon for me and 75th overall.

The race went right as planned:
  • Wore the racing flats with no issues

  • No stomach trouble as I was steadfast in not succumbing to Jim and Scott's taunts to have wine or beer the night before the race.

  • I believe I paced myself correctly holding back in the early stages and on the hills around miles 4 and 5.

  • My crew saw me twice and my brother was even able to run with me for a small part. We both can train up to running / pacing for Western States in a few years??

  • Saw lots of ultra runners and road runners. I was glad to read the Sean M was there to pace. When I saw him pulled over at Mile 15 I could not believe my eyes: no dress!

So why did miss 3 hours?

I got to mile 21 and things just kept getting slower and I could not dig up any mental gumption to push harder. The miles started to really drag for the first time and I started to get passed instead of passing. Up to 21 I felt invincible and thought the race was in the bag. Kept going but realized I would miss 3 hours. My mantra switched to NO WALKING allowed. Part of my brain was screaming that since I missed my goal why not take it easy and walk. I had fallen prey to this advice in the past so I was happy to have backup plans: beat my PR, beat 3:05, get a Boston qualifier.

I finished out the race and crossed the line with a bit of a push. Then I realized what I had messed up. My brain was no longer working. BONKED! I chugged some Gleukos etc and found a comfortable piece of grass that seemed to be spinning less than the rest of the world. I was religious on the gels during the race but once again I slipped up for the last 6 miles or so. I must keep eating past 20 miles. I believe I took my last gel around mile 18? I should have had one more at mile 21-22 and maybe even on more at mile 24. If the stomach is fine, no reason to be stingy. Another lesson learned.The course was great with enough shade along the river to be cool and enough bike trail to not feel like you were really running a road marathon. They do need to ensure that all the mile markers are in place but otherwise I think they did well pulling off the marathon.

I would be interested in hearing if there was any congestion on the trail for those running near a 4 hour marathon. The trail was pretty narrow in spots. All together there was 1500 marathoners and about 2000 half marathoners on the course.

It was a great fun hanging with the group from Portland.
I think most people either set a PR or ran their second fastest marathon (Jim, Rich, Bill, Dave and me). Thanks again to Jim for letting me steal the couch in his room and for encouraging me to do the dreaded 20 minute ice bath!

Time now to heal and prepare for some short road races to pound out some new PRs.
Then on to FINALLY getting back out for some long hours on the trails with my ultra buddies. Black Saturday needs to be in my near future!

The quest is still not over...I think I almost like it :-)


Brian Eberly said...

I'm winded and in pain just reading! Whew!!

Way to go man!

Rooster said...

Great job Darin!

I like the breakdown of all the things you did right and I also like the idea of having a back up plan to maintain mental strength.

Great Race!