I need to get better organized with my approach to marathons...
"You've done been shrunk, tiny bladder!"
|Oh ya... my bladder is way too small.|
There's so many things that went right, but so many things to work on improving for marathon running. Honestly, I approach the marathon as if it were a part of a triathlon. Kind of systematic and utilizing aid stations and being patient and methodical. I could cut out some time if I changed mentality a little bit and had a larger bladder. Stopping 3 times to pee over 26.2 miles is no way to get to the finish line quickly. Sure, you feel better without a full bladder, but I need to find that line where I'm hydrated enough to start and what I'm expending in sweat is enough to justify what I'm taking in.
Here's how I train...Most of my long runs are 3 miles running and then stopping for water and recovery for 0.10 miles before the next 3 miles. That keeps me pretty much at fluids every 30 minutes and every other stop is powerbar blasts or nutrition and water. So, I'm on the 30 / 60 minute plan for fluids and nutrition.
Here's how I ran...KC marathon aid stations were every 2ish miles. So... that threw off my timing from training. I decided to get fluids every other aid station and nutrition and water with a minor walk break on the other aid stations. So, I was utilizing every aid station, but not walking every one of them. It was a delicate balance of water with nutrition (either powerbar blasts or my home brew of hydration with extra suppliments) and gatorade on other stops. GI upset is always on my mind and with the temps starting around freezing race morning and the high only forecasted around 45 degrees, I knew I would not be sweating off very much of the fluids I drank and I did not want a sloshing gut at mile 20.
The theme for the marathon was, less is more. I was going to pace myself at 150 beats per minute, short choppy gate on the hills, and open it up on downhills after the major hill at 22 miles.
It seem to have worked.With a new PR of 3:48:13, shaving around 4 minutes off my previous best. It wasn't a monster PR, but it's always nice to do better with age. It also met my expectations of getting under 3:50. I thought I was going to have a chance at sub 3:45, but it just wasn't in the cards.
I did spend way too much time stopping at port-a-potties at aid stations, though. My bladder was not on the same game plan as sweating was a non-issue with the low temps. During the race, I drank appropriately to stay hydrated, but not have excess in the gut. I didn't even thing I drank an excessive amount before the race, but obviously my bladder thought different. It was nice as mostly the port-a-potties I did take breaks at had no lines and I was in and out. And let me tell you, it's a huge relief to get that weight off your shoulders when you're running. Nothing's more distracting than having to pee when running... well, maybe having to poop when running?
I did commit a major error by leaving my running gloves in a port-a-potty before the race. Cleanliness is next to godliness, except when you forget to put your gloves back on after taking care of business. They were cheap throw-aways, but I would have LOVED to had them for the entire race. The shade and head wind was a little chilly. I survived, but it would have been much more comfortable. I realized it after getting to the start chute, and had 10 minutes to try and go back... but I wasn't really interested in waiting at the door and stalking the johns looking for my gloves.
It was cold. I wore under armour long pants, shorts, under armour short sleeve undershirt, tech t-shirt, and arm warmers under a light long sleeve. I was planning on tossing the long sleeve, but opted to keep it the entire race. It worked out well until after I finished and realized the sweaty clothes were getting COLD just standing around. I didn't really think I would need 3 layers, but I did.
Speaking of finish line... I was very heart broken to realize they had chocolate milk at the finish line, but were completely OUT by the time I got done. And, it's not like I was last. Someone didn't plan accordingly or all the 5k and half marathon people took more than their fair share. That's all I wanted besides a banana... sure, they had BBQ and beer for finishers, but that just doesn't sound appealing to me after running a marathon.
Overall it was a great 4th year...My marathon running has shown steady improvement after 4 years of KC and Northface marathons. I've learned a lot from those races and from my Ironman race about perspective and training. This was by far the best I felt immediately after a race. Mentally cognizant, wasn't overly exhausted and was able to get to the car, change and get home with major cramping.
Heading home to switch gears to daddy and husband was pretty seamless, but Sunday was a little rough. My body was a little angry at me, almost more so than after lake Tahoe. I was moving and doing stuff all day, but my lower back, legs and knees were grumpy.
More than likely a combination of leftovers from Lake Tahoe and the impact of combing recovery and immediately turning around to race another long distance endurance event.
But, that's probably the end of the long course events for 2013. Kind of sad, but kind of relaxing as well to change gears to focus on the other disciplines of triathlon, nutrition - and lots of it at Thanksgiving and Christmas!