Monday, May 23, 2011

Ogden Marathon

My intentions were good when I signed up for the Ogden Marathon several months ago.  I figured that by May I would be done with skiing and on to other stuff, like running.  Little did I know that "spring" skiing would not really even commence until May, or June as the case may be.

By Saturday, I had logged a total of 88 running miles since November 2010.  20 of those 88 miles were acquired on a "fun run" a couple weeks ago, when the Dorais brothers and I set out to run an "of the couch" marathon.  We barely made 20 miles, but it gave me confidence that I could make it 26.2.  Plus, I've logged lots of vertical and lots of skiing/climbing miles.

After an alpine start, a drive to Ogden, a school bus ride to the top of Ogden canyon, and some milling about in a muddy smoky pasture, I lined up with the 7 minute mile group.  I sheepishly stood to the side because I didn't think I would be going that fast.  But as it turned out, about 200 people over estimated their pace, and as the gun went off, I found myself boxed in.  Luckily, one skill I do have is being able to weave in and out of any type of peloton (bike, ski, or run), and work myself up into a decent position, which is what I did in the first mile or so.

When the people cleared, I was able to catch a short glimpse of the elite guys.  They were flying!  And that was inspirational.  It almost made me want to be a marathon runner.

This inspiration carried me for about 10 miles.  I was having fun, feeling good, and moving at a decent 6:45 ish pace.  The course took us by the swollen Weber river and Pineview reservoir.  Above Pineview, I traced ski lines on the snow-covered mountains.  I was having a good time.

I was surprised that I was moving at a 6:45 pace because I had only done two 3 mile runs at that pace this year.  But since it felt ok, I went with it.  But my head told me I ought to slow down.  I didn't though.

By mile 10 or so, my body had no choice but to slow down to a 7:30 pace for a mile or so.  I think I had a hunger knock, which was turned around quickly by some gel.  The achiness in my feet disappeared with a couple Ibuprofens and I was able to run the next 5 miles sub-7.  I secretly wondered whether I could go under 3 hours.

But that was too ambitious.  By mile 17, I was a hurting unit.  By mile 19, I was no longer inspired and had eaten the last of my 1200 mgs of Ibuprofen.  I wanted to be done.

About mile 21 or 22, a couple of guys that I saw at the beginning of the race, leisurely loped by.  Both were wearing red shirts.  Both looked experienced.  So, I latched on and started drafting off of them, forcing myself to match their pace.

I did that until my legs locked up.  Cramps.  I had to stop and work the kinks out for a bit.  I did hamstring/calf stretches on the guardrail.  Luckily, the cramps subsided, and I was able to continue.  As long as I kept my pace in the 7:30 range, my legs would go.  As I moved into the 7:00 range, the cramps would come back.  It took me a couple of cycles to figure that out.

While my aerobic system didn't feel all that taxed, my legs and body felt maxed.  The Ibuprofen dulled a lot of that, but the pain was throbbing through by mile 25.  Fortunately, the last mile, I saw several people I knew.  I also could hear music.  And that lifted me up and carried me to the line.

I crossed the line in 3:12 and 40 something seconds, and was glad to have completed my first legitimate marathon.

Since then, I've looked at some blogs of 2:30 marathon runners.  And I'm intrigued.  How do they maintain such a fast pace for 26 miles?  Although I set out to run the Ogden Marathon with some guys at work and so I can put a 26.2 sticker on my car (kidding!), I'd be lying if I said that I don't have any new aspirations.

1 comment:

Jim said...

dude to go out and run a marathon in that kind of time, with that little training is just SICK. grats and kudos man. just sick.