Last Saturday, I ran the ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes Marathon in Fremont – my 3rd marathon. The run was put on by Zoom Running Events, which always does a fantastic job. The event actually had four dinstances: a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, and the full marathon. Zoom events are typically smaller than the other events in the area (which is nice) and the four distances had 66, 63, 128, and 74 finishers respectively.
The weather was perfect: a brisk 37 degrees at the start with perfectly clear skies and no wind to speak of. It probably warmed up to the low to mid 50s by the time I finished.
The marathon course was the same as the half marathon course only we ran it twice. I was familiar with the course already, since it was the same course that I ran when I did the Zoom Quarry Lakes half back in July. It consisted of a loop/pair of out-and-backs that took place in the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation area and along the Alameda Creek Trail. The course was a mix of crushed rock and paved trails that was nice and flat.
As with all Zoom events, course management and marking was great! Volunteers at Zoom events and the aid stations are always excellent and ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes was no different. The volunteers are friendly and encouraging and the snacks are great quality, with a good variety, and they never run out! The finish area had great food and drinks as well and offered a great environment to recover and comiserate with other runners. The only downside being that the majority of the runners did the shorter disntaces, so by the time we marathoners finished, it was pretty dead in the finish area. (not that it mattered to us…we were just jazzed to finish!)
- Garmin time: 4:05:54 at an 9:21/mile pace [pace delta due to gps distance]
- Official time: 4:05:52 at an 9:23/mile pace
- Standings: 3rd among 3 marathons
In short: I goofed this one up. While this was only my third marathon, it was my 23rd longer distance run. I made two big and newbie mistakes that ended up costing me an PR that would have been easy to earn on this course. But…you live and learn and move on.
Yep, I had planned to PR. Given my training, it was in the bag – beating a 3:59:45 time was completly doable. That said, I ran the race like it was a half marathon and hydrated during it (mostly on the first half) like it was a 10K.
- Pacing. I had set a pacing plan that would have easily resulted in a 3:45 to 3:50 PR. The newbie in me went out too fast and failed to listen to the 22-race vet voice yelling that I had better slow down…”remember, it’s 26.2, not 13.1.” Needless to say, I ran a pretty good half marathon…after that, not so good. A result of not following my pacing plan and the hydration thing…which I will cover next.
- Hydration. So, I’ve been working at forgoing liquids on shorter distances in training, which worked for my Turkey Trot PR. I decided to mess with my hydration plan the night before race day thinking that I would carry 20 oz. of water at first, lightly sipping only after six miles, and then dump the handheld and refill with a pre-measured, electrolyte mix at the halfway point aid station. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. I should have known better than to mess with a formula that has worked on longer runs…for a while. DUMB. By doing this (and starving my body of electrolytes for the first 13.1), my calves started to cramp at about mile xx and kept that up pretty much the rest of the 26.2. Bye, bye PR…hello hobbling and gritting out a finish as close to 4 hours as I could grit out.
At any rate, and in the big scheme of things, 4:05:52 is a decent time. I know my time could have been better – certainly a marathon PR – but, I goofed. It was all my fault.
Recognized. Reviewed. Analyzed. I beat myself up for a few days. Now to move on.
I followed my normal marathon carb loading regime (36 hours of >80% carbs and +1000 calories above my normal day) and my usual race fueling plan: bagel and peanut butter at -3 hours, GU at -45 min, GU & salt tab at -15 minutes, and GUs and additional salt tabs along the way. I’ve already shared about the liquid fuel change/disaster above.
So, a PR eluded me, but it was still a decent day none the less.
- Bottom line: Decent race…another learning experience.
- Post-race meal: McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries…kept it low key this time.
Training Journal – 12/24/13:
- Current plan: Big Sur Marathon Training Plan
- Today’s session: 5-mile run
- Comments: I did 6.2 miles @ 8:07 avg pace, avg cadence 97 & a run time of 50:37. [Strava]