Monday, May 2, 2011

OC Marathon Recap (3:44:34)

I wanted to write this post last night but I was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch watching the Payton Jordan Invitational live on flotrack. Here is the full recap of the OC Marathon. I decided to stick with the full marathon at Orange County only in the last week leading up to the race. Actually, more like the day before the race. This was my 9th marathon and 7th slowest in 3:44:34 (avg pace 8:34 pace), and it was also my longest marathon (more on that later).

The day before the race, Dale went down to pick up our race packets. He texted me while down there and said, "Lauren wants to drop to the half, what do you want to do?" I texted back, "What are you running?" thinking that I didn't want to be the only one running the full. He texted back, "do you want to drop down?" which didn't answer my question, and after thinking that Dale would not want to drop down in distance, I texted back, "NO." I finally called him back and he said that he actually switched both Lauren and himself to the half, but then had second thoughts as did Lauren, who texted him back saying, "keep me in the full." So we were all still registered for the full marathon. What did we ever do without cell phones?

So the plan soon became to run with Lauren and help her run a solid marathon, maybe even a Boston Qualifier. Little did I know that she had been having lots of trouble with her asthma earlier in the week.

To avoid the hotel costs I crashed at Dale's house and woke at 2:40am to leave for Newport Beach by 3am and arrive in time to make the bus to the starting line. We arrived in what we thought was plenty of time. The line for the bus was already quite long and continued to grow. We waited for over a half hour to get on a bus and then sat there for another 5 mintues or so. When we finally arrived at the starting area we got off the bus and heard the National Anthem playing, we ran over to a short port-a-potty line and started weaving our way up as close as we could to the starting line and made it about half way into coral A before the gun went off.

The three of us talked and enjoyed the beautiful weather and clear skies for the first hour of the race. We meet up with David Weary (who was running the half) about mile three and he joined "team Lauren" for the next 8 miles or so. We were cruising right along and hit the 10 mile mark in 1:23, then David broke off to finish the half. Dale playing tour guide along the way as he is from Orange County, and he told us that there were only 2 big hills on the course. Lauren and I started counting hills and we were up to 9 at mile 9! This is NOT a PR course in any way.

We hit the half split in 1:47:47 (8:14 pace) and I thought this might be Lauren's day. I started helping her refill her amphipod at aid stations while she ran ahead. I would catch back up to her and deliver her water. About mile 17 she started to get some cramping in her diaphram which set off her asthma and she had to stop. We got her going again but then she had to stop again. Even by mile 15.5 our average pace was down to (8:11). But after 3 stops we could tell it was going to be a tough finish for Lauren. Dale and I continued on and tried to pick up the pace a bit but he soon decided he had had enough and said, "see you at the finish line Karl." Not a mile or so later, the bear jumped on my back and I "hit the wall."

The last 5 miles were a struggle. I guess I anticipated that it would be tough but it was also reaching 80 degrees and by now the dry Santa Ana winds, that were a nice cooling breeze, were now blowing at 15mph and in my face the last 3 miles. I looked around at my fellow runners and as glad to see it wasn't just me struggling out there. There is a comradery among runners, something about struggling together that bonds us. I called it, "The Death March" for the last 4-5 miles. It was tough. Certainly my lack of fitness was showing. For a while I tought I could be close to 3:35 and then sub 3:40 but ended up 3:44 (avg pace 8:34). Chuck was waiting for me at the finish line. He ran 3:41. Dale came in at 3:51 and Lauren finished in 4:02, actually better than I thought she would do.

The reason I said it was my longest marathon ever is because after running back and forth at water stopps and running back to check on Lauren, I actually ran just over 27 miles on Sunday!

It is hard to imagine running almost 50 minutes faster right now (my PR is 2:57). But here is my calculation of how I got to this time. 2:57+10 minutes for each of the last 3 months due to lack of training+3% slowing for every 10 degrees over 50=3:47.

It was a blast running with Dale, Lauren, and David. We told stories, jokes, and kept each other going. I thought Lauren had it today but it did not happen. There's always next time Lauren!

Finally, this morning at work I was reading an article in Competitor Magainze about Rhabdomyolysis, and it said, "just because you've run a marathon in the past doesn't mean you should run 26 miles without an appropriate build up; doing so can put you at risk becuase your body has not been trained to handle the stress." So I guess this is one of those, "do as I say not as I do" moments. I never once felt that I was in any kind of medical danger, just some major chaffing issues that a little cortizone creme took care of.


Chuck said...

Wow! You sure had a busy weekend. I believe that it will be just a matter of time before Lauren achieves her Boston Qualifier.

I am so encouraged with how my knee feels that I just signed up for the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon on June 5th. Based on yesterdays time I am confident that I can break 4 hours and cross South Dakota off my list.

Karl Stutelberg said...

You sure went out hard on Sunday, but seemed to back off somewhere between 10k and 10m. Glad everything went ok. Good to see you after the race.

Dale Lister said...

Thanks for the company on Sunday! And for fetching the water. Up until Lauren stopped, I felt strong, but I could not have run back and forth, or played catch up....
Next Tuesday.... Tempo run?