Sunday, May 18, 2008

2008 Fargo Marathon

It was a bittersweet race for me. I did get a PR but it was no where near my goal. My garmin says 4:26:06 (4:26:02 official). Regardless, I'm still happy. I know what to do differently next month in Winnipeg.

Here are some highlights.

8:00 am - pretty calm winds, temp of 50 degrees. PERFECT. I started out with the 4 hour pacer. The beginning of the race was fantastic, but the pacer was going too fast. between 8:30 and 8:45 for most of the first 10K. In hindsight, this was my downfall. By around 9 miles I started to slow, he pulled ahead of me and I lost him. Winds were picking up too. I was still feeling ok and hit the half way point right on track at around 2 hours. Then I started to go downhill. I lost steam. I finally figured out that I was dehydrated. The winds were really drying me out. Even though I was drinking water at every station, I was not drinking enough. I started walking through the water stations and drinking 2 or 3 cups. I started feeling less light headed but I still just felt off. So I decided to modify my goal and shoot for 4:15. I was alternating walking and running through miles 15, 16, 17, 18. Around mile 19 I saw the 4:10 pacer go past me and that picked my spirits up a little bit. I continued my off again, on again running through miles 20 and 21. I wasn't dead but I was starting to feel the fatigue. It was then that I felt a horrible twinge in my hamstrings. Uh oh. Cramps coming. I dropped down to a walk and stretched through it until it felt better. Thankfully no full out cramps. I continued to run and walk to manage my hammys. I was feeling a little bit down that I was not making my goals. I thought I was doing really bad when the 4:20 pacer met up with me around mile 23. Again, that lifted me up because I thought I was doing worse than that. I knew I would get a PR at least. By now the winds had picked up to gusting over 30 mph. I was still slowed by fatigue and now another potential cramp in my left calf. I slugged along at about an 11:30 average pace. The finish . . well . . this race finished INSIDE a large dome. Amazing, by the way. But as I was putting it all in at the end going down the ramp into the dome there went my hamstring for good. I didn't want to finish this way. I had to drop to a walk and hobble down the tunnel. Fortunately it stretched just enough that I could pick it back up and finish strong as I entered the arena. I headed to the medical tent for an ice pack and now it's feeling pretty good.

So, overall I wish I was feeling better and could enjoy the race more. The last half I was just so focussed on trying to get down the road that I didn't really appreciate all the crowds around me. But definitely another one under the belt and I've learned some good lessons. The weather was fantastic - - about 65=70 at the end of the race. Even the wind felt pretty nice in spots.

Here I am just after mile 4 on 8th Street. I'm still looking pretty fresh.

That's my boy, cheering me on.

Coming into the finish. Look what 4.5 hours of sweating will do to you!

This is me on the Jumbotron in the dome. I was just entering the tunnel and this is where my hamstring started pounding and quivering.


Teresa said...

Way to go Greg! A PR is a PR.You inspire me. I can't wait to run my first marathon.

Eric said...

Found your blog via Google...nice race, Greg! Teresa is right...a PR is a PR--especially when you fight through some really tough miles to do it.

Recover well, especially if you are doing Winnipeg in a couple of weeks. Have a great race there, and take care.

Greg said...

Eric, I'm honored you stopped by my blog! Thanks for commenting and a big congratulations to you! You make ND proud. Funny, I only have fond fond memories of the race now. I will do better in Winnipeg and I recovered from this race faster than any before. I was out running by Tuesday. I just need to drop some more weight and I'll be so much better.