Monday, October 29, 2012

JD's first Marathon

So yesterday (10/28/2012), I ran my first marathon which was the Marine Corp Marathon in Arlington, VA.  I got in via the Irish Sprint 10k back in March. We got there early in the AM because last time we ran the Army 10 and it was a mess.  This time seemed to work much better but put us at the runner's tent around 6am - one hour and 55 minutes before the start of the race which gave us plenty of trips to the can.  Leading up to this event, I had been dealing with tendonitis in my left achilles and behind my knee but who doesn't have issues when it comes to marathon training.  So the time comes start walking down Rt. 110 to our corral and I get to the 3:30 projected spot which is what I had hoped for.  However, in the back of my mind, I am thinking 4 hours is a more realistic goal.  After the prayers, bevy of club music and fly overs, we finally get going.  I start off with a decent 5k clip in 25:40, a little fast given I had no idea what I was in 10k split was at 50:06, 15k mark (9.3 miles) had me at 1:15:16, still moving at a decent clip for a possible 3:30 finish.  The 20k mark (12.4  miles) had me at 1:40:05.  Just a note about this, my best 20k was 1:36 and change at the Leesburg 20k so I was going a little faster than I had wanted.  The half marathon mark put me at 1:46:27, about 6 minutes slower than my fastest time.  At this point, I began to get this cramp in my lower chest and thought it was some acid reflux but just didn't seem to go away.  At this point, my fuel or lack of was becoming an issue.  I couldn't eat because my chest and now back were at a point where I could barely breathe.  The 30k mark had me at 2:37:02, still not that bad but was starting to crash and crash hard.  By the time I had reached the 35k mark (21 miles), I was started to fade hard and I had no idea if I could even finish.  All I knew was that in all my runs ever, I have never felt this bad during a race.  Not only was my upper body tightening up, my legs felt like logs and couldn't keep the 8 min or 9 min pace anymore.  10 minute pace was looking barely possible at this point - which was something I never even thought would happen.   The 40k (24.8 mile) mark had me at 3:43:59 and I was actually worried I might not get sub 4.  However, finishing was my goal at that point.  At this point, I almost felt like my body was shutting down - I pushed through and finally hobbled over the line at 3:57:51 with a 9:04 pace.  Below is a pic of me finishing my first marathon:

My first marathon was a tale of two halves, the first half was great,  a little to fast ,  the second was a nightmare and true rookie mistake - I went out harder than I should have.  I didn't fuel properly either which most likely led to the symptoms I had at the end of the race.  Let me not forget to mention the 10-30 mph gusts compliments of Hurricane Sandy which is now tearing up Washington DC.  The windchill was brutal and took alot out of me. Achilles feels fine so far, knees are a tad sore but I expected that.  Hit the treadmill to walk a few miles this morning just to get the blood flowing.  In all, I was happy to get a sub 4 but didn't expect to crash so hard so early in the marathon.  It was an eye opener and prepare differently next time.  Might do the Seashore 50k in tidewater, va in December but don't know yet.  Have to see how the legs feel next week.  At the end of the run, I could barely stand but was able to get this little gem:

On to recovery....

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