Sunday, November 23, 2008
Humbled by the hills
Holy crap the hills ate me alive at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. No excuses, I rationalized walking up 9 mile hill when it appeared the runner who just passed me wasn't gaining that much on me. That was the beginning of the end. From that point I walked almost every incline to the finish. Couldn't decide if it hurt more to run or walk. Did manage to squeak out a sub 4:00 marathon, by coming in at 3:50. Big gap from the 3:30 I was targeting. Hit the halfway mark at 1:41, 4 minutes in the bank for a 3:30 finish.
Glad to have EB pacing me through the first 14 miles. She definitely helped to hold me back. I had way to much energy in the first half and charged a little to hard on the ups. Only real mistake other than starting to walk was forgetting to take my succeed cap after the first hour. Didn't take the first one until a little after 2 hours. Never did completely cramp up on the course, but everything was super tight from about mile 18-24.
The carb loading and taper were perfect. Plenty of energy in the first half, the hills just suck it all out of you. Still haven't decided about Rocket City. I'll have to see how the recovery goes the next couple of days.
Only negative of the entire race was the turn at the bottom of 9 mile hill and back up towards the flag pole. Seems like I left half of my big toe on the pavement in that turn. But, that's one spot were I had a huge cheering section. Lisa and Jill rode their bikes to that point, plus Alexa and Luke were there as well. Very enthusiastic. Thanks!
Counted about 10 people who passed me from mile 18 to the finish. Unfortunately, I'd passed at least 3-4 of them only 4-5 miles earlier when I was still feeling really strong. Really glad for the group of 4 who picked me up at mile 24 and pushed me to the finish. I'd been trying to hang on to the various runners as they passed me but couldn't keep the legs moving. Three of these guys pulled me all the way through to the finish and two came through with the exact same time. Thanks, guys.
First marathon I've ever run where the beer didn't need to be put on ice. Yazoo Pale Ale and Dos Perros on tap. I enjoyed a few of the Dos Perros, got a Yazoo poster as a door prize and grazed on the GIANGANTIC spread of food. Great marathon. Top notch on every level. Capping the race at 200 runners makes for a nice intimate race, no big race logistic problems. Able to get a great massage. Can't think of a thing I'd do any differently.
Brought the camera but only took a couple of pictures before the race. Wore the Garmin and the Timex, but left the Ipod in the car. According to the Garmin, I only ran 25.79 miles? Missed a few of the mile splits on my Timex, no problem. This wasn't exactly a stellar race effort.
Some post race thoughts.
Couple of pictures I forgot were in the camera