Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Callaway Gardens Marathon race report

2012 Callaway Gardens Marathon (Plus an extra 7 miles or so of fun and frivolity, just to have some additional fun)

Today marked 3 weeks out from my start of the 2012 Iron Horse 100 Mile Endurance Run. As I'm running the 100k event, today was also scheduled to be my longest long run of training, with a 50k scheduled to happen. Fortunately for me, the Callaway Gardens Marathon is also scheduled for this very same weekend.

After my overly-understanding, incredibly patient, not-understanding-yet-accepting-of-me wife gave me the needed dispensation of grace for paying the $$ to register for it, I slipped into Late Registration the day before. Now my required long run could take place on a course I run often, and with a good number of fellow runners. This is so much more better than running such a distance by myself and in the middle of the night. I was pretty excited that it worked out so well.

To consolidate this report as much as possible, here are the relevant details of pre-race: Fueling plan on Saturday (day before teh run) went according to plan. Pretty much adopted a fluid-only fueling strategy (Boost Plus is my friend). Clothing was shorts, The North Face arm sleeves, CEP calf compression sleeves, Nike compression short sleeve beneath a New Balance podium short sleeve technical shirt, and Nike Thermal gloves. I'm just now realizing how I sound with this description, and it does appear that I must have wandered into a running store clearance sale on gear. Multi-vendor mish-mash of my favorite running trinkets, but that's how I roll, I guess. I'm cheap, what can I say?

I also elected to wear my new Ultimate Direction Katoa II hydration waist pack (thanks honey). I decided that because this was to be a training run for race day, I would depend upon myself for nutritition, and not the aid stations along the course. The Katoa II provided me with (2) 22 oz bottles for hydration along with multiple big zippered pouches that I used for stashing my supply of Gu, S-caps, etc. All things considered, this configuration worked very well for me today.

From a pacing perspective, I am reasonably satisfied with how the day went. Again, I was NOT wanting to "race" this marathon. I had to keep telling myself that it's a training run. A 31+ mile long training run, and I need to take it slowly. Ideally, I was hoping to be able to keep my pace no faster than a 10:00-10:15 pace. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make myself go any slower than a 9:23. That seemed to be where my body "locked on" and it just hung there, no matter how hard I tried to slow it down more. In the latter miles of the race, though, I did have an epiphany on how to slow it down. I began to walk through the aid stations. I didn't stop, but found that if I walked, it would add some time on my feet, and that's what I was shooting for in the training run.

When I crossed the Finish line, the clock read somewhere around 4:23:22, which is way slower than my normal marathon times, but still way too fast for what I was planning on hitting. Either way, it was a great race with some great other runners along the course. This helps make all the difference, in my opinion. Just being out there with others is such a boost when you're comparing it to running this kind of distance solo. I'm really thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in this one.

Once I had stowed all of my gear and unneeded clothing in the Hummer, (it was much, much warmer by this time of day) I went out along the lakeside and hammered out another 6 miles or so to breath that 31.1 mile goal I had.

In summary, todays run gave me the mental boost it was intended to do, and I'm really stoked as I look forward to the Iron Horse 100 in three weeks. I will reach 200 miles of training for the month of January, and that's pretty sweet. I will likely begin to taper my mileage sometime next weekend and prepare my body for what I know is going to be the toughest challenge I have faced to date.

Happy running, guys. I hope your training continues to improve.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had an amazing day! That's awesome. Great mileage for the month too!