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Ran a 10k - Official Thread


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13 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

I will admit to being a bit cantankerous after running on a treadmill for 80 minutes. 

Fair point.

Just looking at a treadmill has that effect on many of us.

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21 hours ago, Zasada said:

Yup, too aggressive as it turns out.

Classic blunder.  Went out to fast and the last 10K turned into a run/walk.

Happy to have finished <4 but I did it the ugly way.  

More to come later.  Time to fill my belly full of 3,000 calories worth of Tex-Mex.

 

Nice work! Looking forward to reading the details. Used to always think I wanted to do a full marathon "back in the day". Then got over it - figured a half was far enough. Just recent started entertaining the idea that I might want to do one just to say I did. Not sure yet but I'm at least entertaining the notion.

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7 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

Nice work! Looking forward to reading the details. Used to always think I wanted to do a full marathon "back in the day". Then got over it - figured a half was far enough. Just recent started entertaining the idea that I might want to do one just to say I did. Not sure yet but I'm at least entertaining the notion.

You may not do one in 2019, but if you're already mentally here then you'll toe the line on one in 2020 so long as you get through this year healthy. 

Edited by MAC_32
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18 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

I will admit to being a bit cantankerous after running on a treadmill for 80 minutes. 

Maybe you just happened to pick the treadmill right next to his favorite treadmill! 

I run on the treadmill in the gym here and work and at the Y. In both places I have treadmills that I prefer to be on if possible for a couple of reasons. I will try to leave space if possible but have no problem taking one of them even if it means "buddying up" to someone. No where near the same as not leaving an empty seat in a movie theater or a urinal, IMO. 

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2 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

You may not do one in 2019, but if you're already mentally here then you'll toe the line on one in 2020 so long as you get through this year healthy. 

Maybe. Seems like a pretty big commitment. But will admit that I haven't signed back up for the Monumental here in Indy yet just to leave the option open on which I run. Kind of want to run the half there again to see how much progress I make in a year. But depending on how other runs go, maybe I just do that one. 

:oldunsure:

Really can't see me doing it more than once. However... I always was content doing just a 5K now and then and seeing what I could do there. After doing 1 half with minimal training, I was instantly interested in trying to see what I could do with some real mileage on my legs and being in better shape so...

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3 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

Maybe you just happened to pick the treadmill right next to his favorite treadmill! 

I run on the treadmill in the gym here and work and at the Y. In both places I have treadmills that I prefer to be on if possible for a couple of reasons. I will try to leave space if possible but have no problem taking one of them even if it means "buddying up" to someone. No where near the same as not leaving an empty seat in a movie theater or a urinal, IMO. 

Airflow, view of the TV, view of the yoga studio? 

Your point makes sense, you're right that it's different than urinal. Not sure about the movie theater, but I'll sure avoid sharing an arm rest with someone I don't know. 

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2 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

Maybe. Seems like a pretty big commitment. But will admit that I haven't signed back up for the Monumental here in Indy yet just to leave the option open on which I run. Kind of want to run the half there again to see how much progress I make in a year. But depending on how other runs go, maybe I just do that one. 

:oldunsure:

Really can't see me doing it more than once. However... I always was content doing just a 5K now and then and seeing what I could do there. After doing 1 half with minimal training, I was instantly interested in trying to see what I could do with some real mileage on my legs and being in better shape so...

Seems like everyone does the Indy half or full. There's a really good chance I do the Indy half next November with my sister and nephew.  Maybe an FBG meet is in order this year. Will just have to explain to my sis about this group of guys from the internet. Wife and kids might go with me, just to visit family. 

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Is anyone else a ##### when it comes to cold in the shower? 

I'm pretty weather resilient other than cycling in the cold, I've ran in snow, cold rain, 180SI, etc. But damn if I don't get soft when I'm in the shower, space heater on blast, and my wife keeps walking in and out, opening the door, letting the cold air in. :rant: ☃️

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2 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Airflow, view of the TV, view of the yoga studio? 

Your point makes sense, you're right that it's different than urinal. Not sure about the movie theater, but I'll sure avoid sharing an arm rest with someone I don't know. 

combo of 2 and 3 above plus the make/model of treadmill. At the Y there are several different types they have. There's a couple of them I like better then the others. And the ones I like most are kind of in the middle of the bank of TVs so I can easily watch 2 or 3 different things as I'm running - plus the view of the room as a whole. 

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2 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Is anyone else a ##### when it comes to cold in the shower? 

I'm pretty weather resilient other than cycling in the cold, I've ran in snow, cold rain, 180SI, etc. But damn if I don't get soft when I'm in the shower, space heater on blast, and my wife keeps walking in and out, opening the door, letting the cold air in. :rant: ☃️

My wife often will open the door on me - particularly in the mornings when we are getting ready for work. This time of year it stinks but the alternative is to get up about 20 or 30 minutes earlier to be done with the shower before she's hitting the bathroom, which I'd hate more!

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11 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

Maybe you just happened to pick the treadmill right next to his favorite treadmill! 

I run on the treadmill in the gym here and work and at the Y. In both places I have treadmills that I prefer to be on if possible for a couple of reasons. I will try to leave space if possible but have no problem taking one of them even if it means "buddying up" to someone. No where near the same as not leaving an empty seat in a movie theater or a urinal, IMO. 

I went back to the gym this morning.  I used the same treadmill at about the same time although I wasn't running for as long.  On my way home, I realized I left my water bottle in the holder on the treadmill and turned around.  When I retrieved the bottle, there he was at his same treadmill.  So, yes, that one is "his".

The weather forecast is pretty terrible so I'll be at the gym a lot this week.  I'll be back at work starting tomorrow though so I'll be there much earlier.

 

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25 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Seems like everyone does the Indy half or full. There's a really good chance I do the Indy half next November with my sister and nephew.  Maybe an FBG meet is in order this year. Will just have to explain to my sis about this group of guys from the internet. Wife and kids might go with me, just to visit family. 

I live here in Indy, which is why I did that one this past November and will likely do it again this year. Only problem this year is that it falls on my older kid's birthday. She is away at college so not sure exactly how that will work out and all but I'm sure I'll work something out - just depends on how much trouble I get myself in making it work! 

:D 

ETA - actually that reminds me that odds are high that I just do the half again and see how much gain I get... we'll see. But I do want to run something here for the next 3 years - Really would like to collect the 4 metals to spell out "INDY"/make the full circle. 

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1 hour ago, Juxtatarot said:

  When I retrieved the bottle, there he was at his same treadmill.  So, yes, that one is "his".

 

 

Tomorrow morning get there early and run on 'his" treadmill. Do something like 20 miles so he has to sit there for a bit and wait.

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2019 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Report

TL;DR:  Ran too fast through the first 20mi and ran/walked the last 6mi.  Hit my two goals (a. Finish; and b. <4hrs).  But I don't feel 20% as satisfied as I did after my HM.  Could use any advice ("Lessons Learned" section at bottom) you guys have.

Full cup of coffee version:

The Prologue is basically the same as my HM report from November, with the below happening since then:

My half marathon in November went as well as it possibly could have.  Slight negative split and a time faster than even my "dream" goal.  So coming off that high, I was immediately thinking that I should try a full marathon in 2019.

Rather than wind-down for the winter and then have to train-up again for the marathon, I thought I could just jump right into the Higdon Novice 1 Plan right at the halfway/HM point and aim for a Jan/Feb marathon.  I had two weeks of vacation in Dec which were timed perfectly for peak training (if the weather cooperated).  The advice from all you BMFs here was a little trepidation from some but overall supportive of the idea.

I lived for 11 years in Houston and love the city.  It's also a very flat city and has a marathon in Jan.  That was the obvious choice.  Some consideration was given to the Sprouts Mesa/PHX Marathon as an alternate, mostly because the climate is more predictable there with lower humidity.  But it's a net downhill and if I run only one marathon in my lifetime I don't want it to be one with an asterisk.  

So Houston it was.

Training went well, even though I didn't really follow the letter of the plan.  More the spirit of the plan.  Calgary weather can really suck in the winter but I lucked-out and we've had mild temps (20-40F) and very little snow, leaving most running paths in the city clear.

I did get all the requisite long runs in, mostly at a pace that was slower than I was used to running.  I also put in more total weekly miles than the plan dictated, even though some were on trails and some weren't technically running (power-hiking up mountains).  

So like I said, I followed the plan loosely.  But I was definitely getting faster.  10Ks at paces I didn't think possible (for me) were becoming more common.  I could get up Prairie Mountain faster than I ever could before.  This is working!

The last day before my taper I got cocky and decided to go for a PR on a trail run I do frequently near the city.  And I destroyed it, shaving almost a minute off my time.  But looking-back I think I might have hammered my legs a bit too much.  The following two weeks of taper were basically spent with sleepless nights as my knees/calves/ankles screamed all night because I couldn't get comfortable.  Walking (and even running) during the taper weren't so bad but I was growing increasingly concerned that I was going to have a problem come race day because they weren't getting back to 100% like they did before my HM.

I skipped a couple of the taper runs for this reason, trying to heal-up.  Including the day before the race.

The night before the race my legs were still not great so I decided to bring in the big guns and took a double-dose of Naproxen.  It has the tendency to burn a hole in my gut but I figured the legs were the priority and I would deal with the gut issues after the race.

Score.  Woke up in the morning and the legs were almost pain-free.  Time to race. 

I got up with plenty of time to beat the 0645 corral closure but in an effort to avoid mid-race pitstops I took time for a second poop.  That set me back a bit and had to rush now to get in before corral closure.

Got changed, had all my gear ready.  Weather forecast was 33F and a 15mph wind.  Decided to go with a ball cap (no touque), wool base layer, quarter zip long-sleeved shirt, tights, and shorts.  Gloves too.  An old fleece on top of that (which I discarded pre-race in the corral).  Wahoo TickrX chest strap, a pack of Strawberry Clif Bloks, and lip balm.  Paper towels to blow my nose.  Awesome prep.

Zipped out of the hotel, across the street to the convention center where I'm promptly herded through a course to the corrals.  Took about 10 minutes to get there but I beat the closure by about five minutes.  Made my way up to mid-corral and barely had enough time for a little stretching (not as much as I wanted) before things started moving.  National anthem, pre-race photos, and the gun goes off.

Basically the race boiled-down to two halves:  Everything that happened before 32km (20mi) and then everything after.  So I won't do this report by km/mile as much as others.

First 5K (5:10/km, 8:24/mi pace)

I registered myself for this race the same as with Vegas.  Put myself in a faster corral/position than I planned to run.  That way I wouldn't have to pass as many folks and might get some space during the race versus the rest of the pack.  But I discovered a new downside:  Mentally I wanted to run the same pace as everyone around me.  I was using my new Garmin 5 Plus for the first time in a race and I love that you can get your instantaneous pace from it (rather than having to wait for Strava to read averages after each km).  But I could see that I was running faster than plan.  Plan was to run the first half at 5:30/km (8:52/mi) and then try to run 5:20 (8:34) for the second half.  I knew that I needed to try to stay under 5:40 (9:07) to achieve my secondary goal of running under 4hrs.  

Every time I saw my pace I would try to slow down but then a few minutes look at my watch and I was running 5:10 again.  Mentally I had part of me telling me that was OK because I went out fast in Vegas for my HM and managed to hold the pace through the whole thing.  Maybe I was sandbagging my goal (unintentionally) again and it isn't the end of the world if I run a little faster than plan, right?

The sun hadn't risen at the time the race started but was coming up quickly.  Houston isn't a pretty city by any means but the people are great and this was no exception.  Lots of folks out despite the "cold" morning (by Houston standards) cheering the racers on.  I felt energized, just like with my HM.

Singing Elvis was positioned one mile in.  Fate, right?  This is just like Vegas!  Right?

5K-10K (5:09/km, 8:22/mi)

Running through neighbourhoods I was familiar with was great.  Crowds continued to cheer.  Lots of bands playing, including a mariachi band.  

Still found myself looking at my watch, trying to slow down, and then looking again minutes later I was back to the faster pace involuntarily.  Running the pace felt easy/comfortable and I was still a little cocky.  This is easy, right?  I'm at sea level.  I'm superman.  I'll try to slow down but it's no big deal if I don't.

Ran by my favourite restaurant.  Wished they were open so I could steal a tortilla chip or two.  

Check my heart rate on my watch.  Already at 145.  Knowing that from prior long runs my HR climbs slowly but surely, I knew that was a bad sign.  Soon it was going to be above 150.  Way too soon.

10K-15K (5:12/km, 8:26/mi)

Before the race, I was debating what to listen to.  On my training runs I had been listening to a great series of audiobooks (Expeditionary Force) to pass the time.  I was worried about getting bored on my first ~4hr run, but loved the motivation music might bring (as it did with Vegas -- noticing a theme here?).  So I decided to do both.  First half listening to an audiobook and the second half music.

That was a mistake.  Between the bands, cheering, announcements, noisemakers, etc, I couldn't hear much of the audiobook.  Should have just gone with music.

HR up to 150. 

Houston, we have a problem.

150 isn't bad for me but what's bad is that I knew 160 was going to be about 10km away.  And 160 comes with an expiration timer on my running.  Not sustainable for me.

I still tried to slow down, but it was feeling like more work to run slower (off my "comfortable" pace) than it was to run "normally".  Is my head ####### with me?

15K-21.1K (5:22/km, 8:37/mi)

Back at about the 10K point I started popping Clif Bloks.  About one every 2-3km.  In training I never had to drink/eat while running but I knew that might be different for a full marathon.  So I started testing Clif Bloks during my long training runs and they didn't upset my gut.  I also decide to take my first cup of water ever during a race (didn't take any for my HM) and found out that running and drinking is really hard.  Probably got two mouthfuls in, and the rest was on my chest and the ground.

But I'm starting to tire and my "comfortable" place is notably slower.  I was telling myself that I was in trouble.  I wanted to run the whole race with no walk breaks but doubt was starting to set-in.  I'm only approaching the halfway point and here I am starting to feel fatigue. 

And my HR is now at 153 and still climbing. 

Crowds were a little sparse in this section but the guy yelling "YOU OWN THIS HILL" halfway up one of the few grades was pretty cool.  And throughout the race there were lots of signs:  

  • "You're running better than the government"
  • "Run faster, I just farted"
  • "GO random stranger!"
  • WORST. PARADE. EVER.

I wish I could have read more but for some reason my vision goes to #### as I run longer distances, even with my (prescription) sunglasses on.

21.1K - 32.2K (5:24/km, 8:40/mi)

At the halfway point, I fired-up the music.  Roughly the same playlist as Vegas but with a bunch of songs that were popular when I lived in Houston.  

Over this 10K it was a mental struggle for me.  My inner voice shifted from "run the whole race" to "just get to 32.2K and then you can walk through the next water stop".  "That will be the farthest you have ever run".  I had given up already, which was so defeating.  HR was 158 and I still had 15K to go.  15K.

I passed 32.2K, saw the next water station, and grabbed a drink.  And walked.  For the first time.

And then the wheels fell off.

32.2K - 42.2K (6:28/km, 10:25/mi)

I told myself that I would just walk through the water station, which I did.  Got back to running right after.  HR was back down (temporarily).  OK, maybe this isn't so bad.  Other people who run marathons walk the water stations, right?  It's OK.  

No, it's not.

After about 800m I had to walk briefly again.  And then again after another 800m.  The next 5K was basically this run/walk pattern.

Then just prior to 37K I told myself "OK take a long walk, charge up, and run the last 5K".  The long walk part happened, but running the last 5K did not.

I got into a cycle like a car lurching-forward and then stalling.  I would run for a bit, then die and have to walk.  Kept trying to get back into gear but just couldn't make it last.

The crowd was getting thicker and was just as great as through the entire race.  One of the things I read about this marathon was that if you put your name on your bib, people would cheer for you by name.  And that was so true.  So many times people where cheering for me by name.  They don't know who I am (ref "GO random stranger" sign from before) but still it is energizing.  And during one of my walks in the last 5K a nearby person yelled "GO [ZASADA]!!!" and that got me running again, which then got him, and everyone around him, cheering.  It was awesome.  

The problem was I just had nothing left.  

At the 10K mark, which felt like ages ago, I was telling myself that I was going to sprint the last 2-3K.  But now I'm just struggling to "run" at all.

Eddie Money hits the playlist and it's the saddest thing ever.  I want to get stoked.  I want to sing and do air guitar (like Vegas).  But all I could muster were a few lyrics barely whispered between breaths.  You could be right there beside me and not hear me.

I managed to run the last 200m to the finish and cross the timing mats.  Shut off the watch.  No elation, no sense of achievement, just happy that it's over.  And I beat my 4hr goal despite hosing-up execution so profoundly.  As if to tell me it wasn't so bad, I crossed under the clock (gun time) at 3:59:51 (I'm the tall, gangly guy with horrible posture on the left).  My chip time was lower than that but it's almost like someone was telling me it wasn't so bad -- that four hour mark is something nobody can take away from you.

Walking through the finishing gauntlet is just a blur at this point.  I can barely walk.  My wife texted me and said that she's waiting for me (broken foot and all) at the reunion area on the other side of the convention center.  It's crowded but I manage to find a medal.  Then a banana.  And then HEB (a grocery chain in TX) has 500ml bottles of ice-cold chocolate milk.  I'm lactose-intolerant, and haven't had chocolate milk in probably 10 years, but #### it, I'm taking one.  It was so cold and so good.  SO GOOD.  Quick post-race photo and then into the queue for a finisher tshirt.  Grab that, and hobble deliriously to the meeting area.  Arranged by first letter of one's last name.  You Strava guys know what my last name is.  So all the way at the end.  Way at the back.  

See my wife.  Big hug.  No time to chat.  Have to find a clear section of floor.  Must sit.  Have to sit.  Desperately need to sit.

After finishing, I don't think I have ever been as close to passing-out as I was when trying to get through the finishing gauntlet/process.  I don't know if it was just exhaustion, dehydration, or something else.  I didn't sweat that much (given the weather) but I couldn't explain why I was so out of sorts.  Legs were incredibly sore but that was to be expected.  It was the confusion and light-headedness which was new.

That said, there I am, sitting on the concrete floor of the George R Brown Convention Center, having finished my first marathon.  In under four hours.  

By The Numbers:

  • Unofficial chip time:  3:57:18
  • 2217/6667 overall
  • 1557/4058 among men
  • 212/568 among 45-49 men

It would be nice if I knew the totals so that I could get percentile.  Using this site, my time is 60th percentile worldwide which makes me feel a little better.

Epilogue

Lots of friends and family emailed/texted me yesterday and today with congratulations.  To them, I just completed my first marathon.  In under four hours.  And if that's all I knew, I would feel much more excited about it than I do.  The last half of the above reads like abject failure and I absolutely don't feel that way at all.  I achieved my two goals.  It's just like that sports match where the team wins but the coach knows they played poorly.  

So, ironically, I'm on my flight home typing a race report and thinking about what marathon I'm going to sign up for next to do things right.  Even if I run exactly the same time.

Lessons Learned

  • Don't run as fast at the beginning, dummy
  • Find a new training regimen, probably Hanson
  • Eat/drink more?  Is that why I was so light-headed?
  • Races are not conducive to audiobooks
  • Stop overdressing, even if it's cold -- the latter parts of the race I really wanted to shed a layer but I didn't want to pitch my best gear (which I was saving for this race)
  • Shoes -- I had ~500 miles on the pair I ran the race with -- that too high?

And due to the chocolate milk and Naproxen, I spent most of my post-race afternoon in restaurant/mall/hotel bathrooms.  :)

Edited by Zasada
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@Zasada - great report. You didn't do anything that most of us haven't done in our first marathons. For my first (and second), there was some walking involved. There is  no shame in that. And there is no shame in completing a marathon in under 4 hours. That is a GREAT accomplishment.

Trust me, I know there is a lot of pride factor in how the last part of the race went, but don't worry about it. You are a marathon runner now. :thumbup:

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@Zasada you did great and your post race physical and mental feelings ring true to me and most folks reading.  Love that you quickly can list things you’d ‘refine’ on the next go. Don’t let those items overshadow your commitment to a series of goals last year which you crushed that led you to a stretch goal of traveling to your first marathon and going sub 4 by a lot albeit painfully.  My first marathon writeup here in late Oct 2017 has a lot of what you describe and it crashes and burns even more spectacularly.  

Safe travels home and get some rest - you are a marathoner!  Also thanks for the km to mi conversion for your southern mates. 

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Congrats again, @Zasada! Awesome that you’re already planning your next one. We all tend to learn lessons the hard way and it certainly seems like you’re going to learn from the challenges you faced. If you keep with things, I think you’ll be under 3:30 in a cycle or two.

From reading your descriptions, I think the “wheels falling off” was the classic “bonk” or glycogen depletion. If you haven’t read articles about that, I encourage you to do so. That’s always an interesting discussion we can have here about how to delay the bonk as long as possible.

I’m not sure about the light-headedness. Maybe dehydration. How much did you drink? Keep in mind that moisture leaves your body every breath so sweating is only a part of it.

Yes, 500 miles on a pair of shoes are too many to race on. Probably too many to train with too!

 

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After all of that, congrats on the sub-4 @Zasada!  Probably not the way that you wanted to get there, but you did it.  While I haven't done one myself, I get the impression that most people have lessons learned from the event and at least you are still open to another so it couldn't have been that bad.  Way to tough it out and thanks for an entertaining race report - sounds like a great environment.

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So I managed to get a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area about a week ago.  Lots of steady, dull pain (at times almost throbbing) across the shoulder, upper back, down into the arm.  Ouch. Talked to a few friends at church on Sunday, and one of them pointed out that another church member is a chiropractor.  I went and saw her today.  She verified it's a pinched nerve that's left me in rather bad shape.  (Oddly enough, I was able to keep up my workouts over the past week.)  She did some work on me and scheduled me for a massage, which I completed a couple of hours ago.  She also encouraged me to see my regular doc to get some steroids, and I was able to slip in and do that.  I'll see the chiro again on Wednesday.  She told me to lay low on the workouts until then.  

Side note: I picked up some Biofreeze yesterday, and that worked great to relieve lots of the pain and help me get a measure of decent sleep, which has otherwise eluded me for several days.  The chiro spoke highly of Biofreeze, and the masseuse said both she and her athletic sons make regular use of it.  It doesn't help heal, but it does trick the body to a degree and help alleviate pain. 

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6 hours ago, ChiefD said:

@Zasada - great report. You didn't do anything that most of us haven't done in our first marathons. For my first (and second), there was some walking involved. There is  no shame in that. And there is no shame in completing a marathon in under 4 hours. That is a GREAT accomplishment.

Trust me, I know there is a lot of pride factor in how the last part of the race went, but don't worry about it. You are a marathon runner now. :thumbup:

####. 

I  haven't not walked in any marathon. 

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Great stuff, @Zasada!  A sub-4:00 is something many runners, myself included, have never achieved.  Love that you have already thought about what you would do differently and are planning your next one.

I've experienced the light headed feeling post (and during) races a few times.  I'm convinced it's typically a combination of depletions - glycogen, electrolytes, and hydration.  It sounds like the only electrolytes you got were whatever was in the blocks, and you only had (part) of a cup of water?  My suggestion would be to work that into your long runs in training so that you are used to consuming calories and fluids/electrolytes, if you aren't doing so already.  Next time hit the water stations more often, and maybe even consider an S-Cap or equivalent mid-race.  But again, play with that in training first.

Of course with your love of trails and mountains you know I'm going to keep harping on you to sign up for a 50K.  I'm telling you, a hilly 50K is waaaay easier than a road marathon.  I mean, you're SUPPOSED to walk in an ultra, as everyone that isn't battling for the podium pretty much does on the hills. Plus you get to stop at tables full of food and drink several times.

Edited by SFBayDuck
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11 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

Of course with your love of trails and mountains you know I'm going to keep harping on you to sign up for a 50K.  I'm telling you, a hilly 50K is waaaay easier than a road marathon.  I mean, you're SUPPOSED to walk in an ultra, as everyone that isn't battling for the podium pretty much does on the hills. Plus you get to stop at tables full of food and drink several times.

You're right.  I've been thinking about this exactly.  Ultras have more appeal to me (without actually having experienced one) because I love the hills/trails and it's OK to walk.  I have a 29K mountain race slated for August but will start sniffing around 50Ks this summer.

That said, this morning in the shower I pretty much decided that I'm going to sign-up for a late-May marathon.  Probably here in Calgary.  Will chew on it for a couple more days before pulling the trigger.  

 

Edited by Zasada
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14 minutes ago, Zasada said:

You're right.  I've been thinking about this exactly.  Ultras have more appeal to me (without actually having experienced one) because I love the hills/trails and it's OK to walk.  I have a 29K mountain race slated for August but will start sniffing around 50Ks this summer.

That said, this morning in the shower I pretty much decided that I'm going to sign-up for a late-May marathon.  Probably here in Calgary.  Will chew on it for a couple more days before pulling the trigger.  

 

Get some new shoes :D

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1 minute ago, bushdocda said:

Get some new shoes :D

That too.  There are so many freaking options out there.  I think I need to go to a size 12.5, though.  I now have two black toenails on one foot and three on the other.  Four of the five were in full-force even before the marathon.  That's with a size 12 shoe (my normal size for shoes).

I also have narrow feet and I hear the Brooks Ghost is a good option.  Currently using Mizuno Wave Inspires, which seem to have treated me well.  But I would like a little more cushioning and to solve this toenail issue.

 

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2 minutes ago, Zasada said:

That too.  There are so many freaking options out there.  I think I need to go to a size 12.5, though.  I now have two black toenails on one foot and three on the other.  Four of the five were in full-force even before the marathon.  That's with a size 12 shoe (my normal size for shoes).

I also have narrow feet and I hear the Brooks Ghost is a good option.  Currently using Mizuno Wave Inspires, which seem to have treated me well.  But I would like a little more cushioning and to solve this toenail issue.

 

I've read the foot swells during endurance running, so for many it's best to go a size up from normal.

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19 hours ago, bushdocda said:

@Zasada you did great and your post race physical and mental feelings ring true to me and most folks reading.  Love that you quickly can list things you’d ‘refine’ on the next go. Don’t let those items overshadow your commitment to a series of goals last year which you crushed that led you to a stretch goal of traveling to your first marathon and going sub 4 by a lot albeit painfully.  My first marathon writeup here in late Oct 2017 has a lot of what you describe and it crashes and burns even more spectacularly.  

I have a tendency to start formulating a response in my head before getting through all dialogue, but I acutely resisted during this read.  This is why.  I'd have ran-on in a response for multiple paragraphs to make this post.  Clear, concise, and correct.

The vast majority of us (maybe even all) bombed the first one.  Many of us also bombed follow-up attempts.  I've ran three and still haven't ran a good one.  Where you are mentally right now is substantially higher than 90% of rookie debuts.  You did well.  And you'll do leaps and bounds better on the next one. 

Congrats, you're a marathoner.

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19 hours ago, Zasada said:

2019 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Report

5K-10K (5:09/km, 8:22/mi)

Check my heart rate on my watch.  Already at 145.  Knowing that from prior long runs my HR climbs slowly but surely, I knew that was a bad sign.  Soon it was going to be above 150.  Way too soon.

10K-15K (5:12/km, 8:26/mi)

HR up to 150. 

Houston, we have a problem.

150 isn't bad for me but what's bad is that I knew 160 was going to be about 10km away.  And 160 comes with an expiration timer on my running.  Not sustainable for me.

15K-21.1K (5:22/km, 8:37/mi)

And my HR is now at 153 and still climbing. 

Crowds were a little sparse in this section but the guy yelling "YOU OWN THIS HILL" halfway up one of the few grades was pretty cool.  And throughout the race there were lots of signs:  

  • "You're running better than the government"
  • "Run faster, I just farted"
  • "GO random stranger!"
  • WORST. PARADE. EVER.

I wish I could have read more but for some reason my vision goes to #### as I run longer distances, even with my (prescription) sunglasses on.

21.1K - 32.2K (5:24/km, 8:40/mi)

Over this 10K it was a mental struggle for me.  My inner voice shifted from "run the whole race" to "just get to 32.2K and then you can walk through the next water stop".  "That will be the farthest you have ever run".  I had given up already, which was so defeating.  HR was 158 and I still had 15K to go.  15K.

 

FYI... this part of the account was really well done, IMO. I actually have been paying a lot of attention to my HR lately, along with form, speed, cadence, and such. I've learned a lot of things about myself and what certain things "mean" as I'm running. I actually had been talking to a guy in the gym yesterday about this before you posted your account. And then reading through it was very beneficial to me. 

I took that discussion I had, this report, and then looked back in greater detail at my runs over the last month on strava and was able to put even more stuff together in terms of having data behind my "feelings". Having some comments in strava over how a run "felt" along with my pace, cadence, HR, etc was pretty insightful. 

I mentioned my cross country coach from high school before. He was very much into the "science" of running/exercise. I, of course, paid little attention to much of that back then. I didn't even really realize some of the things he was doing - mostly I was a teen just running and not listening - shocking, right?!? 

I am a math geek at heart. A total stats junkie. I have never had access to the numbers like I do now and seeing them is very cool. Using that to understand what my body is doing and seeing impacts in fairly short order on what training is accomplishing is awesome. I'm like my own little science experiment/statistical analysis project. 

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7 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

I have a tendency to start formulating a response in my head before getting through all dialogue, but I acutely resisted during this read.  This is why.  I'd have ran-on in a response for multiple paragraphs to make this post.  Clear, concise, and correct.

The vast majority of us (maybe even all) bombed the first one.  Many of us also bombed follow-up attempts.  I've ran three and still haven't ran a good one.  Where you are mentally right now is substantially higher than 90% of rookie debuts.  You did well.  And you'll do leaps and bounds better on the next one. 

Congrats, you're a marathoner.

Thanks, guys.  This is very reassuring.  Will spend the next week or so (most sites seem to recommend taking a week+ off post-race, especially for beginners) trying to draft a plan for the next one.  

Good time to shoe shop.

And this morning looking at Strava I noticed something.  On my marathon, PR'd my 30K by ten minutes (vs training).  I think the "don't run stupid" should probably be in spots 1, 2, & 3 of my items to fix for next time.  To facilitate that I will probably run from the back of the corral and try to find a pace team to run with.  The 3:55 team passed me near the finish of my race and I ran with them for a little bit (while I could).  Nice, slow pace.  Had I run with them for the first 3/4 of the race things would probably have been different.

 

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18 minutes ago, Zasada said:

That too.  There are so many freaking options out there.  I think I need to go to a size 12.5, though.  I now have two black toenails on one foot and three on the other.  Four of the five were in full-force even before the marathon.  That's with a size 12 shoe (my normal size for shoes).

I also have narrow feet and I hear the Brooks Ghost is a good option.  Currently using Mizuno Wave Inspires, which seem to have treated me well.  But I would like a little more cushioning and to solve this toenail issue.

 

I currently have a pair of Brooks Ghost 11's and a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18's. I like both - run in the Ghosts when running at/from home. Have the Adrenalines at work for lunch runs, etc. 

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4 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

I am a math geek at heart. A total stats junkie. I have never had access to the numbers like I do now and seeing them is very cool. Using that to understand what my body is doing and seeing impacts in fairly short order on what training is accomplishing is awesome. I'm like my own little science experiment/statistical analysis project. 

The advent of Strava is probably the most important element in me being able to maintain this fitness effort over the last (almost) two years.  My day job is strategy/analytics and being able to dig into data about my fitness is so captivating.  I love it.  I probably spend more time looking at my Strava stats than I do creating them.  :)

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6 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

FYI... this part of the account was really well done, IMO. I actually have been paying a lot of attention to my HR lately, along with form, speed, cadence, and such. I've learned a lot of things about myself and what certain things "mean" as I'm running. I actually had been talking to a guy in the gym yesterday about this before you posted your account. And then reading through it was very beneficial to me. 

I took that discussion I had, this report, and then looked back in greater detail at my runs over the last month on strava and was able to put even more stuff together in terms of having data behind my "feelings". Having some comments in strava over how a run "felt" along with my pace, cadence, HR, etc was pretty insightful. 

 

You're doing this right, in my opinion.  Fit the data into how you "feel".  Too often runners try to force themselves into doing what isn't natural because an article or calculator tells them what their data "should" be.

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First, congrats again. Still so awesome and you should be really proud.

You should buy at least 1 shoe size bigger. We had that discussion here and after making that change, it was a world of difference. And I still have quite a few black toenails from my half even with the larger shoes.

Finally, I'd be curious if any of the others agree, but you might consider running a 5K or 10K in the very near future and take advantage of your current fitness and training. You may shock yourself and will give you something else to look back on since you've never run one. It'll probably also help get a little of that bad taste of walking (even though there's nothing wrong with it).

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1 minute ago, gianmarco said:

Finally, I'd be curious if any of the others agree, but you might consider running a 5K or 10K in the very near future and take advantage of your current fitness and training. You may shock yourself and will give you something else to look back on since you've never run one. It'll probably also help get a little of that bad taste of walking (even though there's nothing wrong with it).

While correct me thinks feasible options in Calgary in February are...limited.

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7 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

First, congrats again. Still so awesome and you should be really proud.

You should buy at least 1 shoe size bigger. We had that discussion here and after making that change, it was a world of difference. And I still have quite a few black toenails from my half even with the larger shoes.

Finally, I'd be curious if any of the others agree, but you might consider running a 5K or 10K in the very near future and take advantage of your current fitness and training. You may shock yourself and will give you something else to look back on since you've never run one. It'll probably also help get a little of that bad taste of walking (even though there's nothing wrong with it).

Great advice, thanks.  Will definitely go bigger for size.  Was only planning on 0.5 a size but a full size is now on the table.

And a 10K is a great idea.  I really enjoyed that distance in training.  Options are limited here in Calgary but I work for an airline so travel is easy for me.  Will start looking into that.

And going back into my Strava, I did a 32.2K (20mi) training run late-Dec at a 5:30/km (8:52/mi) pace.  Looking at my HR for that run, I just barely touched 150 by the end.  No water and just a couple Clif Bloks during that run.  As opposed to my race which was at 160 by the 20mi point and I had actually taken-in more water and Bloks.  Interesting. 

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@Zasada - Add me to the group that feels like they butchered their first (and for me only) marathon.  I hit the wall so hard at mile 20 that I stood there on the side of the road when I found my family, hand on my brother’s shoulder for what felt like ten minutes, trying not to pass out.  And like you, I got in just under 4 hours and didn’t feel awesome about it.  But in hindsight, it’s an incredible accomplishment that you should be proud of because not a lot of people set their sights that high and accomplish what it is that they set out to do.  Congrats!

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48 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

It may not be for you, but both @bushdocda and I love the Saucony Kinvara 9. 

Go to running warehouse to look for shoes. Great prices and free returns even if you try them and don't like. There's almost always a code for 10-15% off too.

$60 these days for the 9s too which is mental.  Liking them more than the freedomIsos that are like 2x the $. 

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I apologize in advance for my strava workout tonight. Supposed to be 5 x 1000 at 5k-10k pace. The plan was to run this at the track, but it is raining all day and supposed to turn to a wintry mix right when I get home.

So I am going to attempt this run in my neighborhood where at least I will have some tree limb cover over the route. The downside is the route will be slightly downhill with an incline the last .20 of a mile.

So not sure how much benefit I will get running slightly downhill, but I will try and compensate by running it at the 5k pace instead of the 10k pace. Also adjusting my goal, so the pace should be more manageable considering my awful conditioning. 

 

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Right quad feels MUCH better.  Been working it like crazy and started Flexeril 1 1/2 days ago.  Still have a couple trigger points but the overall leg ache/soreness is gone.  Just ran 4.5 miles with no pain there at all.  I started feeling it want to tighten at that point so I just walked the last half mile home.  I did notice the left leg is a little stiff so I need to work that side as well but overall so much better.  Will try and get out for a much longer run at some point this week. 

Edited by gianmarco
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