This was my first (and maybe my last) marathon. I'm glad that it's over, and I'm mostly satisfied with my performance. I think I could have done a little better, but I think my time matched my training pretty well.
What you've probably already heard in every other race report was that the conditions were tough. It was wet and windy the entire day. That means I was constantly cold and everything I was wearing was waterlogged, heavy and chafing. But at least the rain stopped while we were waiting in the staging area.
Even though my friends and I waited for one of the last busses, I still had to wait well over an hour to actually start running. I spent that time standing in a grassy field inhaling campfire smoke and letting me feet gradually soak. So at least my pre-race routine wasn't too far from ordinary.
I started the race with my friend Jared, and I saw Chad at the beginning, but for the most part I ran by myself all day. (Speaking of Chad, I'd like to know how his race went, but unfortunately his blog hasn't been updated for a while. Hint, hint.)
Once we started, I got off to a quick start. The first mile was about 5:40. I knew that was too fast, so I slowed down, but even so I cruised through the first 7 downhill miles with an average pace in the ball park of 6:05, and I hit the half at about 1:22.
During this time, my position in the field was pretty constant. Some runners passed me, but it seemed like for every one who did, there was another runner ahead of my who blew up and fell behind.
Things started to come apart in the second half of the race. I'll say right now that my legs just aren't used to such a beating. My quads were really starting to burn, and I was having a harder time keeping up my pace and cushioning each step. Even so, I held a pace in the 6:20s around the reservoir.
At mile 16 I passed two riders puking on the side of the road. It made me glad that my stomach felt okay. One of them recovered and passed me a mile or two later. I never saw the other runner again. I wonder if he finished.
Ogden Canyon proved to be my downfall. My legs just couldn't handle the descent at that point, and I started to fade fast. By the time I left the canyon, I was in survival mode and my pace had dropped into the very high sixes.
Just before I left the canyon, I got double-chicked by the first- and second-placed female runners. They were cruising. I, unfortunately, was not.
Catherine and Elliott were cheering for me as I left the canyon, which gave me a psychological boost, but it was short lived. By the time I hit the bike path, I was done. Done like on the final descent at Speedgoat, or on the climb to Snowbird at the Tour of Utah. In other words, it was ugly.
I settled into a death shuffle. I was actually running just over and just under 8:00 per mile, but it felt much, much slower. And to make matters worse, my GPS is fast by about .01 miles. Which means that every time it ticked off a mile, I knew that I really hadn't gone as far as my watch said.
But I survived. Two more runners passed me on the bike path, and another guy got me a few hundred yards from the finish (fellow FRBer crhudman, apparently). I was just grateful that there weren't more people chasing.
I finished the race in a bit of a daze. I tried to drink some Sprite an thought I was going to to throw up, so I just sort of stood there trying not to fall over until the people with the finishers' medals saw me and guided in their direction.
I was soaked through, but I didn't know where my drop bag was so I had no clean and dry clothes. Fortunately, Catherine and Elliott were there to take me back to the hotel. After a shower and a change I felt much, much better, although walking still hurts.
And that's pretty much it. I've now run a marathon, and I don't know if I'll do it again. Right now I don't feel the need.