OK, since I was being bullied, here is a RR.
Des Moines IMT Marathon. I did this race last year and had a good race, coming in arund 3:26, a bunch of minute PR
. It is close, Des Moines is a cool city, so I signed up again this year.
Training. As noted elsewhere, I had a couple glitches in my training about five weeks out. I missed an entire week, and my last long run. However, I hit some decent workouts late,, and after clammering over my simple logs, I decided I was ready enough. There are 3:30 and 3:25 pace groups, so I working during the last week to figure out which group to go with and just hang on. My floor is 3:30, that is, I have no plan to go slower than that.
Pre-race. Weather was great. Maybe 42 out in the morning. I fretted over what to wear, but ended up with a form fitting short sleeve,, then a performance short sleeve race shirt, my LIT visor, shorts, shoes of course, and thin cotton gloves. Did a light warm-up and worked a bit on my hamstrings and hips, which have annoyed me lately. Wandered down about a half-hour prior to start to find my spot in the start area. The wife did her normal super support things and found a good spot to watch the start, then would dash to the half-way point where she would sneak in a run before seeing be lumber by.
I sized up the two pace groups, and there seemed to be a better crew hovering aroud the 3:25 guy, so I figured why not.
Race. There is a half and full starting at the same time, with the routes splitting at the 2.5 mile point. So it is fairly crowded to start. We went out pretty easy, and I just tried to settle in and stay relaxed.
First three miles are flat, followed by five or so miles of moderate hills, then some easy rolling to 15 miles, then down for 2, then basically flat flat flat the rest of the way home.
At about the four mile point my hamstrings were both feeling pretty tight, so I really focused on taking on fluids early. I also adjusted my stride a bit to try and take some strain off.
Went though 10k on pace, went through the half on pace in 1:41:42, though I had that moment of "holy ****, that is only half of it, I am tired" at about 14. The weather was getting nicely warm, creeping into the low 60's by this point, and a little windy.
We dropped down to the flats for a lap around a big open area that culminates at the 20 mile point. I started losing the group as we approached the 19 mile point, and was about a minute behind at 20.
About this time I noticed I really had a sore foot, and was getting a little close to the wall. That's a problem. I put more focus on drinking, grabbed some bananas and worked to keep things in control. Did some race math and determined 8:15s or so would still let me come in sub 3:30, so I just relaxed and kept it going.
Redoing my math every mile (accounting for that .2 at the end strained my brain) kept me confident that I was going stay sub 3:30 without much problem. I passed a few, and got passed by a few. Every time some passed my, I latched on and used them for as long as I could.
Last couple turns, I just kept trudging, wondering what my foot was going to look like at the end, and broke the tape in 3:29:20 or so. Not bad, I'll take it.
Post race. There is a large spread of food, but I really didn't feel like walking to get it, so I took on some water and Gatorade, linked up with the wife, then headed to the hotel room. Got there just in time to see the Green Bay Packer game kick-off. Watched a couple series, hit the shower, another series, then we headed out. In between I pondered how in the world a blister the size of a bike bottle lid under and on the side of my big toe did not tear. Seems like the altering of my stride to decrease hamstring pressure was enough to annoy my shoe. I also had not practiced good callous maintenance on the side of my toe over the last couple months. And I ran a rain soaked 8 miler 6 days prior.
Post Post race. One hamstring and one quad are tore up. Drained the blister and it is in good shape. Two miles after a day off were rough, but four miler tonight was pretty good.
Post Post Post race. Not sure if going out with the 3:30 group would have allowed me to finish stronger and shave off a minute or not. I plodded a bit in the last few miles, and might have ended up there regardless. I am pleased with the result considering where I was with my training. I want to go significantly faster next time, and know I have to make a couple profound changes to me training plan.
OK, thats it. Oh, nutrition: 2 peanut butter sandwiches 1.5 hours before the start. And maybe 25 ounces of Powerade. That is pretty standard for me. Then I ate some sport beans during the race, drank water and Gatorade every two miles (every mile for the last couple), and had a couple banana chunks.