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<span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">My race can be divided into two halves, the good and the suck. Actually, now that I think about it, there are three sets of halves. I’ll explain later.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">First off, I’m okay, a bit disappointed, but I gave it my all and that’s what matters to me. Had I gone out slower, say at an 8:45 pace I probably wouldn’t have encountered problems later, but I would have been “safe” and “safe” just wasn’t for me after the work that I’d put into getting there yesterday. And I’m not going to use injury as an excuse. Really, it didn’t figure in the outcome at all.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">And I can go on analyzing the various causes ad infinitum, but essentially I cramped up. That means… electrolytes. Thought I’d hydrated and electrolyted enough, but after reviewing the contents of my stomach at the finish (sorry about being indelicate) I find that (again as with my last marathon) I hadn’t processed anything from about 16-17 miles on. Lots of liquid was just sitting there in the stomach instead of being absorbed. Gotta find another way to deal with getting the electrolytes in.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">So, on with the story.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Overcast, light mist, a bit of a breeze from the north. They were calling for light rain, but I hoped it would hold off until afternoon. It didn’t. The temp never got above 53-54.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">The start was at BC Place stadium, basically the twin of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. I parked at the host hotel and took the shuttle to the start, checked my bag, porta-pottied and then went for a 5 minute warmup run, ending with a minute at 9:00 pace. Then stretched for 10 minutes, ran another 5 ending at MP. At the end of my first jog I saw the half marathoners head off, and by the time my second was done I just continued on to the starting line. I was relaxed and at ease. No nerves, just a real sense of gratitude that I’d made it this far.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">The course isn’t a pretty one. It makes a loop through industrial and edge-of-downtown commercial areas before heading out along the south side of False Creek and looping back to do another loop through the same industrial area, a quick tour of “no-man’s land” of the downtown East Side (hookers and cocaine – Dervin would have loved it), through downtown and then to the pretty part of the course, Stanley Park, English Beach (about 5 miles of pretty) and then back to the meh. A 100 foot climb over a bridge, out west through okay neighbourhoods (lots of crowd support) then back again, over the damn bridge and east to the stadium. Not pretty, but I wasn’t sightseeing either. It also isn’t a flat course. Most of the hills are in the second half of the course, but there are enough hills to make this a race where concentration and training are key. It is funny, but I ran into several people who were mumbling about being marketed a flat course. I wasn’t expecting one, but I was a bit dismayed by the bridge on the way back.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">I was wearing two layers of light technical shirts, both Brooks, the inner one a short sleeve. Also some “Runderwear” under Nike running shorts. Wright socks and my Addie’s. I had a Brooks cap on and Adidas running gloves that I ditched somewhere after mile 22, they were soaked and heavy. To heck with ‘em.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">The first mile I thought that I’d overdressed and I rolled up my sleeves, but they came down again as I got soaked and colder.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Here are the splits. BQ pace was 8:00.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">1)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:03</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">2)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:57</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">3)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:01</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">4)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">-:--</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">5)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">15:51 (forgot to hit the lap button at 4, but they were even splits, about 7:55)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">6)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:51</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">7)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:05 (some confusion at a water table)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif"></span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:52 (motoring up a hill that they sprang on us as we rounded a corner)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">9)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:11 (jostling problems)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">10)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:03 (hilly)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">11)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:49 (downtown)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">12)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:44 (Stanley Park)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">13)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:05 (hilly section in the Park)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">14)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">7:55</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">15)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:04 (long hill in the Park and it started to pour)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">16)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:06 (out of the Park finally)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">17)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:05 (rain easing up but the start of the hill to the bridge)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">1<img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif"></span> <span style="font-size:medium;">8:26 (hip seized, at the summit of the bridge – stretched and felt okay to go)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">19)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">-:-- (calf muscles beginning to seize)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">20)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">18:20 (preoccupied, didn’t catch the 19 mile point – long hills up and down)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">21)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">10:01 (calf muscles in open revolt)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">22)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">11:09 (first stop to stretch the calf muscles)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">23)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">13:22 (I stopped when I could not run, literally stopped in my tracks because the feet would seize, and then the “Oh F*ck moment” I’ll write about later)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">24)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">13:17 (“Officer, arrest me for criminal stupidity!” “Been there sir…”)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">25)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">13:38 (The top of the bridge and then headed for home)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">26)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">11:40</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">I was comfortable right through until about 15, but then I knew that 15-17 would be hard, they had been on all my long runs. If I could maintain focus through them I’d be fine. The rain was an annoyance, as was a long hill through the park. Feet were getting heavy from the soaked shoes. For most of the race I felt great emotionally. I had a smile on my face and people commented on the goof who was enjoying himself. Because my name was plastered on the bib I’d get quite a few “Keep smiling, Steven!” and I did, because it was fun… mostly.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">I ran with a guy named Andy for the first 9 miles or so. He found my pace a stretch as he was shooting for a 3:45. I pushed ahead when we reached downtown, but he passed me at about mile 23. As did a heck of a lot of other people. The pace bunny for 3:30 passed me and I passed him a good half dozen times. He was gallowalking it. I mused for quite a while on how someone could do that – be able to run that fast for 9 minutes and then walk for one. Why not run the whole thing?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">To be continued...</span></span>
 

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<span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">So, the three halves? One division is based on “comfort”, I was fine through 14 miles and then it wasn’t comfortable after that. But I knew it wouldn’t be and had trained for that. I’d hoped that I could get through the bad spot and push on past it to the 20’s liked I’d done in training.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">Another way of dividing it is 18 miles and the rest. What happened? I dunno. The half course joined ours at the 16 mile point and separated from us at the 17 (their 20 km point). From there it was a long hill up through downtown to the bridge. In the middle of my anticipated rough 3 miles. At the top of the bridge I felt my SI joint protest and I couldn’t get my right leg to pivot forward. I stopped and did a stretch the physio had taught me. Great, worked, felt the pop back into place and I continued.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">But as I started down the bridge my calf muscles started to tighten. Nothing bad (that would come), but I slowed to about an 8:30 pace and as I turned west and viewed another long hill up. I knew then that I couldn’t make up the time. You see the splits. So 3:30 became 3:35, then 3:45, then 4:00, then finishing. At one point my feet wouldn’t bend because the calf muscles seized. So I stopped, stretched and kept going. When I’d go pigeon-toed I’d stop again. I’m sure it looked funny. I know now that it was a lack of electrolytes. That knowledge doesn’t help, but it points a way to improvement.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">So that’s the second way of dividing the course.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">The third? Well it was at the “Oh F*ck” moment, from 23 miles we went down to sea level and under the bridge we’d have to climb to. 100 feet up is a long way. Rounding the curve and seeing that, everyone around me had expletives to share. Strangely, that’s when I knew I’d finish.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Earlier in the race we had passed a walker who was a double amputee, pushing at a good clip on crutches. That’s guts, that’s courage, that’s someone who knows sacrifice. Climbing 100 feet is nothing. Heck, I could have walked it in, I had my legs. And so I put my head down and pushed as hard as the calf muscles would let me up to the top of the deck where I had to stop. The downhill was worse, actually. From about a half mile away you could hear the crowd. I pushed on, only stopping when I absolutely couldn’t move those feet. I would have had to stop about 50 yards from the chute, but gawd, there were video cameras and all, so the choice of looking ridiculous or looking like an idiot… I chose to look ridiculous and hobble across. No need to prove that I am an idiot, right?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Finished in 4:04:56 by my Garmin, 4:04:52 chip.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Apparently my lips were blue, but I was feeling okay. The first aid guys gave me a mylar blanket (others got a blue garbage bag thingy), I got the medal, chip removed, then someone wrapped the blue garbage bag thingy on me as it was raining hard again, and began the long walk into the stadium. Grabbed some grub, popped my cookies, and then wondered if I should take a massage or shower first. I made a bad choice… on the table I started shaking due to the cold (lying there in wet clothes) and they sent me on to the Aid tent where I had to explain that all I wanted was a chance to shower and change into warm and dry clothes. No, I wasn’t having a heart attack. Poked, prodded, finally they recovered my clothes for me, put me under a blanket with a hair dryer (HA!) and I warmed up fine. They let me go. Tigger will attest to the fact that I was fine. I ran into him on the way to the showers.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">As an aside, the showers were in the locker rooms of the BC Lions, a CFL team. Pitiful dressing room. Really. If they’re an indication of what the Twinkies have, that’s second rate at best.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">I went back to join Tigger and daughter and await the presentation of the prizes. That was fun. She just barely beat my best half time. She’ll be a force to be reckoned with if that’s her first HM time as a 17 year old.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Got to thinking about the race, and as I mentioned earlier, I know that if I had gone out conservative at an 8:45 pace I would probably have finished faster and maybe avoided some of the agony at the end, I dunno. I do know that I ran my own damn race and for 18 miles at least I was close to my goal. I’d take that over being safe.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">What’s next? Well I’m not sure I want to do this again this year. October in Toronto is a possibility, but 70 miles a week over the summer isn’t appetizing to me right now. I’m going to recover and think about it. If I do Toronto it might be at 50 mpw so that I can enjoy some of the summer with the family, and enjoy just running up on my hill.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:Arial;">I have learned that I can handle the miles and the pace. 26.2 is not an insurmountable challenge. I have just got to get to the point where it all comes together for me on race day.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:medium;">Thanks to all of you for your support and patience. It meant a lot.</span></span>
 

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Thanks for the prompt report. We were all waiting to hear from you. Look at that, you were right there at mile 17(!) then it fell apart. I've been on pace for a BQ a few times only to have the wheels come off at 20 - 23 miles so I know how you feel. You were courageous to tough it out and finish up. IMO there's nothing more depressing than the feeling that you're body gave up with miles still to go but your mind still wants to fight.<br><br>
I'm speculating what could have gone wrong for you but don't think it's appropriate to address that right now. If you want to talk training, email me and I'll get back to you tonight.<br><br>
In the meanwhile, just think of yourself as one race closer to that BQ. I know you're going to get it.
 

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Grizz, I really truly appreciate you.<br><br>
And I appreciate all the detail you put into this race report. I am still very far from that distance, and it helps me to hear about it from the other side. Thank you.
 

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Great report Grizzly! Obviously, I'm disappointed that you are disappointed with how it turned out. The marathon is such an interesting event because there are so many stinkin' things that can derail you from reaching your goal. I totally agree with your strategy though. You've finished a marathon before, so why go "safe" when you have a more ambitious goal within grasp?<br><br>
FWIW, I remember exactly how I felt the last few miles in my October marathon when I knew that I wasn't going to make my goal. I wondered why I would ever want to qualify for another stupid marathon!?! I was emotionally spent and disappointed that I wasn't able to seal the deal. However, once the pain went away and the memories of those last few miles grew fuzzy, I was ready to give it another go. My training between that marathon and my April marathon hovered right around 50 MPW. The miles that you put into training for this marathon are IN THE BANK and will still pay dividends for future races. If you really think a fall marathon is a possibility, you might find that 50 MPW is plenty knowing what you have put in to this point.<br><br>
Great job Grizzly! Despite your disappointment, that's a huge PR!
 

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Thanks for the report, grizz, and a gutsy effort. I think the injury came into play. Despite what everyone says 'the training is done, rest and you'll be fine', I don't buy it. You can't afford to hobble those critical weeks before the race. Weather is the other culprit. You can survive a monsoon for a 5k or even a half, but hours of it will wear you down and kill your performance. You will get it next time, you know how the training goes now. R & R and try again.
 

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Grit. Determination. Tenacity. Good job. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Reminds me a LOT of my first marathon at Chicago '05. I blew up at mile 18 with hamstring cramps. 8 miles is a long time to suffer!<br><br>
You'll get it figured out and a BQ will be there for the taking. Good recovery Grizz!
 

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Wow. Great report Grizzly!<br><br>
I've been there with the calve cramping! My first 50k. Had my sights set on 4:45-50 only to finish 1/2 hour over my goal and in agony. After all that training and prep.<br><br>
It's a bummer no doubt, but you gutted it out and that speaks volumes about your tenacity and will, and if you learned something from the experience thats the big payoff.<br><br>
As Lofcaudio pointed out, all those previous miles are bought and paid for and they will serve you well in the future. Take a few days off, recover well and then think about what you're capable of. You showed that yesterday.
 

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Wow Griz you are the perfect example of determination, courage, and pure strength. Your will has inspired throughout runs and races more than once and you will surely be in my thoughts the next time I think my calves "hurt."<br><br>
Awesome job and I am absolutley positive this number known as a BQ will get obliterated by you.<br><br>
Hopefully the recovery period flys by and all is well...<br><br>
Alex
 

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Hey Grizz- I can't imagine how uncomfortable the last few miles were. Mr jebba's theory about the cramping is bowel ischemia (sic?). Basically, you were working so hard that you weren't getting enough blood flow to the stomach to process the liquid/electrolytes. He didn't have a solution, though (not a bigger runner, mr jeb). Said make sure you are hydrating early enough and maybe take a 5 minute walk break late in the race to give your tummy time to catch up.<br><br>
Excellent report, btw. And you did a great job. You should be proud.
 

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Hey Steve! Been waiting on pins a needles for this one! That was quite a race you had..so many challenges to overcome. All I could think about was the Red Deer Hurricane Death March to compare it too.<br><br>
With regards to the electrolyte thing..were you taking in any gels?<br><br>
You did run the race you're way...and it's a success if you learned anything from it. You've done very well over this last year and this thon ws far better then your last one. Maybe try OIM some year..the conditions have always been perfect when I've run it.
 

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Could of - Should of - But not to be this time. A person can push through the pain of fatigue, but when the body mechanically stops working well - that's a horse of a different color.<br><br>
Thank you for the quick posting of your race - A lot of us have been impatiently waiting.<br><br>
What a novel idea - just for for the joy of running this summer <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Recover - get your body strong again.
 

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Grizzly,<br><br>
All I'll say is what you told me if I bonked in my BQ attempt in 2005. I can't remember the exact words, but the words went something like this:<br><br>
"You went into the race with a plan. The weather wasn't perfect, and you could have played it safe, but you were there to take your shot, and that's what you did. No shame in that. None at all."<br><br>
Congrats on finishing. You've come a long way in the few years I've been reading your posts, and I think there's better days ahead of you!<br><br>
So, enjoy the success from this race, take the lessons learned, and apply them to your next attempt.
 

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Grizz,<br>
i finally got home and logged on and read your report. A lot to muster over in your report.<br>
First off, job well done. You ran your race and even though it did not unfold as planned, you know you gave it your best.<br><br>
A few thoughts:<br>
1. gallowalking. Now, i do a run/walk in my training and races, kinda the "in" thing in ultras, HOWEVER, i noticed a bunch of die hard gallowalkers and what amused me was they would run up the hill, the watch would beep and they would walk down. It seemed very redundant to do it that way. I know on a flat course, it is totally different, but with the topography of the race, it was just silly to walk DOWN hill and run UP hill, lol.<br><br>
2. 70mpw. Maybe that is not the right training plan for you. Everyone is different and each body reacts differently to different training. I do a lot of cross training instead of higher mileage. I average 55-65mpw with 2 days of serious cross training. One day is usually speed work every week or every other week, whatever my coach devises.<br><br>
3. if i ran a 4:04 marathon i would probably pass out in shock <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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I Love reading your take on things.<br>
Good to know you are still full of deep thoughts...who'd have guessed. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Raining in Vancouver??...who'd have guessed. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Well you now know you can run the pace for 20 miles, so once you get the stomach issue figured out and maybe some tweaking to your training program...or even a brand new program...then you will be ready for another go at it in the fall.<br><br>
The new Toronto Marathon course looks really interesting....takes in a 10 mile downhill run on Yonge Street (with one 800m 6% exception) followed by a run west along the Lakeshore and into High Park...one fairly ugly hill there...back along the Lakeshore and up University Avenue to Queen's Park.<br><br>
It's a much nicer run than Scotiabank and now avoids the beauty of the industrial areas of North York.<br><br>
You could also consider Niagara...it's all downhill from 6 miles in except of course it's usually into the wind and ALWAYS in the rain.<br><br>
I know a cozy little bed and breakfast in Mississauga that just might be a welcoming place. OK, the breakfast isn't too hot, but the company is amusing.
 

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Thanks for the report and congratulations on a gutsy effort and finish <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Not sure you're ready to get back on the horsie yet Griz. Take a couple of weeks off and relax. Then think of those 90 degree Calgary summer days. Do you really want to train in that weather? Next spring. If not Vancouver, then Ottawa. A nice course.<br><br>
Thanks for the good words about Jen. I will tell her what you said. She got home to Timmins today to a band and a cake and all of her friends at our place. Everyone in her HS signed a card for her, and the local paper is doing a story next week. I am amazed at all the foo fer all. Anyway, this thread is about you, not her. So I will stop.
 
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