Sunday, November 1, 2009

Race Report for Bass Pro Marathon '09

The home stretch

I slept great last night! Truly like a baby! That was nice. We did have to get up at 4:00am new time, though. Ate my fav pre-race breakfast-waffles with pb. Sandy drove..that was big! Usually I drive everywhere ( man thing). As we backed out I went over in my mind if I had everything only to realize later I'd forgotten the accelerade I'd prepared for Sandy to refill me with! Double duh! No biggy..Bass pro powerade would have to suffice.
The turnout for the service was great! I meet bunches of new people from all over the country!
Lots of first timers! Bless 'em...they learned about the marathon today! It's a long way! The talk went good and there was a lot of interaction.
Weather absolutely ideal! 40ish, sunny, breezy, but 82% complaints here!
HM and Full start together. I'm careful about being sucked in and I do exactly what I'd hoped for a 9:15 first mile. That settled the matter for me...I was going for the 3:59. I remembered my MP runs and settled in knocking off some good splits. Remember; I am carrying a hand held, 22oz water bottle. This was a good decision! I'm also taking a gel every 30 and salt every 60.
8:54, 8:42, 8:34, 8:55, it was here we had been warned about water in the tunnel we had to go through. " It's only a 1/4 inch deep" they said... you should of heard the cussin' (not from me) as we trekked through the two, three inch deep water. We got our shoes wet! Bad deal.
No matter I kept going. Through the next five miles I passed people consistently. 8:53, (here the leader came by us as this segment was an out and back...unreal! Amazing stride length!)8:40, 9:06, 8:59, 9:04. My Sweetie positioned herself to keep me supplied with my gels and I was coming up to meet her again. There is a slowing beginning...mile 11-9:17, Had to go through the water again! 9:19, 9:27-here at the HM mark I was around 1:58. I felt good! I believed I could do this thing!!
Long uphill-9:51, see Sandy again and get another gel, 9:10, 9:24, I'm really needing a port-a-potty here, now, and how!!! 17 miles a 9:21-2:34:51. I am right on target. "Port-a-potty" I say as I spot one behind the water station. I make a beeline to it..."Oh no!" occupied!! Both of them! I wait, and wait, and wait-finally! Gee, this is a race you know!....Mile 18-11:56, I'm off pace now.
9:33, 9:49- a 3:06:09 at 20. Because I carried my water bottle I only had to stop at a few water stations. I could run through several and this enabled me to pass bunches of people.
So I guess I hit the wall, I tried to push it...only got passed by a couple of guys from here on in...but it was brutal-10:11, 10:56, 12:22, 12:26, 11:40, 11:54, 2:48 final .02.
The finish was awesome! Loud, cheering, my Sweetheart there and friends, cool medal and hat!
I had NO cramps!!! My fueling and hydrating was great. I still believe I can break 4 hours. My feet really began to hurt, bad, because of my shoes being wet...adversity is to be expected.
Right now I am thinking of three changes I need to make, 1) 20 milers, and more of them..2) Diet-I could stand to lose 5 lbs and I can do it if I'll discipline myself, 3) shorter training cycle, I nearly burned out.

I thought about you guys as I raced and knew you were pulling for me to break this barrier. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement...You all are the best!!! Thanks to my Sweetheart, Sandy. She was the best crew a person could have!! So the mission continues! I did improve over my last marathon time, and chopped off 18 minutes from last year so all is not lost. Unofficial I have it at 4:18:38. Peace!


Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Quite an accomplishment - 18 minutes faster than last year! Glad you're already planning for the next one!

Yay for your wife! Following a marathoner takes great skill!

DawnB said...

congratulations Mark you did great

Jamie said...

I would have been one of those cussin' at the water :) Awesome job Mark! Congrats over the improvement from last year! Glad to hear no cramping this time around too. Figuring out the fueling is huge. You'll get that 3:59 next time ;)

Coachhrd said...

Hey, that's good work. Way to go, Mark!

aron said...

CONGRATSSSS!!! you did awesome :)

Tim Fitz said...

Great job! Awesome reading about it.

Chris said...

Congratulations Mark. I know you didn't get your time goal, but completing your 5th Marathon is awesome and knocking that time off from last year is really awesome. Sounds like you have a plan to go out and break that elusive 4 hour barrier, but that is half of the challenge to us runners, the thrill of the chase.

I hope you recover well.

Meg Runs said...

Yeah Mark! I enjoyed the port-a-potty part of your story and yet, you stilled improved your time...with no cramps!
Great job, hope your talk went well and I also hope you have a restful week!

Spirit Flower said...

Wow, well skip the portapotty the next time. Careful management can prevent the need.

Did you crash?

My fastest marathons come when I have training runs longer than a marathon.

You'll be back. Keep running the LSD once a week. Maybe "Run for the Ranch" could be a winner!

Marlene said...

DEFINITELY an accomplishment. Congratulations! You learn something and get stronger every time.

Great race report. That water in the tunnel would have killed me - ugh!

Congrats again, Mark. You are strong!

Anne said...

Boy, you do look strong in that photo - and tanned! Those darn potty breaks will get you every time. Still, sounds like you did everything right.

Terri said...

Congrats Mark! You did it!
My least favorite thing about any race are the potty lines!
It sounds like you ran a smart race and had a great pre-race talk.
I think the things you learned are invaluable for future races!
Great job!

Ted said...

Sweet... sweet.. sweet... Awesome !!! You should be on cloud 9 for getting the job done. Congratulations dude !

Shilingi-Moja said...

Just like the elites -- your own fuel crew! Enjoyed the report. I groaned when you talked about running through the water ... and then had to do it again.

rob horton said...

way to take it out and go for it mark. i concur with spirit-flower - "the run for the ranch" might be a great opportunity to nail it! it is a 5k loop so you would not need to carrying anything - you could set up your own little aid station. thus far i have been able to manage to make it through the 26.2 mile events without stopping for a porta-potty. that is a bummer.

Beth said...

The most important thing first- you look great in your photo! You look strong and tan. You finished 18 minutes faster than last year- Wow! You did a great job. I would have been sad about the wet feet, but you persisted. Your consistant training in the heat and hills is truly an inspiration, and you should be so proud of your race. Rest well and enjoy your recovery!

Just_because_today said...

Mark, great time for a first time marathon!!!

congratulations, you did great!!YORAYYYYY

Lucky said...

Great Race report! Like Meg, I too really liked the part that includes porta-potties. I remembered my first marathon, I wanted to pee and the porta-potties were occupied. I really like the way you write, it's like I've felt it again just by reading your blog. Congratulations for accomplishing.

Anonymous said...

NICE JOB! As someone who recently suffered the indignity of a mid-race Porta Potty stop, I can sympathize. Sounds like you ran a gutsy race, and it's clear your goal helped you net a pretty awesome PR! Congrats!

lindsay said...

congrats!! you toughed it out in those later miles when the wheels seem to want to fall off. i believe you have a sub-4 in you too! enjoy some rest and less-structured training in the meantime.

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