First of all, I have another level of respect for all you veteran marathoners and trail racers from this experience. I learned that running 42.2k is NOT like running 30, or 32,.... or 35k (OK you can stop laughing now... I know you know this!). Throw in a long hill every 500m or 1k....and I had legs of wood after 32... Holy crap!
My time stunk (4:14:49)- way slower than expected. On the bright side, I finished the race strong, no body parts hurt, and no major soreness the day after. Im keen to start running again tomorrow morning.
Trip to Magog
The whole family made the trip to Magog with me, which made it a fun outing to a ski resort town. Magog has a good-sized downtown for a small town in the middle of nowhere
Pace watch problem!
Arriving at our hotel, I discovered that I had forgotten the footpod that measures speed with my Polar watch. I keep it on my shoes all the time except - it was on the pair that I left at home. I took my 'good' shoes with me for the race. What a pain in the butt.
So I downloaded an app which measures pace using the GPS on my phone but it didnt work very well in the pre-race tests, so I ditched it. OK, back to using my stopwatch along with the km markers on the course. The advantage, I found, was that I ran according how I felt. That helped me to control my pace for the first 25k. The disadvantage is that I'm used to checking my min/km pace often, which helps me to stay on pace.
This was a loop of 21k that we did twice. Most of it was uphill with a few level sections, and some killer downhills to pound your toenails into your shoes.
The first half went well.... paced myself to a 1:58 split, so I thought I was managing the race well and could go faster in the 2nd half. Well, that plan was shot out the window as soon as I hit the 30k mark. Tired legs set in. Each hill was taller than the one before (it seemed) and I had to walk a minute or two on most hills to conserve strength for the next level part.
From 32k on, I set small goals... Just 5k more.... then 2k, then 2 more.... Is that 42 yet? Luckily the last 1k was downhill.
To sum it up, it was an educational experience and a feeling of accomplishment to finish a tough race. The race organizers and volunteers did a great job. The check-in was smooth and there were water stations every 2k.
What would I do differently next time?
1) Choose a flatter course!
2) Spend at least 6 weeks doing 75k- 80k weekly. More base = less fatigue, no?
3) Run more marathons...