I did the Layton Marathon on Saturday.
This race didnt go at all how I had planned. I did TOU 3 weeks ago as a training run and ran it a little slower than I could have and came in at 3:09:49, so I thought I could do at least that, maybe a little better. The course was not down hill like TOU, but I still thought I could do it.
Things started going wrong before the race even started, a couple days before I ate a lot of junk food. I learned my lesson and will never do that again before a race. I also took an anti-gas pill before the run so that I wouldnt have to stop at a port-a-potty just in case. The pill worked, I didnt have to stop and go to the bathroom, but I did get a terrible stomach ache that started at about mile 3 and lasted until mile 6ish.
I knew that there was a hill somewhere on the course, but I couldnt remember what mile it was at. There were several times that I was running up a hill and thought "this must be the bad hill", then a mile or so later I would think the same thing. Then around mile 6 I actually saw the hill, and thought "thats the hill". It was quite a hill too, 1.34 miles long. I was averaging about 7:07's when I got to the hill and mile 7 was 7:59, and mile 8 was 7:35. I did get some of the time back on mile 9 (6:54), but I didnt get the energy back.
I was averaging about 7:14 when I got to mile 10 I thought "I will run a negative split and get my time back down, I can still beat 3:09:49. By the time I got to 13.5 I knew it was over. I could literally feel the energy just leave. That was the earliest in a marathon that I ran out of energy. It is an awful feeling knowing that I would have to fight for 13 miles to finish.
Mile 13 was 7:35, not too bad, but nothing like I had wanted. After that each mile got harder and slower. Mile 17 I got off the causeway and saw my family. They tried to motivate me, but all of them said they could tell how tired I was just by looking at me. I was leaning to the right, meaning I had gone back to my bad form due to my tiredness.
I just kept trying to push and keep going. I was passing half marathoners consistently, and no marathoners were passing me. I thought I was about the 10th marathoner or so at about mile 18. Around here my wife ran with me for a bit and I told her how bad it was going, call me a downer, but I was not having the best race. 18 is when the cramps started. I was able to fight them for about 3/4 of a mile, but eventually had to walk them off. I walked for a short while, then was able to run from 19.19 to 21.59, then had to walk again. The running/ walking continued until the end. The cramps got progressivly worse. I could feel giant knots in both quads, and my hamstrings were in a lot of pain.
I just kept on pushing and giving it what I had. I eventually got to the last turn where I saw my dad. He helped me push it to the finish. I ran the last .5 miles with straight legs. I couldnt bend them due to the cramps, but I couldnt walk it in. A marathoner passed me at mile 26, so I had to peg leg a little faster and pass him, then he passed me, then it was on. I peg legged as fast and hard as I could to beat him. I ended up beating him by .4 seconds. The second I crossed the finish line I thought both hamstrings were going to explod. I bent over and grabbed both of them and yelled for 30 seconds or so. I have never wanted to cry so bad because of running, but I couldnt because of all the people. Someone came and asked if I needed a medic or trainer. I said I was just cramped and needed time.
Overall this was an awesome race. I saw 2 bison on the island, which was really cool. I was hoping to see more than that, but with more than half of the island in the dark, I am satisfied with the 2 that I saw. The course was a beast, a definite gut check. Next year I will know what to expect and what to do better. Of the 6 marathons I have done, this was my third fastest, and by far the hardest I have done.
This was a good race, and I hope to be back next year.
My watch died with half a mile left, but here is the info from my garmin...