I ran the Provo City Marathon this morning. It was pretty windy yesterday and when I woke up at 4:30, my phone said 28 mph winds. What a buzzkill. I looked out the window and the trees weren't moving too bad though so that was good. Hopefully it would work out to be a tail wind for most of the race.
Ate a bagel and banana for breakfast about 4:45 and then stood in line from 5:15 to 6:05 before finally enough buses showed up to take us to the starting line. Got to the start and stood in line for the bathroom. Guess that makes for less than an ideal warm up.
I didn't have much of a game plan for the race. Wanted to keep things in check for the first 2 miles (fairly steep out of the canyon) and then base my pace off of that. The gun went off and 4 guys zoomed to the lead. The pace wasn't too bad but maybe a touch faster than I wanted. Figured I better stick with them though because I wanted to work together in the wind and 26 miles is a long way to run by yourself. 2 of the lead guys a BYU singlets on so I figured they'd be tough competition.
We ran the first 4 miles as a group in 22:00 flat (5:30/pace). Shortly after the 4 mile mark the eventual winner(s) broke off, leaving Jordan Perry and I to 'battle' for 3rd place. We just chatted along for the next 15 miles. It was fantastic. The pace felt casual enough and the company made the miles fly by. Mentally, it was one of the easiest marathons I've run and I was really enjoying myself. We hit mile 8 in 44:51 (5:36/pace) and mile 12 in 1:06:23 (5:31/pace). Again, it was great to run side-by-side with someone and talk about who knows what for over 2/3rd the race.
After making the turn West off of University around mile 14, the wind became a huge bother. It must have been blowing from the NW because for the next 6 miles, it felt like a constant headwind. The course ran west for a while, then north for a while, west again and north again. With each turn in direction, I expected the wind to die down but it just didn't happen. I couldn't wait to turn around and finally have it at my back. Mile 16 in 1:30:37 (5:39/pace) and mile 21 in 2:00:27 (5:44/pace). I couldn't hang with Jordan around the 19-20 mile mark. My stomach was cramping up pretty good and I wasn't breathing well. As a result....I slowed down. Haha. Mentally I was doing ok but I knew it was going to be a little rough to finish the final 5 miles alone. So it goes though.
I saw my family at mile 22 and I walked about 6-7 seconds to grab a drink. By no means did that break fix my situation, but I did feel better once I started running again. I'm sure the pace didn't improve at all, but for the first time in 5 miles, my stomach felt better as my cramps subsided slightly. Got to mile 23 in 2:13:19 (5:48/pace) and slowly made my way back to University Ave, up and down the overpass (rough way to finish) and across the finish line in 2:34:44 (5:54/pace). Miles 19-21 were a little rough and that seems to be where things went south for me. Oh well. I felt fine once I finished and stopped running. Not exhausted or overly tight/stiff/achy. Just could't go any faster.
It was a pretty cool course--I especially enjoyed running down University Ave for 6 strait miles. No complaints really. Glad to get another one under my belt. And as always, lunch at In-N-Out Burger makes the drive to Utah well worth it. We'll see how things look for Newport in June. I figure I'll run it regardless, but it may not be with a PR goal in mind. We'll see how these next few weeks go.