Big Cottonwood Marathon
Not quite the results I thought I'd get, but lots of unknowns. How would my quads do? High altitude? Running flat after 23 miles of downhill? But, in the end kept some dignity and this wasn't my slowest marathon.
Low 50's at the start, up high at Guardsman Pass. Prepared for 3 steep miles to start out. Towards the end of the first mile my shorts were falling down and I had to pee real bad, so found a little turnoff with some bushes. Retied my shorts - I need to retire these for good. Finished up the first mile which was 11:15 - but at least it would be my slowest mile.
Next mile was good, at 8:05 , thought I could build on it. Course was steep but I was managing but at same time not getting the speed I thought. Next mile 8:24 which included a small amount of uphill, then next mile was slower as expected with net uphill of 47 feet but maybe a little over 100 feet up before starting down.
Next 14 miles through the canyon, downhill, shaded, cold feeling in parts. Mixed results catching up. At start line was near the 3:35 pace group which I lost in the first mile. Eventually saw the 4:20 group then the 4:10 group. Don't remember seeing the 4:00 group but at mile 14 saw the 3:50 group. I would pass them and get passed by them a couple of times. Another porta-potty stop somewhere in the canyon (mile 16, 9:05).
Then next two miles good with 7:54 and 7:49 (mile 18 7:49, fastest mile). But then we were out of the canyon and onto a bike path before getting onto the streets of Holladay. Miles 22 and 23 were 9:46 and 9:35, but slowed down more for miles 24 and 25. Mile 25 was looking like it might turn into a 12 minute mile or slower (I had kinda given up), however the 3:50 pacers caught up to me and were about to get away from me when I decided to try and hang with them.
Had a lot more in the tank than I thought and had no problem keeping up. There were a couple others that tried to hang on but they fell back after a little bit.
Turning the corner to start the last mile I suddenly felt better and was trying to get a bigger gap on the pacers, but my calves had other ideas giving me some warning cramps - slow down or risk going down.
Came in just ahead of the pacers who must've been close to 3:50 on the dot, but since I'd lined up with the 3:35 group my chip time was 3:50:11.
Besides the shorts issue at the start not exactly sure what went wrong. My garmin watch and whoop band both said I was at lower performance - garmin body battery started at 55 percent, whoop had me at "red" recovery, and after the race garmin reported my vo2 max down to 53 from 55.
It was a beautiful course as well as challenging. Race was well run, couldn't have asked for more as far as organization and support go.