Not much good to say about this one, I'll just chalk it up as a learning experience, and one I don't wish to have again. Nice morning and pre-race rituals. I got eaten up by fighting the headwind for 13 miles by myself, mentally and physically destroyed!
Everything went well through mile 7 (42:04 at mile 7) and then I fell apart and was lucky to finish. Worst I have ever felt in a marathon! I got passed the entire race and never passed one person (except Steve Anderson who was walking about mile 13), not the norm for me, I usually negative split and catch all kinds of people.
I started out with two young guys and we came though 7 miles at 6 minute pace and I felt good. Then the wind hit! I run in the wind all of the time, but today it hammered me. I lost the two guys when we hit the hills and I was trying to suck down my first GU. I was on my own from then on. I started to break down mentally first, since I could see that time was going to blow away with the head wind. Even on the 10th mile that was good downhill I was slowed up, it felt like I was running in place. The wind was nothing like St. George 2008 and minus the rain, but I was in great shape then, sub 2:30 shape and had people to run with in the second half, not the same situation today. I kept trying to mentally get back into things even when I slowed down so much over the next 6 miles. I came through the half at 1:24:25. The more I went the slower I got, it seemed like the whole canyon was uphill instead of down. I took another GU at mile 13, but it didn't agree with my stomach so I never took anything else except water, and I know that was a mistake too. I was lucky to average sub 7:00 pace down the canyon. Around mile 19 or 20, just before getting out of the canyon, I started cramping up in my calves, I am sure from nutrition and hydration during the previous 20 miles, that was apparent by the amount of salt and minerals all over my body when I finished. I have never had the cramping like that before. This is where I fell apart all the way and people started to pass me and there was nothing I could about it, because if I tried to speed up my calves would cramp and I would almost go down. I knew if I stopped I wouldn't get going again or finish so I kept crawling along clicking off 7:00 plus pace for the last 7 miles. I had one mile, (mile 25 I think?) that was 7:49. At one point around the last mile Josse started running with me, or ahead of me, and asked me if I could catch the guy in front of me, I said no way. I would have loved to catch him but my legs wouldn't let that happen, they were lucky to be moving at all. I was lucky to get in and finish. Marathons can be a gamble some times, you never know how your body will react to conditions. I lost a big on this one! I did finish though right?!
My final time was 2:56:06, definitely my worst marathon of all time. I was pretty bummed, but so glad to be done at the same time. I know most people didn't have a good race today. I felt awful afterwards too and walked for a while then had to lay down on the grass. This was a mistake because my calves cramped up bad when I was on the ground. My wife tried to dorsiflex my feet, but the calves were contracted so tight that she couldn't move them. She finally got them to dorsilfex and I was able to turn over, then started to cramp again and had to have help standing up. I limped around the rest of the day. I did still place 4th in the age, but since I should have won it, and got passed by all of the 3 ahead of me in the last few miles, that was no consolation either.
On top of an awful marathon, my son Jaren broke both bones in his lower arm at my little sisters house this afternoon, which puts a bit of a damper on our vacation to Disneyland and San Diego next week. Then we found out our friends just up the road had a little baby with Down Syndrome and they had no clue about until he was born. They are devastated right now! That would be a hard trial in life! Anyway, not a super good day for me.
The good thing for me is I learned a lot and relearned a lot and I will do everything in my power to not have a race like that again. I will be ready for St. George this fall. I will be smarter in my training, in my nutrition and hydration, and my race tactics next time.