Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Post Oak Challenge Double - Marathon - Day 2

Overall this went very well considering I had run 50K yesterday. I decided to repeat the same meal at Incredible's Pizza on Saturday night and ate about 10 pizzas of pizza, pasta, and desserts.  It was a little less than the day before since I had eaten a little right after the race and stomach was a little queasy.  I headed to bed a little earlier but woke up before the alarm went off.  I even found a way to the race start avoiding road construction.  I got a better parking spot too.  I picked up my chip, drank a coffee, and used the bathroom while waiting for the start.  The temp was 46F so 18 degrees warmer than the previous morning.  I left a drop bag at the start since I assumed 2 loops meant we would go back to the start before completing a second loop.

I started with the guy I had run with the day before and he let me lead the way.  I felt pretty crappy the first 4 miles.  Breathing was difficult and stomach didn't feel quite right.  My pace was about 9:30 and no way I should be breathing so hard for that pace.  At about 4 miles, I suddenly felt really good and kept the same pace.  I didn't see my running friend until after the race.  I didn't think I sped up but I did kind of take off faster.  The second day ended up being 75% road and 25% trail and was a lot like the first day but fewer hills.  There was a little confusion with some of what I read on the web site and in some e-mails.  I thought the course had been changed to 50/50 based on what I had read.  We ran on some of the same trails as before and some new trails.  As the day before the trails were marked really well.  Also, the same rocks sticking up to trip me, but no falling.

At about mile 8 I noticed a bunch of people merging onto the trail I was running.  I was confused at first and then realized they must be running a different race. I asked a guy if he was running the half marathon and he said quarter.  I got behind 3 people running the quarter that were running my marathon pace.  At about 10 miles, we ran on the pavement to run out 1.3 miles and back.  I saw the guy I had run with the first 4 miles about a half mile behind me.  Once we got back I was directed to take a trail rather than up a huge hill back to the start.  I assumed the volunteer knew what he was doing although I was hoping to go back to the start to get 2 more Accel gels and a packet of Succeed.  I had to formulate a new plan since it was getting warm and I needed to refill my bottle.  The temp got up to 63.  My time for the first 13.1 on my GPS was 2:06.  At the next aid station I got plain water and drank a cup of Gatorade.  I also picked up two GUs and ate one.  The GU was just awful but I think it helped.

I am guessing I passed about 10 marathoners during the 2 loops and I was passed by 2 guys.  If someone had an orange sticker on their number I knew they had run one of the races the day before so I always tried to look when they passed me.  One of the guys that passed me did have an orange sticker.  The temp was warming up and I was running a lot in the sun as the previous day.  I took small sips of water but could not bring myself to take the other GU.  I had 2 pretzels at an aid station and decided I probably didn't need to eat anything else.  I was feeling pretty good but closer to an 11 min pace rather than the 9:30 - 10 pace I ran in the first half.  Slowing down my pace made me feel even better.

I was keeping the doubler guy that was in his 20s in my sights that had passed me earlier.  I got to the pavement to run out again and noticed he was walking up the hill and I was running.  After the turnaround I caught up to him.  I asked if he had run the 50K the previous day and he said he had run about 5:50 and asked how fast  I had run.  We were going downhill at this point so I took off and left him behind.  My last 2 full miles were a 9:30 pace.  However, the last 0.6 miles included a huge hill that slowed me down to 11-something for that section.  My running ahead map shows it going straight up at the end.  It wasn't a long hill but it was short and steep and I walked it and didn't have to worry about the guy behind me catching up.  I really thought this hill was worse than the hill from hell the previous day.  I can run a long gradual hill but a short steep is impossible to run.

My overall time was 4:35:28, a 10:22 pace so 22 seconds slower pace than the 50K.  The last 13.5 was 2:29 so slowed a bit but still passed a lot of people.  Splits are here.  Overall I placed 22 of 108 and 8th of 21 in my age group so no age group award the second day.  I got another medal like the day before and a special doubler award for running both the 50K and the marathon.  I went inside and once again they were serving the marathoners 2 meals and 4 drinks.  I waited awhile before eating and I was able to get 2 bowls of chicken chili down but it wasn't easy.  I had 2 drinks and took 2 to go plus the corn chips that I didn't eat.

I wish someone could have gone with me to this race but it turned out to be an enjoyable weekend and a fun event.  I am now 2 weeks out from Syllamo so a good dress rehearsal for that 3 day race.

So far no pictures but they do have results.  The picture below I had a woman take for me at the end.





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