Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Heart of America Marathon

Perhaps should have tapered more but I finished my 17th Heart of America Marathon on September 7. I wasn't feeling great the week before but I started feeling better on Saturday. There was a bit more stress leading up to the 2020 marathon. Took a risk and got a massage the day before the race to warmup. I was very cautious with prerace nutrition even getting up at 2 am to eat. I consumed extra sodium and Pickle (brand) juice both the day before and morning of the race.

This year's race was no fanfare, no relay, and no spectators at the finish due to concerns with the pandemic. There were many guidelines for the race to follow and everyone was distanced (lining up by their assigned animal) and wearing a face covering at the start. The weather was not ideal with 74 at the start and 81% humidity.

I warmed up 1 mile before leaving home and felt pretty good. I stuck with the plan to run 7:30 my first mile. I started in the 3rd animal wave. Overall, I felt good and sustained my pace pretty well but the last 2 miles were definitely not easy and my HR was higher. The lead bike fell back talked to me quite a bit earlier during the race which probably slowed me down a bit. I'm sure someone thought the bike was pacing but that was not the case. I wore my Hoka Bondi B's for the first time. They got me through but probably a bit more shoe that I need in the future.

Post race, I sat down for several minutes after to drink and eat and felt better. During the race, I had 4 gels and drank lots of water. Poured a lot over my head too. This year the water was in bottles and very cold which was an advantage to the cups that are normally passed out. The first few aid stations a couple slipped out of my hands as I passed but I eventually got the hang of it. Even with lots of drinking, I lost over 5 lbs.

I passed 1 person in the first mile of the race and then was in 3rd place until mile 25.5ish passing a runner walking and finished in 2nd. 3:22:22.22 official time which is second slowest overall of 17.

2020 Rock Bridge Revenge

Rock Bridge Revenge 50k race went smoothly. I felt like maybe I started just a bit fast but turned out okay. I ran behind Marianne for a couple miles and once we got to the gravel before the Gans loop, I could still see here but not after we went up the hill. I ran the first loop in ~2:18:30 and was hoping possibly going under 4:40 since 2nd loop is shorter without the beginning out and back to spread everyone out in the first loop. It warmed up about 20° during the second loop from when we started at 59 so not realistic for me to run more even splits.

I continued to feel good the second loop so pushed when I could but not much up the really steep hills where it makes sense to walk. I passed Marianne a little ways after I got up the hill on the Gans loop. I was slowing but figured sub 4:45 was still doable. I managed to keep all miles under 11 minutes. Felt a twinge like a cramp about 1 mile from end but nothing further. My overall time was about 4:42:47 (9:13/mi - GPS for 30.67 miles) and 3rd place overall. My fastest RBR 50k. Thankful to be outside and see so many friends before, during and after.

I did pretty good with nutrition and hydration consuming about 750 calories with 2 Sword and 5 various gels or Sports Beans. The Untapped maple syrup gels are amazing. The course was marked extremely well with plenty of volunteers and aid stations.