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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't Pants my Poop - The First Marathon Experience

There will probably be another entry related to this race, but I wanted to get something out on here as quick as I could, so here goes. :)

Mile 1-4

I headed out from the gate feeling full of energy and confidence, but right away felt tired and unable to keep a good walking pace up. Jesus, trouble already and not even to first mile. My left shin was tightening up, and it felt like I was running in slow motion. Jenny, Kendra, and Nate left me pretty quick. Jen kept doubling back when she noticed I was falling off pace, but I told her not to. There was something wrong but I wasn’t sure what it was. I felt listless, so I remembered what Galloway said in his Marathon book, which if you felt this to not fight it, just walk it through and soon the energy would hit. He was right.

Mile 4-13

Getting to run through the parks helps, which is why I do enjoy the Disney events at some level. By the time I hit Mile 4 I was feeling good again and starting to believe I could finish this and be decent at it. I was having NO cardio issues, and the pain in the shin had passed. The run through Epcot, and then into the Magic Kingdom as light was breaking was pretty cool, and the crowd there of family and staff members were supportive and encouraging. I felt good at the half way mark. It didn’t last long.

Mile 13-20

Man the wheels came off quick. Around Mile 14 I started feeling the aches in the feet, at first just some twinges, but by 16th mile it was hurting. I was wondering how I was going to get through another 10 miles if this was hurting already, and my overall pace was slowing from the targeted 14:30 to 15:30, giving me very little play room for the sweepers. I had never seen a sweep truck in a race, and I didn’t want to start today. I walked through two miles (16-18) to see if I could regain some strength, but truthfully running felt better then walking, but the energy reserves were getting low.

Mile 20-26

I had a second wind during this point, probably due to the fact that when I did the hair pin, after seeing Jenny, Kendra, and Nate (about a mile ahead of me), I saw the dreaded sweep vans. They were a mile behind me. I still had about three miles before getting into Hollywood Studio's, but I knew once I got into Epcot I was safe, but at each mile they were yelling out the pace, and it was dropping ... I thought I was getting faster but I was losing time. Looking at my splits I was getting faster for sure, running once again between 11:00 and 12:00. I caught sight of a few people I had  not seen since Mile 4, so I was catching up ... and that helped keep me going. I knoew I was going to finish, but was trying to get in under 7 hours. It would be close.

And I didn't make it.

My final time was 7:00:49, placing 13,071 of 13,478 finishers (key word since there were over 20,000 starters). I was 7,009 of 7,163 men and in the 32.6% of my age group. BUT if you go by my GPS I actually ran 26.58 miles, which put my pace at 15:40, which is a sub 7 hour race.

So I am counting it. :)

Post-Race

I will say this...Disney can put on a race. There was plenty of water, food, bathrooms, entertainment. Yes, we had to be up early, but the venue wasn't bad at all.

The pain in my feet was very bad, but I could walk (barely) so I got my bling and headed to the car. The first thing I did was get my shows off, and discovered my big toe sticking through a hole in my right sock. These socks were only worn once, mind you, so apparantly I was so blazingly fast that I wore right through them.

Yeah ... that's it....

We made our way to Cracker Barrel where I stuffed my face with over 2,000 calaries, and shockingly felt NO better. I hobbled back out to the car and drove the two hours back, dropped Jenny off at ehr house, and made my way home. I left all my bags in my car (kudo's to Zak for unloading it for me ... I think he felt bad when he saw me. LOL). I took a shower and watched the Steelers get Tebowed before falling asleep at 7:30.

The Human Salt Lick

One thing I noticed right after the race that I had not had before was the presence of a granular substance on my face. I was in the car, and I stated “How the hell did I get all of this sand on me?” as I was brushing my face off. Jenny informed me that it wasn’t sand, but was salt from my sweat that had dried out. Sure enough, when I took my shirt off to change before heading in to eat there was white residue all over my collar and arms. Ick.

The Next Day

I had burned 10,252 calories, and I gained 7 pounds. My feet were swollen to the point it hurt to wear shoes (a problem since I had to work). My calves were like rocks, my hips were stiff, and my whole psyche seemed ... damaged.

As I write this though I have lost all of the weight gained and I feel much better. Not to the point where I have an urge to go run later, but I feel like my old self again. I have no desire to run another Marathon. It wasn't a fun distance for me. I might feel different later ... might ... but once a year may be my limit with this race.