Top of Utah Marathon. 7th overall with a time of 2:45:09. This was probably the most painful race I've ran since college, and among the worst. I thought that my training was good enough to go for the win, and I was out hard but hit a brick wall before even mile 18. Sasha and Demetrio Jr. were out of sight by the end of the canyon, and Steve Ashbaker and the 3rd place prize money passed me around Mile 17. Several others passed me like I was standing still over the 2nd half as well, not a good feeling. I contemplated dropping out near Millville, but my parents were in town from Indiana and were at the finish line, so I knew I had to at least cross the line. Plus, I've never dropped out of a race and didn't intend to start bad habits. Instead, I started walking. Once I got the nerve, I started running again, and stopped at every aid station to walk and heavily refuel. It was very hot for late Sept., and I probably didn't hydrate/fuel enough early in the race. I did the run/walk thing for the last 8 miles of the race and managed to hang on to finish in 2:45, 7th overall and 1st in my age group. Afterwards, I felt quite grateful to run that fast and to win my age group, considering how bad the second half was. I put all my marbles into TOU this year and came out without meeting my goals (or coming close), but I felt a sense of peace about just being able to finish the race and run and place how I did.
Mile Splits/Ave HR:
5:20/181 - this is an awfully high HR for this point in the race. Part of it was because it was warm, but in retrospect it was also a sign that my fitness was not good enough to be running that pace
5:45/180 - by mile 10 I already knew I was in trouble. Demetrio and Sasha are leaving me.
5:52/179 - 1:13:00 for the half, but slowing down quite a bit already
6:42/176 - I didn't know that it was possible to hit the wall this early after doing 100-mile weeks...where did the fitness go?
7:54/173 - started walking here for a while
7:22/177 - run/walk
7:00/179 - run/walk
7:27/181 - somebody just shoot me...
7:30/179 - contemplate crossing Main St. and going home, just 2 blocks away
7:22/180 - I think I might actually finish
7:44/186 - almost there!
1:29/187 - picked it up for the big finish
It took me awhile to figure out why this race went so bad. I had done more mileage than ever before, and had several great workouts that led me to believe I had a shot to go sub-2:30. My first half wasn't any faster than previous years, so what went wrong? Steve Ashbaker later suggested that I tapered too much and lost fitness. I believe that he was right. I went from doing 100-mile weeks, to a 2-week taper at 40 miles. Bad, bad, bad. I think I become so worn out from the high mileage that I was sucked into tapering too much. Lessons learned: 1)don't do consecuative 100-mile weeks before a key race; 2)taper less and for shorter durations. Also, looking back at my speed work, most workouts were of the V02 Max variety (400s, 800s, etc.), and there was very little threshold or mp work done. It should have been the other way around.