Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bill Ran a Marathon

He finished!!!

It's official! I finished the Bayshore Marathon yesterday in 4:10:20. I came in a little slower than I wanted to as you can see, but I am pleased with the result overall. It feels great to finish. And I struggled in the last part of the race.

Here are some of the numbers from the official results page:

1st Half marathon time: 1:47:32.25
1st Half-marathon pace: 8:13

2nd Half-marathon time: 2:21:30.30
2nd Half-marathon pace: 10:48

Marathon time: 4:10:20.00
Marathon pace: 9:30/M

I made a bit of a rookie mistake, it would seem, and suffered some consequences in the form of leg cramping at mile 19. Yes, this is also known as hitting the wall or bonking, but there are actually a couple of things that get referred to under this heading. Mine was that peculiar condition where the legs stop working. Physiologically, it is a condition in which the body can't get rid of the lactic acid fast enough to let the muscles in the legs work any more. So you cramp up and have to walk or slow way down to let things catch up again. I didn't suffer symptoms of running out of carbohydrate, a.k.a. "bonking" (low blood glucose is something I prepared for) or dehydration.

So the lesson here is one of lack of I know I should have 1) started slower and 2) trained just a bit differently, more tempo runs of longer distance to increase my lactate threshold would have been good. Hard to know until you have these things actually happen, of course, but there you go.

For all of that, I am quite pleased because through about the first 15 miles, I was on pace and feeling fine. Starting about mile 16 I slowed a bit and then around mile 19 had to walk. The first time, all the muscle groups in my legs were flopping around and rippling uncontrollably for a few seconds. Later, in the parking lot, I saw a guy about my age who was also suffering his way through the end of the race and he said "I've never seen anybody's legs do that before!"

Yeah, me neither. any case, it's done! Considering that the wheels fell off, I think that finishing just over 4 hours is quite good. In fact, when I came around and saw the clock, I was surprised given how much I had to walk during miles 19-24. I managed to run, slowly as it might have been, the last 2 and to finish in the stadium looking reasonably strong. I was 87th of 123 in my age group. And I managed to beat the oldest guy in the race, who was 80 years old, by well over a minute. Heh.

On to the next challenge...stay tuned to hear more about it!


cbd said...

Great work! I'm trying to decide what's next for me, too. I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

TK said...

Okay, Bill, you said: "On to the next challenge...stay tuned to hear more about it!"

As someone who has suffered through four-month long post-marathon-depression, I wanna know what that next challenge is!!!