Monday, February 11, 2008

Gasparilla '08 Marathon

Ug. It was Clobberin Time alright...'sept the Bigun was the one gettin' clobbered. Super-huge thanks to Diana and Bob for getting up early with us and coming to watch and Sherpa. I'm sure watching a Marathon is about as exciting as watching paint dry. My Sis Allie and her hubby Sam came out later to watch the finish as well. Thanks!

It was pretty ugly. All notions of sub-4:30 were out the window at mile 18. At that point, I was just hoping to come in under 5hrs - which I didn't do. 5:05 was my time. It was a long day.

I guess there's a difference between just getting over a cold, and being better from a cold. So lesson #1 from this experience - when your HR is in the hight 150's and your only running 10:30's - you may still have some lingering problems. Before I got sick, I could run 10:30 - 11:00 at a HR of under 130 in warmer temps than we had on Sunday. So that was a red flag that I should not have ignored.

Lesson #2: Don't try to make up time on a Marathon. There were NO porto-potties at the start of the race, so at mile 1 I had to wait in line 3 back for the first blue bucket I saw. I had hydrated well enough. Mom kept running, and I told her I'd catch up. I didn't think I'd have to wait so long! When I got out of the john, my average pace had dropped to 12:00. I cought back up to my Mom in around a mile and a half, right at the 10:45 pace I had left her at. But I had to run hard to catch her. So that was dumb.

Lesson #3: Even when sick, use your HR as your tachomoter. I should have seen right away that my high 150's and 160's HR was gonna keep me from getting that 4:30 goal and I should have adjusted. Instead I plowed ahead, from mile 7 to mile 13, running sub 10's to try and get my average pace down to 10 per mile; the pace needed to reach my goal. I got down to somewhere around 10:11 average pace, but I really paid the price. I was cooked, done, stick a fork in me, kaput, shoot me in the face at mile 20. It was a suffer fest for the last 10k....and for what? A crummy 5:05, when I could have slowed it down early and possibly had the same outcome but without the agony for the last 10k.

Lesson #4: Landmark running. When it really got bad, I was walk-running for as long as I could stand the running, and I think sometimes I walked too far. For the last 2 miles, I remembered to pick a light pole and run to it, then walk the next set of poles....I made some serious ground on the group of fellow sufferors I had been walking with by doing that, and concentrating on the landmarks instead of the pain was a great help.

Lesson #5: More run volume. I was averaging just at 30 miles of running a week in the 10 weeks prior to this race (not counting recovery weeks), and I don't think that was enough. In the time I have left for CdA, I'm going to try to up that to 40 miles per week. On the flip side, it is very true that of the three events, the run is the one event in an Ironman that if you have to, you can walk. You still have to bike the whole bike, and swim the whole swim.





Mama Bigun did great - busted her 2:30 half marathon goal with a time 2:27. I took some video along the way - of course it's disjointed and hard to understand...I wanted to film more at the end, but just didn't have the heart left for anything but finishing. I'll tell you what - half marathons are WAY more fun than the full. I've heard from more than one person that running the marathon after swimming and biking, for some reason, is easier than a stand-alone marathon. We'll see about that....

29 comments:

Danielle in Iowa said...

At least you got a rad medal!

And I second the half marathon being about ten billion times more fun than fulls.

And if it really is easier after running and biking? That just seems crazy.

Wendy said...

Good job gettin' it done out there, Bigun!

Jenny Davidson said...

Oh dear, it sounds very stressful--but yes, good work finishing a tough one, and surely these lessons learned are very valuable, they will stand you in good stead next time round...

Brent Buckner said...

Good lessons. And you did get out there and get it done.

Congrats to you and Mama Bigun!

blink140pnt6 said...

Knowledge is power.

You shouldn't be too hard on yourself, it was a new distance. Now you'll know what to expect next time around.

running a marathon after a swim and a bike is NOT easier, but it is different.

Glad you got that done! Now you got a little bike ride coming up to flush the legs.

supalinds said...

Congrats Bigun. Way to get 'er done!! That is no easy feat. But you did it.

I sure hope the marathon is easier in an ironman :) I don't know how...but hopefully.

tri-dogmom said...

Great job at pushing thru. Being sick is so tough, even if you think you are better... your body is still healing. I ran a stand alone half once when recovering from a cold/sinus infection. Worst race ever. I think I ran a 2:15 or something but my HR avg was 180. NOT SMART

So true - IM running is so much easier. I'm still feeling the rath of my ST. George marathon. In IM you are loose and warmed up from the bike. Plus, you (or I,didn't) care if I walked or talked or stopped or ate.... It was all about the experience.

Be careful ramping up the running mileage too much during IM training. You have to be able to recover to do everything else!

Iron Eric said...

The start sounded like the worst. No potties? Do you know how many nervous runners there are before a race.

Sounds like you learned tons of stuff from this marathon. That's great. You're the bomb!!

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Nice work and getting it done! Way to go :) 4 1/2 weeks and counting til where in Florida!

Laura

S. Baboo said...

Way to hang in there Big Man! You took home some valuable lessons for sure.

Comm's said...

sucks that you blew your time but that the coolest fricken medal I have ever seen...aside from my IM that is.

And yes that bling snobbery.

JohnnyTri said...

Way to hang in there Vato!!
great learning as well. I totally relate to the being sick this week and HR being off the scale!
I will keep that in mind..

all deposits to IMCdA!!!

rockon`

greyhound said...

Don't learn lesson 6 the hard way by starting up your training again before you are recovered.

Get.Well.

Nytro said...

Lesson #6 - Nevah, evah, evah, EVAH do a marathon.

Bolder said...

fire your coach.

get a new one for the remaining 16 weeks...

a word to the wise, is generally sufficient...

Bill said...

You rock, Bigun! Sorry that it didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to, but I'm sure you learned a lot along the way.

I'm agreeing with you on the half vs full issue. But it is interesting to push the body through that 20-22 mile wall.

moonpie said...

Well done, sir! Having the Garmin with mile splits and HRs is invaluable for post-mortem analysis!

P.S. Are you doing Bike Sebring?

Scottie said...

Great job Bigun. You did awesome. And after coming off being as sick as you were. Last time I looked you still ran a damn MARATHON!!! Thumbs up buddy.

CoachLiz said...

Dang!

That is a SWEET medal. All races are learning opportunities and you got it done and learned a lot about the distance and about yourself.

Way to hang in there Bigun!

SUB6 said...

Well done for sticking with it. Not sure the decision to start was a good one but the decision you must have made along the route to finish, was!

Looking forward to hearing about it on the podcast

TJ said...

I agree, that is one of the narliest medals I've ever seen.
Way to push through and take it home Bigun. Enjoy the rest and get yourself recovered.

tri-mama said...

take a good rest and let that body recover big guy!

tri-mama said...
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luke said...

Nice job. 5:05 is still faster than any marathon I will ever run.

Lana said...

Ouch, Bigun. That hurts me just reading about it. I remember what it was like to be back there with all the sufferers when I did Rocket City...and it's painful. I did the run/walk/landmark thing, too...except I threw a couple of "sit down on the sidewalk's" in, as well. Sucks. But you finished, man, and that's what really counts. You were sick - your heart rate was way too high - it just wasn't your day...but whatareyagonnado other than finish? I still say my 4:45 marathon was WAY harder and took way more guts than my 3:56. Way to gut it out. Chalk it up to some awesome mental prep for IMCDA.
And big congrats to Mama Bigun!!

TriSaraTops said...

Way to get it done and learn some things in the process. Ugh...hope ya recover well.

I totally agree that the marathon at the end of an IM was, for me, easier than a stand-alone marathon. I have no clue why, but it just felt that way to me.

Congrats to you and Mama Bigun!

Tri-Dummy said...

Proud of you, brother.

Sweet medal, too.

Dr. Iron TriFeist :) said...

Great job on the marathon. 5:05 is a very respectable time. Congrats!

More than 30 miles of running per week? For an IM? Wow. I'm sure people run 40+ mile weeks for an ironman, just be careful. You can run a decent IM marathon on less run training. Bike endurance is the biggest predictor of race success.

The marathon at the end of the ironman was easier than a stand alone marathon. The other thing that killed me: I wasn't nearly as sore after my IM as I was after any of my marathons. Sick but true.

ShirleyPerly said...

I always learn more from a tough race than I do a race that goes well for me. Congrats on the medal!