Thursday, June 3, 2010

Madison Marathon 2010

Photo by Kevin, modified on his Nintendo DSi

5:12:09 chip time... what? All my training runs had me aimed at a 4 to 4:15 marathon, what did me in was the weather.

Before I could run I had to pick my race packet up at the marathon expo. The expo was held Friday and Saturday at the Dane County fairgrounds. Once I had all my stuff we looked around and found two things worth mention. First was that the cool tech shirts that had a route map all said "half marathon" on the front, no sale. Second Jenny was able to try on a pair of Vibram five fingers Bikilas, sold.

I woke up at 4:45am unable to sleep. A quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee while I checked the weather forecast one more time and it was time to get dressed and wake Jenny. The car was packed and ready with my gear plus Jenny's Cannondale mountain bike running slick tires. We hit the road around 5:45 and were parked by 6:15 a block from the starting line.

We got our gear sorted out and I hit the restroom line on the way to the square. After standing around for a bit I returned to the restroom line again then got lined up near the 4:20 pace group. Two times in the restroom might seem excessive but it kept me from being one of many guys headed for cover within the first few miles. The worst guy I saw ran off the street in the first mile to the hedge of an apartment complex, come on plan ahead or hold it!

I moved up to the 4:10 pace group deciding that would be fast enough and only slightly faster than my long training run pace. I was still in denial that the heat would do me in so on I ran. The first clue the heat and humidity was getting bad was my Headsweats hat started dripping on my neck after only 5 miles. Jenny was waiting along Breeze Terrace in the shade to take pictures and cheer me on. It was nice to finally find her, I knew what mile she planned to be in but not exactly where. She popped up again on campus at the corner on Charter St. and University Ave. I was two for two spotting her unlike when I missed her during the Lake Monona 20k.

The heat became more noticeable on the way out of downtown. I had taken a couple salt tablets followed by Tums long before I reached the route split at Tenny Park. Jenny and I almost missed each other as I ran by still with the 4:10 group. I'm not sure what happened but by mile 15 I was feeling terrible and questioning if I could finish. The aid stations and some spectators had ice and that kept me going in a ice, run, overheat, walk cycle back to Jenny at mile 20.

I had sent Jenny a text message that I was off pace and wanted to swap my Amphipod belt for my handheld bottle. She had responded but I had tucked phone away so didn't know where she was waiting. A quick gear swap and a few words and I continued on. The ice, run, walk cycle continued but the walks were getting longer and when I heard the clocks were stopped and was told to walk I was done running. Walking the last 4 miles took forever it seemed and when I went to run the last two blocks my legs were really against it. My parents along with Jenny and the boys were waiting just up the street. The boys jogged along on the sidewalk to the finish where I got my medal. A few pictures and we headed to the cars.

I was fried and glad to be done. The whole clock stopping thing turned out to be false which stinks because I would have pushed for a sub 5 hour had I known. Oh well there is always next time and I may have that race picked out already.