November 6, 2010 - Indianapolis, IN. Today I ran 4:10:52 at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I wasn't sure what to expect since I ran 3 times since my DINO trail run 3 weeks ago and no training runs over 6 miles since August. Can't complain too much since my buddy Gregg did about the same training and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Great for him.
I dressed just right for the 30 degree temperature. Two layers, hat, gloves and shorts. We started near the 9:15 pace group and moved through the field early. My goal was to finish without a lingering injury. Took it out slow and made sure to keep up my electrolytes at each aid station when they were available. I was not as prepared as Gregg as he took gels and blocks with him on the run. The aid station gu's were not later in the race I needed them early on. Both hamstrings were tight since mile 2. That will come into play later.
Ran even through the first half at 1:50. Knowing that i had a significant chest cold for the last three weeks that was still lingering and not running at much I kept my heart rate below 160 all day. I know from my 2 short runs at the beginning of the week that my heart rate per pace was way off and I would struggle during the race.Stayed between 8-8:25min/mile through 15 miles. I can remember the turning point in the race. As I was running through Butler's campus I could hear the pace group leader for the 3:40 marathon finish slowing getting closer. Then the small pack was soon upon me. I tried to keep my heart rate and pace the same but started to fade slowly to the back and within a mile they were well on their way. Ran past the Indianapolis Museum of Art which was wonderful. The sections through Broad Ripple, Butler and the Museum are great. Leaving the Museum you end up running DOWN hill to white river road. I think that if this course was anything but flat I would not have been able to complete it. The short down hill was almost the end for me. My hamstrings by this time were tighter and I was falling apart. The graph below notes the ensuing meltdown.
I started to walk brief periods of the course at mile 20. At least I felt like the end was near and thought I could run it in. There were a number of others at this point with the run-walk "just get me to the line" mentality at this point. I was eating and drinking everything at the aid stations. I could not stop for long as everything would tighten up. Then the mile 23 sign was just in front of me. Only 5k to go. CRAMP. CRAMP. Almost face planted on the street. Out of no where my right hamstring went into full cramp mode and the left immediately followed. It took all I had just to balance in a position that would not put me on the pavement. I was just hoping no one was going to bump me or run into me as I stood there like a statue in the middle of the road for at least 2 minutes. Light stretch and decided in the best interest of personal safety, I would walk the rest of the way and not even attempt to jog. So off i set into what would become a cold walk in to the line. The clothing was a good choice for RUNNING a marathon but not for WALKING in 30 degrees with a light breeze. No matter how many spectators were around I was walking. I knew if I even hinted at a jog I would pay for it. So at 4:10 I crossed the line. Finished. Learned a number of things and most importantly, you can not just show up for a marathon.
An interesting note at the end, I noticed my preliminary times were not posted. Then I remembered the volunteer at the end that clipped off my timing chip noted it was split in half. It was broken for some period of time. Luckily I had my Garmin 110 with me and send in an email to correct it. It worked great for the whole race.
The set up was great for the race. Would like to see some Gu's earlier in the mile splits. Last event for the year. Some good recovery is in store for the next week or so and then a look at next year's events. RESULTS