So, I ran my first 26.2 miles last Sunday. It was fun. It was long. It hurt.
I had planned to finish in 5 hours 20 minutes (about 12 minute miles). The first half was almost exactly on pace, but the second half (and therefore the whole) took almost an hour longer than I'd intended. 6:19:05
I tried to come up with 26.2 excuses for being so slow, or even 13.1, but was unable to do so; I think 1 and 6 will have to cover more than one mile of slowness:
- So... 19 aid stations do not provide enough water, even at 2 cups per station. Who knew?
- Okay, two 20-mile run/walk's were not enough. Sure, 15 mile training runs help, but still not enough.
- ...and the 20-mile run/walk's were heavier on the walking than they should have been, because of a shoe-fit problem
- ...so the shoe-fit issue meant I had to get new shoes about a month before the race. Sure, I broke 'em in a bit before, but it was less than the recommended 100 miles.
- 1.5 weeks before the race, I got a cold. I think I was over it before the event, but it wasn't the best thing for pre-event tapering.
- Hey, did you know that insufficient water causes PAAAAAAIN[*] in the quadriceps when running? I sure do now.
- None of my training included trying to pace myself for the first five miles, while people are lining the streets, cheering me on, and bringing their boomboxes hooked up to megaphones, playing the theme from Superman. Would the son of Jor-el be holding back now?
- Actually, all of my 15 mile or longer training runs were in much warmer temperatures, and I paced myself by how hot I was getting. That did not work so well at 7am in October.
[*] Think Mr. T's prediction in Rocky III
Anyway, I'm mostly un-sore now. I learned a lot. I keep thinking about how I could do so much better next time -- and then catch myself; why would I do this again ?!? I guess I have a few months to decide. I've had a huge appetite all week -- I think my body has finally decided that I must be serious about this running stuff. (just in time to wind down for winter.)