Second Marathon - More lessons to integrate
The Good: 3:45:06 finish - 37 minute PB over first marathon (BMO Vancouver in May). Gorgeous day for a race - slightly overcast, no wind, bit of sun. No injuries. Beautiful course. Amazing volunteers.
The Bad: Poor planning for pacing. Big struggle for last half.
Ah, the cardinal sin of inexperience: going out too quick off the start. I didn't think I was going out too strong. Mathew and I planned to run at least the first half of the race together to keep ourselves in check. Pacing at a steady 4:50 (with a few quicker downhill km's) it felt achievable. (In the back of my mind I pictured wings on my feet, soaring in at my McMillan 5k projection of 3:22). I knew going in that I should've paced the first half to be a little slower than the back and I was aiming for 3:30. Apparently my math is not very good.
First 10k felt great but as we started getting further out the rolling course definitely took more energy at the pace I was keeping than I was expecting. The slow steady climb up to and through the golf course at 17-18km started taking it's toll. Not hilly, just consisent rolling grades. Even at halfway point I was starting to feel the burn. Was still managing to keep 4:50-ish pace. The one and a half km section up to the turnaround seemed to just keep going.
By turnaround, Mathew was starting to struggle with a sore hip so I took off with a small burst of energy knowing that we were finally on our way back. At this point, for some reason, perhaps because I was already feeling drained, I stopped calculating pace (a Garmin will be purchased in the very near future). I was feeling like I couldn't push it harder than I was going anyway so the goal at that point was just to finish as best as possible according to feel.
27km and the bonk was setting in. Pace average between halfway and 30k was climbing quickly, 5:20/km.
I had it in my head that after the turnaround the course would feel more downhill, but alas, it was mostly just the continued rolling, rolling, rolling. I don't remember much between 30 and 36 other than just pressing on. More and longer walk breaks at water stations.
The corner at 36km heading back on to Dallas Road was evil. Looking out across the water, seeing the distance still to cover when I was already hurting was a challenge. By 38km I was talking to and swearing at myself to just keep going. Feet were on fire. (Pace for last 12km, 6:08/km)
I kept my running form pretty well up until the last kilometre despite the exhaustion, but by then it was only about putting one foot in front of the other to find the finish line. Shoulders hunched, elbows up and out. (Ed. note: Have since watched finish line video and looked at pictures from course and it appears my running form was disintegrating long before the last kilometre)
Crossed the finish line and went straight to a chair outside the medical tent, where I was well taken care of, being slightly light-headed and body-buzzing.
Chip time: 3:45:06
446 overall / 60th in age category
10k split - 48:08 / Halfway - 1:43:58 / 30k - 2:31:24
Kept a pretty consistent 4:50 pace for first half. On retrospect should've done my homework and stuck to something closer to 5:10. By 30k my pace averaged down to 5:02/km (still pretty good considering I was really struggling by 27km). The last 12km is where I lost the most steam, dropping to a clunky 6:08/km. Definitely should've gone out easier on the first half so I would've had something left to give at the end.