Random things I learned during the race:
-S-Caps dissolve in rain; next time, remember a baggie.
-The further out Gus are pinned on shorts, the more they bounce.
-Muscle cramps anywhere is bad. Muscle cramps everywhere is worse.
-As much as you might desperately want to run up to the ambulance and collapse, it's better to collapse after the finish line. The ice cream tastes better there, too.
-Having a friend run me in the last couple of miles is a race saver. Big time.
Time: 3:24:44 [New PR!]
Average Heart Rate: 175
Age group: 32/136
Over all: 179/1463
How things went: a story in three parts.
The first part went fairly well; at least according to plan. I was hanging with a group of people who were all shooting for a 3:15 or 3:20. It felt a little harder than I had hoped, but the weather cooperated nicely. 50's or so, rain, a bit humid.
First 8 Miles-
Average pace: 7:24
Average HR: 172
The second part got a little rough. The group pulled away, and to try to hang with them would've taken more out of me than I wanted to spend. For no real reason I could see my heart rate jumped up about 20 beats per minute, and by mile 11 my quads were starting to talk to me. This is what we'd call "A Bad Sign"
I got through the half way mark in 1:37:16, right on target for my 1st goal of 3:15, but I was feeling more than half used up. I was, in fact, feeling about as used up as I wanted to be feeling at about mile 20. This stage lasted till mile 18, when the wheels really started to come off.
Average pace: 7:26
Average HR: 191
Right around mile 19, the cramps really started to do me in. The quads were relatively tame, just fatigued. But in my hamstrings (or maybe my piriformis) calves, and side began to blaze with pain. Not all at the same time, but enough to sing a chorus together. Some times one part of my body would take the lead, sometimes another. Occasionally a duet.
Some tough going.
Average pace: 8:25
Average HR: 163
It was during some of these miles I had to stop and walk to try to work out my side cramp; other times I was pushing as hard as I had and was averaging a 9 min/mile. Then around mile 23, a wonderful running friend found me on the course and ran me into the finish line, talking to me and helping the miles move along as they should rather than like molasses. We chatted, though I can't be wholly certain what I said. My mind was pretty well in tatters by that point.
But I crossed the line, and it was good. I met my brother soon after, and we chatted and ate ice cream together, and that was great. We staggered around town together bit, having lunch and otherwise congratulating one another on another fine race.
I walked out into lake Michigan and replaced the agony of fatigue with the agony of hypothermic shock. I decided that my hips needed to get in on the action and knelt down, too. After a little while, I wondered if I'd ever be able to stand up. If I did try to stand up, would my legs buckle? And if I fell face first in the water, would my lungs explode?
After showering lake Michigan, marathon salt and a good portion of the icky feeling away, I felt like a new man. Now if only I could find a shower that would spray the fatigue away, I'd be happy. All in all, a great race, with great friends and a shiny new PR! Now if I could only concentrate on school work... :P