Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Blow Up at the Alafia Trail Marathon

First the Positive things about today's race:
1. I had a PR in the trail marathon
2. Got to hang out w/ some awesome friends
3. Brought home some cool hardware

Now for the how to guide to blowing up at the Alafia Trail Marathon:
First off, you need to get to the start line 3 minutes after the race has started. We were not late to packet pickup or running late. I just thought I had time to go fill up my water bottle and then get to the start line.
Next, you need to make up the lost time within the first 4 miles. I ran up through the field at under an 8 minute pace, saying hello to all my friends and telling them that I screwed up. I felt pretty good doing this though. A spent the most time with AB and Patrick, talking a little and Patrick threw some tips my way about keeping my chin and shoulders back so I breath easier. I really focused on that for the next 10 miles but then it got hard to keep at it.
Also, you must keep running an 8:04 pace through 14 miles when you original goal was around 3:50. I was on pace to run 3:32 at that rate.
Other things that need to go wrong are to have major stomach issues. I could not do GU or eat anything. I also only drank about half my water bottle in 14 miles, not good.
At mile 14, where Toni, Kyle and Kati were, I forced myself to open the GU, have some Peanut M&M's and some Heed! I began downing my water between stations and eating Pretzels at every one. Well, my stomach issues from the first half showed me why it didn't want to take anything in. I had to navigate my way into the "woods bathroom." While trying to get through the prickers, my right hammy seized up completely. I thought I was going to drop and never been seen again. Well, after losing 10 or more minutes, I got back on the trail and tried to keep moving forward. The thought of walking out of the woods really crossed my mind. Then I realized that I wanted to Thermos and Dog Tag Medal....oh, and I'm not a quitter.
Another task in making the blow up possible is to get plenty of leg cramps, and to get cramps on those cramps. My hammy was shot, my quads were blown up all the way into my hips and my calves were starting to go. This pretty much sucked. I ran when I could, I walked when I needed to but I never stopped, except at aid stations. Oh, and my feet were not having fun anymore.
I think this pretty much sums up all of the things that you need to do if you want to blow up at the Alafia Trail Marathon. All that being said, I did Trail-PR with a time of 4:21 (1:46 1st half, 2:35 2nd half). It was awesome!!