Sunday, December 7, 2008

Surprise - The Las Vegas Marathon Race Report

Or “How not to run a marathon”
Or “What the heck I am doing out here??”

Surprise! I decided to run a marathon!

What? You don’t wake up on Sunday morning an say “Today is a good day to subject my body to absolute torture?”

Truth be told, I’ve been sandbagging my post since Silverman. I have been secretly training (if that is what you call it).

I am not sure if I did it for the ‘shock’ factor or so that you couldn’t say “Jeez, man. You just finished your first Half ironman. Maybe you should take it easy. You know, you have 6 months of intense training coming up. A month off wont kill you!”.

Of course I know that you guys wouldn’t say that. Hell, if anything you’ll point out Baboo’s schedule and tell me to get moving!

How about a recap?

First lets cover my pseudo training and then we’ll eat the big enchilada.

Since Silverman, I have had 4 weeks to train. I need one week to taper so essentially I have 3 weeks.
As I said before, miraculously, I had almost no soreness from Silverman and that very next weekend I was out there running.

I figured I already had a base, I mean I had just finished running 13 miles! Never mind that they were brutal miles, I did them. I also have read (somewhere) that biking can equate to running. So for the Silverman, I did bike/running mile = 15.85 and for the run I did = 13.1 equaling 29 miles! Woohooo! I have this distance in the bag! Of course, the trick was to put this to the test and see if it was anything like real life.

To be smart, I broke my long run into separate runs. This way I can still cover the distance but not put too much stress on my body.

3 runs for 21 miles!

The original plan was to do this the (semi)smart way and get two short runs in during the week and one long run at the weekend.

This is the ‘what not to do’ so let me dispense with a nice little gem. Don’t be an idiot and try to combine your two short runs (that you missed, because you got lazy) into one run. That would be a LONG run!

1 run for 12 miles

Another gem??

Don’t go bike riding with your friend who is ‘dying to do those sisters’ on the same day that you have your long run planned! Nothing like tiring out your body on some monster hills and driving your HR up to 181 and then turn around an run.

For my long run, I decided to combine all last weeks run into one run. I got it done, but it wasn’t easy!

1 run for 21 miles

Want another gem of ‘what not to do’?

If you are following your own plan, follow YOUR plan, not listen to someone else and taper when they taper. They have been training properly, they’ve followed their plan the entire way, you on the other hand are flying by the seat of your pants. You need to get all the mileage you can.

Needless to say I either got REALLY lazy or I followed someone else's taper program.

Week 3 runs:

5 miles!

My training fell into a deep abyss. Which bring us to the final week, which conveniently is another taper week!

First order of business, donate blood!

I like to donate, I think that it’s easy to do and helps the world, but it probably shouldn’t be done the week of your marathon. I’m just saying!

Now that that beauty was out of the way, it’s time to help a friend move. I recommend spending both Friday night and Saturday helping. And for extra kudos, stay up extra late on Friday.
One more thing? OK, How about fight a cold. Nothing says Marathon ready like itchy throat and a deep cough.

OK. Let’s race!

Not to be outdone, let’s leave some surprises on race day too. First off let’s not wake up until an hour past time! Now rush, rush rush. Get out of the house.

And because you’re in such a rush, now is a great time to forget your morning nutrition. Just leave it there on the counter.

Despite all these shortcomings, I have a damn GOOD race!

Because we were so late, we rushed right into the race. Parking was surprising easy to find and it was a breeze to find the race. I was able to slip in the queue near the front and actually had better placement than last year!

There was no warm-up but there never really is any warm-up at a big race like this. This meant that there was no sitting there in the cold for twenty minutes freezing. Just show up and run!

I will say that last years race was a lot better! Last year there was a band every couple of miles and that really kept a person going. This time there was nothing.

But they did seem to learn their lesson from last year and there were lots of Port-potties. Seemed like there were a row every couple miles. Even out in the boonies, there were random honey pots.

Last year, I ran the half with the Mrs., this time I was lucky enough to have the Mrs. sherpa for me. It was great to have the family show up at random spots throughout the course.

Thank you!

The miles didn’t exactly fly by but they did go by a lot easier than for my 21 miler.
I finished the half in 2:29, which was perfect. If I could keep that pace up I’d finish the full in 5 hours.

Based on the pace of my 21 miler, I was looking at a 5:30 race. I had hoped that the taper and the race would bump me up to a better rate.

So far it was going good. I made a goal of mine to run the entire way. I only walked the aid stations. It was easy at first but come mile 20+ it was nearly impossible.

I started to slow down around mile 18 and come mile 20+ it was a slog fest. I never walked but it might have been faster to.

In the end I was able to finish, but my 5 hour goal was lost. I finished in 5:17 and change, which worked out to a 12:07 pace.

The jury is still out on the biking miles equals running miles. According to the equation, I can do 29 miles. I couldn’t imagine going any further. But then again, for Silverman, I was limping and crawling my way to the end. Perhaps if I had to do 29 miles this time, I would look almost exactly the same.

SO that was my first marathon. At least that is out of the way, but I still can’t imagine doing this after biking a 112. This seems impossible!


Calyx Meredith said...

You ran a SURPRISE marathon? I'm going to start calling you Willie!

Congrats on your first marathon! That's a great time - ESPECIALLY for someone who nearly slept through his race and forgot his nutrition. If you can do that great of a job with your "fly by the seat of your pants" plan - imagine what you'll be able to do after actually following your plan, getting some rest, and eating well! You could do IMCdA next month!

Dave said...

Great job! I don't know how we'll do 26 miles after all that either, but I'm trusting it can be done. :)

Borsch said...

Awesome job! You sure are adventurous with your training plan...I was more scared shitless that I wouldn't finish...I had to stick to the plan.

p.s. 3 miles biking = 1 mile running. or so I've been told. :-)

Unknown said...

Well, you are right. That's certainly not the ideal way to train for a marathon. Just the same, congrats on finishing your first one. Get some rest and recover well.

BTW, nothing replaces the running mileage.

Anonymous said...

Good lord, you are full of surprises!!

Well done on the marathon. Now just forget about the idea of doing it AFTER a 112 mile bike, and get on with Ironman training - it's a whole other ball game and that marathon will be totally unlike the one you just ran.

ShirleyPerly said...

Well, no wonder you were asking me whether I'd be at that race. You sneaky devil!!

CONGRATS on finishing your first marathon. I think with proper training running a marathon will not be as difficult, even after riding 112 miles. At least that's what I'm banking on in 2009.

Enjoy your recovery (or whatever else you've got planned that you're not telling us about).

Team Brazo said...

Nice job -- no problem on the IM run. I feel that a marathon is almost harder than an IM -- more intense pain for a much shorter time. A Marathon is for time, an IronMan Marathon is for survival.

The Stretch Doc said...

DUDE YOUR freakn` Awesome!! I wasnt sure you'd do it but I am glad you did!! Super Congrats!
and come CdA time.. you will be ready for the 26.2 after your 112.

PS.. you missed it by that much..
maybe next time.. HA!

SWTrigal said...

Great job Isaac!! What I wouldn't give for that time in an IM..So just repeat it after the bike now..

Stef0115 said...

Hot damn.

That's crazy!

But good for you. Sounds like you wanted (or needed) to do a marathon before CDA and what better than a local one that you can sleep in a little right?


Congrats on your first marathon that is HUGE!

S. Baboo said...

Way to go! That is a perfectly good time. You know my first marathon was something like 4:55 or something very close and now I'm down to 3:41. Marathon running is a learned skill not just flat out endurance.

RBR said...

You little STINKER!! You ran a covert marathon?!

AWESOME job! Crazy training plan leading up to it, but AWESOME job! You are so ready for IMCdA and I am so screwed. *sigh* I have to figure out my bike and swim issues. I wish I could train with you 'cuz you ROCK!!

Oh, and I don't know about the biking equaling running thing. Maybe for fitness, but it won't prepare you for the pounding your body takes. Nothing but time on your feet will do that.

Vickie said...

In many ways, you think like me! The last time I ran a marathon was after I had done my first Olympic distance triathlon. I told myself if I could do an Oly tri in 3 1/2 hours, certainly I could do a marathon in 5? Somehow it didn't quite equal out. So I'm not sure how those bike miles factor into the equation. But you made it and didn't do that shabby either. We always have high expectations for a first marathon, but unless you do the training, we need to expect what we get. (P.S. a friend I work with in Michigan was there! She didn't think there were nearly enough porta potties.)

Donald said...

Way to hang tough and get 'er done. It's that mindset, as much as the physical preparation, that will get you through the IM.

You've got a lot of time to get in better shape before your IM, so don't compare how you feel now with how you'll feel then. You'll be a whole different guy.

Rachel said...

Nice job. You'll be so ready for CdL. I can't believe you gave blood the week before! Ack!