Sunday, January 15, 2012
Houston Marathon Race Report
Everything went according to plan for my nutrition and hydration, where I drank Gatorade to thirst. For nutrition, I consumed one tablespoon of chia seeds mixed pre-mixed with one Succeed S!Cap electrolyte capsule every five miles. Additionally, every four miles I had one Roctane. I've taken Roctane for years, and experimented with chia this training cycle, and them both with absolutely no problems. I'm thinking of tweaking this only slightly next marathon, potentially increasing the frequency of Roctane to about every 3.5 miles.
The big surprise for me was seeing the massive congestion associated with running with the 3:30 pacing group in the first ten miles. I've successfully run with pacing groups in the past, and I can only attribute today's problems as due to the comparative huge popularity of this particular pacing group, along with the full marathoners being merged with the half-marathoners through the tenth mile. As such, we constantly passed slow full or half marathon runners who'd started excessively fast. As they slowed they were oblivious to faster runners such as ourselves attempting to pass, which forced us to constantly inefficiently weave back and forth.
After six miles of this frustration, Allison, a Kenyan Way friend, and I got in front of the pacing group. Unfortunately, I then made the mistake of allowing my ambition to over-ride my better judgement and experience, as I proceeded to run a minute too fast via a 1:44 half.
Inevitably, I then paid the price, as despite running the first 18.7 miles at an average 8:05 pace, the final 7.5 miles' slow-down killed my overall time goal, as I ran them at a comparatively glacial 10:25. Oh well! I'm consoling myself by at least having prevented the energy collapse from being total, and at least showing an ounce of wisdom by slowly running in the final miles. This is an improvement, from my prior recent marathons where I'd foolishly set an even more ambitious 3:10 goal, then compounded that mistake by not adjusting my goal pace until I had completely run out of energy, and was forced to walk it in. So, while pacing remains a puzzle that I obviously haven't cracked, I think I'm getting a bit better.