The 2022 Shamrock marathon was my longest run in 2022 so far and my fastest marathon in a while. It certainly hurt like it was my longest and fastest.
First, I want to emphasize I am satisfied with my time. I knew I could run faster than my goal time because I went into this race probably the best trained I had been in a while…ever really. I’ve been working with a coach for my IronMan in September. I was planning 4 hours based on my last two marathon attempts.
Des Moines in October 2021 was pleasant, but that was pre-covid. November 2021 was rough with the family 👪 all being down with covid (my vaccinated self included.) Then my failed pacing attempt in December in Delaware (sorry) which may have been because I was still recovering.
I noticed in April 2021 with my first vaccine that my body doesn’t handle covid well. In December what held me back was that covid really impacted my ability to regulate my heart rate. That realization was ratified after I received my booster shot in January and my heart was racing after a training run.
Back to today (well, yesterday.) My shake-out run was really tough and it worried me that the 4-hour target for today was possibly just out of reach. My HR was in the 170’s on a training run.
Let’s talk about performance today. I was supposed to start in corral three, but the line at Starbucks and the line at the Pre-race Porto-John were longer than they needed to which pushed me to start in corral 6. The starting line wasn’t going anywhere and neither was the finish line, so I wasn’t super concerned. I figured starting in 6 would have been even better to pace myself. Forced pacing.
That didn’t work.
The problem with starting back there was, all those people are generally not “racing”. Don’t be fooled, I wasn’t racing either, but I run with courtesy. I leave room for faster runners, I don’t dead-stop at the water stops, I signal when I move left or right through the crowd, I don’t dead-stop in the lane of traffic.
This isn’t a celebration of me, but just a rant on the middle of the pack runners.
I didn’t bother stopping at any water stop during the first 13 miles because it was a hassle navigating through the people and avoiding the stoppers; which hurt me later in the race because there felt to be less support on the back half of the marathon. I carried water with me…until I ran out (Honey-PoweredHydration) it lasted about 13 miles.
Obviously, there were fewer runners in the full marathon than the half, so you wouldn’t need as many cups of water, but the space between stops felt further. There was one fewer stop on the full than the half…so there’s that. I think what got me was the lack of support between mile 15 and mile 18. I realize that a race can’t have water stops every mile and that I should bring my own water if I am that particular…but it would have been nice to have something at 17…
Some of the wins I experienced during the race were; no hip pain, no cramping, no racing heart.
I really did feel strong through the race. There wasn’t a time when I felt the need or desire to stop and walk. I even found myself speeding up a few times after getting caught up in the twilight zone. (Not the TV show, but rather the strange time warp that I’ve found happens during a longer race when time seems to stop passing and you didn’t choose to slow down, but everyone collectively moves slower together.)
After the race, I contemplated a jump in the ocean. Actually, I was planning on it. Even my coach was on board. in hindsight, I should have just gone for it, but I didn’t have my change of clothes for after the race and the water was ice cold…colder than my beer cold.
It was more of a stroll…did I mention it was frigid?