I don’t know if it was the prospect of stuffing my face with a big, delicious (and guilt-free) Thanksgiving dinner this weekend; the fact that a half marathon didn’t feel like enough of a challenge for me after my 28K trail race near the end of summer; or that I didn’t want to miss out on running another race with Debbie (it’s Thanksgiving tradition, after all!) that compelled me to sign up to run the full marathon instead of the half at the Goodlife Fitness Marathon on Sunday. I’m happy to say I ran 42.2 km without any issues, other than my calves cramping up pretty bad near the end — they were probably wondering why I was running so far on pavement when I spent the entire summer on the trails. Ouch.
I finished the race in about 3:51, which I was happy with considering my only “training” run was the Finlayson Arm 28K. The only other runs I did since September were a few slow 7-8km runs on top of weight training for 4 days a week. But since my base cardio was good, I knew I could run the distance. It was just a matter of going slow enough to NOT hurt myself.
I decided not to look at my pace until the 30 km mark after discussing with Ange (who was also here for the weekend to run the race, yay!) about running by feel. Apparently I’m not very good a pacing myself, as my 10km time was 48 minutes and my half time was about 1:45. I was aiming to run a 5:45 pace, but ended up running around a 5:25 pace; I went out way to fast then slowed right down to a 6:00 pace near the end. I think for my next marathon I’m going to keep an eye on my pace after the 10km mark and try to keep it even the whole time, just to see what happens. Since this was a “just for run” race, I wasn’t too concerned with my time anyway.
I was also pretty happy with that time considering I stopped to help a 250 lbs dude who was ready to collapse about 2 km from the finish line. He had been keeping pace with me for almost the whole race, but after he stopped for water at the last aid station he couldn’t quite get going again — he started doing the “chicken walk” and swaying from side to side, so I dropped my cup of water and ran to grab his arm with another runner just as he was going down. We helped him to the pavement and sat him up — it was clear he had just run out of fuel and it wasn’t having a major medical emergency, so I waited until first aid came and took off running to finish the race.
Overall I had a decent run, and was glad I decided to do it. I also had a blast hanging out with Ange of Cowgirl Runs for the weekend, though we failed to take any fitness blogger selfies (or any photos, for that matter!) the entire time she was here. I also spent way too much money on active wear as we shopped in our active wear, which happens I guess when fitness bloggers hang out together. Oops!
I’ll be taking a few days off to recover, then will get back to strength training again near the end of the week until I start my Phoenix Marathon training plan in about a month. No more running a marathon without training (at least until next Thanksgiving :))
Did you race this weekend? How did it go? Have you ever decided to race a marathon or half marathon at the last minute without training?