Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Post-marathon thoughts

Q. Am I satisfied with my performance?
A. Yes and no. Yes, because I pushed through to the finish even though I started doubting myself at 17km, and started to suffer cramps at 25km. That is an awfully long time to suffer. No, because I didn't make my goal time of 4:30 and I know that I am capable of it.

Q. So, what happened?
I was sweating profusely by 7km. Things got a little better after that as it clouded over and I caught a breeze, but I think that I didn't take in enough electrolytes. I was trying to stick to the water and Sport Beans/Clif Bloks routine that I had trained with. This worked fine in 4degC weather, but apparently not so well in 14-16degC weather. I didn't start taking in Gatorade until much later in the race, and it was likely too late.

Q. Did I take in enough calories?
A. No. In total, I consumed 1 package of Clif Bloks (200 cal), 2 packages of Sport Beans (200 cal) and some watered down Gatorade. That is not enough when you are running for almost 5 hours. Oh right, and I did take a shot of beer at 32km! But anyways, my stomach could not handle anymore of the sweet stuff. I wonder if I should try salty snacks next time?

Q. Was the course difficult?
A. Yes. While I was running, I didn't really think about it because I have run on courses with very steep hills. However, the problem with this course is that it is never really flat. The constant ups and downs really wear on you. Below is an elevation map of the course according to my Garmin. Sorry for the small size; I couldn't figure out how to export the graph, so I used print screen. After reading some of the reports from other racers, I have the impression that Vancouver is one of Canada's tougher marathon courses. For example, there is a much higher percentage of Boston qualifiers at the Ottawa marathon or Mississauga marathon (which was my first marathon course).

Q. Do I want to try another marathon?
A. If you had asked me at any point during the race, I would have given an emphatic NO. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was thinking about which race I should do next. You know what they say about us marathoners: "Never again...until the next time."

Q. So, what's next?
A. My legs have loosened up considerably by now, but I probably won't attempt to run until Friday or Saturday. I may decide to enter a 10k or a half marathon this summer, but I certainly won't do another full marathon this year. I'll see how my body recovers and think about which race I want to tackle next.


Cliff said...

Hey Marathon Girl,

Did you realize u did more marathon than me. I don't consider IM as a marathon b/c it ain't.

Very good post marathon thoughts. I would say you should be going well until 30 km or so.

Then again, I shudder in thinking about marathon b/c of how I will feel from 30 km onward.

As for the course not being flat, I have been doing a lot of hill works. Easy runs, hill. Tempo runs, hill. Long runs, hill.

My limiter is my legs will tired out before my heart does. How do I strengthen them? Hill work.

I suspect in ATB after we climb the last hill and running back to the finish, my lges weren't strong enough to handle that kind of stress.

How do i know that? B/c my HR was sitting at low 160s and I am not breathing hard. Mentality I was pushing myself but my legs just gives. This explains my low HR.

Cliff said...


u wanna join me to do TO Marathon?


anners said...

Didn't I already say that I'm not doing another marathon this year?? :) Fall races are pretty much out for me this year because of the whole wedding

Hills...yes, I do hilly runs, but not hill repeats. However, I did the first 2/3 of my marathon training on the treadmill. I was okay for ATB, but the hills were only really in the last 8km or so. I wasn't ready for 42km of hills...can you ever really be ready for that?

Marathon training in the winter is tough. There is something about running hills in the snow that does not appeal to me. It's not the's the ice that I'm concerned about. I won't make it to race day if I turn my ankle.

Marlene said...

Thanks for sharing the post-race thoughts.

I can totally relate to the stomach does not handle fuel well A) early in the morning or B) under stress. A half pack of the blocks irritates my stomach. I also have a hard time with gatorade...too sweet, makes me feel sick.

I am going to have to figure this sh** out in my training for September.