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Asheville Biltmore RR - or why I dislike marathons (Read 344 times)


No more marathons

    Did I mention how much I dislike long runs?

    Oh yeah – here:  http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/1838f2f86d8b403ba7f02a6eac0534fe/0

     

    Well today’s long run was the Asheville Biltmore Marathon.  My third in 6 months, and a new PW.  Let’s get the whining out of the way, It was cold (25 with wind-chill in the single digits, it was windy – 9 to 15 mph, it was hilly, it was rough gravel trails.  It was the kind of marathon that makes me glad this will be my next to last EVER (got Boston next year – gotta do Boston).

     

    Here’s the short report:  4:15:58.  Walked thru all water stops, walked up Dam Hill (twice – lovely how they ran us over this hill not just once, but twice at miles 16 and 19 – [RD – you couldn’t find a way to extend the course on a flat area?]). Walked miles 24 and 25.  Finally found the mental strength to finish the last mile or so at a decent pace.  Finished 263 out of 1,004 who started, and 6thout of 26 in my age group.

     

    Long report:

    Knew I hadn’t put the training in for this one as much as the last two.  Already had my BQ and had signed up for this as the inaugural event.  Motivation was lacking but still thought I might get a old man PR.  Also though, what the hell, just get it over with.  (Note to self:  never go into a race with that mentality – too easy to slip).

     

    Race day started with a wake up at 4:25 (did I mention I hate marathons?).  Temp was 25 but was SUPPOSED to clime to low 30’s with sun.  As a last minute addition before we headed out the door I through a third shirt on, and my warm-up pants – figured I’d need them while waiting for the race to start.  Good thing - temp never got above 25 and wind chill was in the single digits.

     

    After waiting in traffic for about 30 minutes to get into the Biltmore Estate DW and I talked our way into a parking place over near the start/end point instead of having to park 5 miles away and take a shuttle.

     

    They had warming tents and space heaters set up at various points to help keep the cold off.  At about 10 minutes before the 7:00 AM start they announced a 15 minute delay because they were still trying to get everyone into the estate.

     

    I was hoping for a 3:40 pace group, but that person had the good sense to stay in bed.  The next group was a 3:50 and I thought I’d hang with them for awhile; which I did for the first mile.

     

    Mile 2 had an elevation gain of about 200 feet and the pace group fell back more than I wanted, so I kept the pace closer to goal (Big mistake #1) at 8:54.  Miles 3 and 4 were mostly downhill and I averaged about 8:00 for those.  Miles 5 and 6 had an elevation gain of 240 – and once again I held the pace at goal (Big mistake #2).  Some days you have it, and some days you don’t.  This was definitely a don’t.  By this point I knew I was in trouble.  At 6 miles in a marathon you should be getting warmed up.  My legs had a slight burn to them that I recognized as NOT GOOD.

     

    Miles 7 and 8 were down hill, but I could only take advantage of that on the first one, after that I was into survivor mode.

     

    Miles 9 and 10 were into the wind, and on a gravel trail that was difficult to run, especially with thin soled Green Silence shoes. (Did get to see DW at 10 and gave her a big smile).

     

    Miles 11 thru 15 were a series of ups and down, with 220 ft and then 120 ft gains.  Times slowed considerably to an average of 9:20.  I did hit the half at 1:57 but knew there was no way I could repeat that time for the second half.  14 thru 16 miles were also mostly into the wind which by now had picked up.  Water at the water stops had ice crystals and the orange slices were frozen.

     

    Miles 17 thru 21 was two loops with its center point as Dam Hill.  This little gem, run twice in the later stages of the race had about 120 foot elevation gain in less than a third of a mile.  Nice.  And the downhill portion was a rutted gravel road.  Double nice.  Average pace fell to over 10:00.

     

    At mile 21 we passed back over to the flat side of the course.  DW, DS and his friend were braving the cold to help cheer me on.  I stopped to let them know I would finish, but it would take a while.  I managed to run miles 22 and 23 which were with the wind, but as soon as I turned back into the wind all will to run went away.  Miles 24 and 25 were walked at a little over 30 minutes.  With only a little over a mile to go I decided that most of this slow down was mental, and picked the pace back up.  Also, there was a great survival instinct that kicked in, I didn’t want to be in this cold wind any longer than necessary.  I managed to run the last 1.2 in about 12:50 and finished with a PW of 4:15:58.

     

    Now, a little over 12 hours later as I easily go up and down steps, I realize that possibly a lot of my slow pace was mental, not physical.  In looking at my HR, it shows that I only exceeded the upper end of my marathon range on one occasion.  During my walking sessions I was below recovery mode.  Oh well, some of us were meant to run long distance, and some not.  I’ll count myself in the not group.


    A Dance with Monkeys

      You know, if you hate marathons, you don't have to run them.

       

      Or. You could run Monkey.

       

      Meh, running is stupid.


      Not dead. Yet.

        Sorry about the shitty race.  You did better in October of last year and will do better again.

         

        Good report.  Sounds like a friggen hilly course.

        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

        Julia1971


          Sorry to hear the race didn't go well.  I remembered you posted about this and I encouraged you to race it, so now I feel bad.  Hope you're recovering well.

           

          Hate to break this to you, but...  Boston is a long run.  Smile  There is also a pretty tough stretch of hills.

          You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
          Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


          A Sweetheart

            So to summarize, you picked a marathon in a mountain town (that has the highest peak in the U.S. east of the Rockies) in the middle of winter, and you were very upset to find hills and cold.

            I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

              4:15, you call that a personal worst... Pfft, it's like you're not even trying!

               

              Sorry it wasn't fun for you

              PR's (certified courses)

              5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

              Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

               

              Current Weight: 160 lb

              Goal Weight: 130 lb

               

              Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700


              No more marathons

                You know, if you hate marathons, you don't have to run them.

                 

                Or. You could run Monkey.

                 

                Meh, running is stupid.

                Ha, see that's the problem.  I read about something like that and think "wow, I could do that".


                No more marathons

                  Sorry to hear the race didn't go well.  I remembered you posted about this and I encouraged you to race it, so now I feel bad.  Hope you're recovering well.

                   

                  Hate to break this to you, but...  Boston is a long run.  Smile  There is also a pretty tough stretch of hills.

                  My good sense (what little I have) always goes out the door at the start of a race.  I usually overestimate my capability, especially in longer races, and in hilly trail races - which this one turned out to be both.

                  Mostly recovered already - will do a few miles today just to loosen up.  Now need to find a nice 10K to focus on.

                  And hopefully I will be able to convince myself that running Boston will be the goal, not racing it.


                  No more marathons

                    So to summarize, you picked a marathon in a mountain town (that has the highest peak in the U.S. east of the Rockies) in the middle of winter, and you were very upset to find hills and cold.

                     

                    Well, I knew about the hills - the cold and wind was just an added bonus.

                    And not upset, but I always figure if you can't race a good marathon, you should at least be able to whine about it.

                    Julia1971


                      And hopefully I will be able to convince myself that running Boston will be the goal, not racing it.

                       

                      You should race it.  Not that you're going to listen to me ever again. Smile

                      You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                      Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


                      old woman w/hobby

                         Well, I knew about the hills - the cold and wind was just an added bonus.

                        And not upset, but I always figure if you can't race a good marathon, you should at least be able to whine about it.

                        Well, if you're looking for an excuse to whine, what Trent said Evil

                        steph  

                         

                        OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                          Whining and dancing fruit emoticons! This thread delivers.

                          Runners run.

                          amn77


                            This thread caught my eye because it's in my home state. And then I saw your picture--go Wolfpack! I am an alum Smile  Oh, and good job on the race.

                            Allyson


                            No more marathons

                               

                              You should race it.  Not that you're going to listen to me ever again. Smile

                               

                              Yep, I now have a built in excuse for every dumb race I run - "julia said to do it" 

                              happylily


                                Sounds to me like you didn't have the right conditions for this marathon. Both those within your control, and those outside of it. But running a marathon is never a waste, of that I am certain. So congratulations on your race, Blue! You still managed a very respectable time considering everything you stated. I really dislike cold and wind myself, they just kill the mood for me entirely. But if I remember well, didn't you run Quebec City last summer, then you ran another marathon shortly after that and you PRed? If that's correct, then I think you should do Ottawa with me at the end of May. I promise you a 3:45 on a nice flattish course and most likely beautiful weather. Smile

                                 

                                P.S. Please post your RR in B&B as well. We need more life over there! :-)

                                PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                                        Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                                4 years racing, 15 marathons, 15 BQs     

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