Sub-4 Marathon Group

12

HOT IN CLEVELAND - 26.2 mile sweatathon race report (Read 35 times)

SprinklesRunner


Whippet

    From my blog...reposted.

     

    Goal time: 3:45 or better
    Unofficial time: 3:55 (when I threw away my shirt and btag at mile 25)
    Clock time: 4 ish hours

    This was one of the most epic meltdowns (literally) of my time as a runner.  I will thank the marathon people forever for including information about how to recognize the onset of heat exhaustion and how to stop it (slow down).  Now that I am past the beating up on myself (miles 20-22); desperation (23-26) and anger (0.2) and realize the magnitude of what I was up against (mid 90s heat index with 200 people treated for heat injuries by the end of the day), and the fact that my "heat adjusted time" is a lot faster than my net time (based on my garmin), I figure I can try to report on this hot mess.
     Heat Injuries at Marathon

    I was pretty sure based on the temps on Saturday that the marathon was going to be hot...but that there would be a 10 degree jump by the morning, I had no idea.  We got to the Cleveland Browns stadium at about 6:00 in the morning after a tough and painful night's sleep (newsflash ladies, check the calendar before you schedule your goal marathon...ahem).

     


    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Sunrise at the First Energy Browns Stadium



    Starting a race at a stadium is genius.  There were REAL BATHROOMS.  Yes, you read that right.  There were no porta potties.  This is a huge plus for someone who might as well just get back on the line on race morning because the second any type of nerves are at play, I have to go no less than three times.

    It was still windy in the morning when we started.  I lined up with the 3:45 pacer and was ready to rock this thing.  I'd fueled, eaten a ton of salt (including the salt at the bottom of a bag of pretzels), felt bloated as could be...there was no way I was going to dehydrate.  I could FEEL the humidity and knew my task was to drink early and often, within reason.  I had brought two powerade gels and planned on relying on the two GU stations for the rest of the race.

    Well, we plan and God laughs right?  Right.  Our pace group got started a bit slow.  I think the walkers must have thought that when the corral said 6:00, 7:00 etc., that meant 6 hour or 7 hour finish times and lined up accordingly.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Still smiling before the race start: don't run marathons if you don't need a heat sheet at the start.



    Miles 1-6.2  "this is stupid easy" 8:49; 8:01; 8:27; 8:40; 8:32; 8:40
    We had some weaving to do, but by the time we got to the Flats, things were solid and we clipped along at an 8:48 first mile, which we made up for with an 8:02 second mile.  We kept about a minute ahead of pace in the first half- the strategy being to go a little fast in the beginning in order to conserve a cushion for rising temperatures.  My friend K had used a similar strategy during the 2012 Boston heatfest, so I figured the cushion would be good - I still think it was a smart strat.  My predicted finish time was 3:38, not 3:45 (and I'm usually good at getting in range), and the pace felt stupid easy to begin with.  The only thing that had me concerned was the thickness of the air already at the start, and the fact that people were already sweating profusely.

    Miles 6.2- 13 "this is so much fun" 8:26; 8:22; 8:13; 8:21; 8:13; 8:13; 8:07
    These miles were pretty - through nice neighborhoods with lots of course support.  I zoned out and focused on the race.  It wasn't too hot yet.  Took my first powerade gel at 6.2 - it was green apple, which was pretty good.


    Miles 13-16 "Uh oh its hot" 8:07; 8:14; 8:24; 8:25
    We dropped the half marathoners at mile 13.  It didn't feel too bad yet- warm, but I hadn't dumped water on myself yet and figured that if it would get too hot, I'd take the time to move my bib to my shorts pocket and run without a shirt.  Pretty much the second we left the half marathon behind and headed into the center of town, it got hot.  We left the center of the city on a long straightaway that was just merciless.  I stuck with the pace group at this point and didn't have too much trouble, except I didn't want to draft off of them too much - the wind was actually welcome.  I took my second gel.  Note: the tangerine powerade gel tastes like dayqu

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    My leg is the one sticking out with the turquoise shoe- behind the dude with the neon laces - this was at the half.  Look at that pretty shade.  This was the last time we got any.


    Miles 17-19 "Not jut a few ugly miles" 8:49; 8:53; 8:51
    Mile 17 was brutally hot.  I dumped water on myself and on my pulse points and kept going.  I couldn't keep up.  I lost the pace group but was still within the limits of my pace band, doing well.  I figured if they were ahead, its fine, I could just be having a bad mile or two- they happen, and I always have a better mile or two later to make up for the hard middle miles.  My legs started to hurt at mile 17 - which is unusual.  My quads felt like they were on fire, and so did my face.  Somewhere around mile 16 is where I saw a runner just collapse.  I stopped and my legs seized up - I saw a biker coming to her and she waved at me that it was ok and I continued running - the girl looked horrible.  I think that was the wakeup call as to how hot it was.  I knew I was in trouble when I tried to take my third Gu and just could not.  Not even at walking speed could I take it.  I just hoped to hang on as long as I could

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Somewhere around mile 17, drenched in water.



    Miles 20-22 "There goes Goal Time" 9:01; 9:31; 9:40
    Somewhere in this time period is where I saw the first runners walk.  There was a LOT of walking...a surprising number of people just on the street cramping or feeling miserable.  I got some powerade and tried to drink more of it...it didn't help as much as I thought it would.  I was just too hot.  Nothing seemed to help the mounting heat in my body.  I took the straps of my tank top down and wore it as a belt.  I tried carrying it.  The spectators faded into the background and I just told myself to run to the next hose.

    Miles 23-26 "F*ck goals, just survive" 11:13; 11:31; 11:51
    There was no wall, there was just heat.  Somewhere around mile 23 I started to feel sick.  My skin was prickling, not a good sign for heat exhaustion.  My head just felt like it was in a vize.  I started to tear up, knowing that everything I had worked for was just getting shut out the door.  There was no way I was going to hit 3:45, not even 3:50.  once I slowed beyond 9:00, there was no hope for that.  Some woman said, its 90 degrees be careful.  I noticed that there were red flags along the course.  Red for CAUTION, SLOW DOWN.  The tears sort of stopped at this point.  I realized that if there are red flags, look around...no one is passing you...they are all shuffling/walking, with the exception of a rare few.  I caught up to one runner walking, she said she was Shannon from Erie, and that she had just run Boston and had been going for the 3:30 when the heat knocked her out.  If this was bad for her, it was BAD...this girl's goal was 15 minutes faster than mine.  So, I run walked to mile 26.  I was so miserable that i turned my garmin to indoor mode and just left the timer on.  No more effing splits.  I poured more cold water onto my tank top and threw it on my neck.  Then i saw I had a shot at sub 4.  I saw Alan.  I tossed my shirt at him and ran.  One guy, Stoddard, from my pace group, said the heat killed him at 13.  He jumped in and patted me on the shoulder and said, you got this.  Once he stopped I actually teared up again- this time because runners are the best people ever.  I was able to run to the finish and come in on my watch at 3:55:58 ish/ 4:02 clock time (I may have been slower than that on my watch because I messed with it a bit, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt)...in any event, sub-4 and not by much.  Very close to my Philly time.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    No shade for 6 miles...rough



    The garmin splits turned into this...they stopped before I rounded the corner..when I took off my shirt becasue was too hot.  At least I avoided medical attention and never became dehydrated.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


    So, I ran a perfect race...and then I melted in the sun.  I felt like a huge failure for awhile, and then looked into heat grading thanks to my Sub-4 friends at RA.  Looks like I actually ran a somewhat decent race.  I was way harder on myself than I needed to be. I messed with my watch so I wouldn't have to continuously watch the meltdown and make it worse than it was.  I threw my shirt away at a point in the race where it didn't matter anymore...I cried.  I totally sobbed when I finished because I felt so terrible.

    And...when I took my shirt off, I also threw my timing chip out.  My brain stopped working during this race when I just wanted to get through it.  There were no D-tags here...just B-tags - ON YOUR BIB. 

    So, I had to email results with a finish photo and show them that I actually did this thing and finished. They can use my clock time as my official time.  I could care less.  I didn't end up in the medical tent. 

    Medal is pretty nice too.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Guess I earned this with a lot of sweat.


    This was most definitely the most miserable running experience of my entire life.  My legs did NOT want to move.  I wasn't tired. I could move...it was just so hot.  I'd overheat every time I tried to move.  Next spring I am deferred to the Pocono marathon.  If this is the temp, I'm not running it- this is going to be seriously long recovery.  My legs are more shot than they should be.  My entire body feels too hot.  I'm just glad I'm healthy right now.  I'm also glad I didn't back out- I don't like to quit.  I didn't quit.  I finished this thing.  Marathon #3 done.

    13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55


    Bad Ass

      Congrats!

       

      I think you did an amazing job in the heat and dewpoint of the day.  The fact that you broke 4 hours in that is amazing.  I cannot wait to see how you do on your next.

       

      Will they give you an official time?

      Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

      Next:  San Francisco Marathon

      Blog

      "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

      SprinklesRunner


      Whippet

        Congrats!

         

        I think you did an amazing job in the heat and dewpoint of the day.  The fact that you broke 4 hours in that is amazing.  I cannot wait to see how you do on your next.

         

        Will they give you an official time?

         

        We'll see on the official time  - I might get docked a few minutes for stupidity- like who is that desperate that they throw their shirt out with the timing chip on it.

        13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55

        DetroitTigerFan


          Nice job sprinkles - congratulations again on the sub 4 !!! - i know - a tough one.... but you are tough and made it through it !

           

          what an interesting review - nice write up. I'm glad you are ok. You know its a tough race when it's difficult to eat that GU packs.  PS - nice pace band - I checked those out for a few races too

           

          maybe i missed it, but did the race offer anything to help with the heat other than water?  the race I was at this weekend was only a small local HM, but they had these cold water wipes/clothes - you could squeeze water on you and then hold the towel too. It actually was refreshing just to hold the towel while running

          PB's     10K 47:15 (9/13)     HM 1:45 (9/13)     M 3:57 (10/13)

          Running Blog   http://davesdigitaldestinations.blogspot.com/

          SprinklesRunner


          Whippet

            Nice job sprinkles - congratulations again on the sub 4 !!! - i know - a tough one.... but you are tough and made it through it !

             

            what an interesting review - nice write up. I'm glad you are ok. You know its a tough race when it's difficult to eat that GU packs.  PS - nice pace band - I checked those out for a few races too

             

            maybe i missed it, but did the race offer anything to help with the heat other than water?  the race I was at this weekend was only a small local HM, but they had these cold water wipes/clothes - you could squeeze water on you and then hold the towel too. It actually was refreshing just to hold the towel while running

             

            Thanks.  The pace band was given out by the pace team.  I kept a 3:40 one for the next race.  I used one in Philly and thought it was really helpful.

             

            The race didn't offer anything to help with the heat at all.  The locals came out with hoses.  Later water stations in the marathon had hoses as well.  Really, the local folks were the biggest help, with kids running around with hoses.  One guy gave out water bottles that were ice cold.  I shoved one in my shirt and then let it trickle out upside down and then poured the rest down my neck.

            13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55


            Ball of Fury

              Thank you for sharing Sprinkles!  And of course it is disappointing to work so hard for something, and then have it ruined by weather.  I think that's part of what makes the marathon such a tough thing...18-20 weeks of work come down to one day that can be affected by so many things.  Again, I think 3:55 is fantastic time for the conditions.  When we ran Disney, it was uncharacteristically hot, and they were recommending runners to slow down 30 sec/mile for every 5 degrees over 60, which sounded crazy at the time!  Of course, I didn't listen and had a much more epic meltdown than you....32 minute positive split!  My injury didn't help but I really think it was mostly the heat.  My legs felt much like yours...just on fire like I have never experienced and so so heavy.  Anyway, enough about me...display that medal proudly because you earned it girl!

              PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15

                Very cool medal, and you toughed it out to a sub-4, well done!

                PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                    10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                 

                mdawg87


                  You should be congratuled not only on your toughness, but your common sense as well.  I'm sure you would have been much worse off health wise and finishing time wise (i.e...DNF) if you hadn't slowed the pace.  Again, a sub 4 in those conditions is outstanding.  You'll knock it out of the park on your next one.  Hope you are feeling better!

                  PRs:  1:39:24 (HM)  3:47:02 (FM)

                  onemile


                    Those conditions were really rough, especially without many warm days under your belt. I find it takes time to adjust to the warmer temps and I definitely would have had a hard time if Carmel had been hot. I think you ran a great time under those conditions and dealt with it the best you could.  I have no doubt you'll be sub-3:45 for your next.

                    SprinklesRunner


                    Whippet

                      Thank you for sharing Sprinkles!  And of course it is disappointing to work so hard for something, and then have it ruined by weather.  I think that's part of what makes the marathon such a tough thing...18-20 weeks of work come down to one day that can be affected by so many things.  Again, I think 3:55 is fantastic time for the conditions.  When we ran Disney, it was uncharacteristically hot, and they were recommending runners to slow down 30 sec/mile for every 5 degrees over 60, which sounded crazy at the time!  Of course, I didn't listen and had a much more epic meltdown than you....32 minute positive split!  My injury didn't help but I really think it was mostly the heat.  My legs felt much like yours...just on fire like I have never experienced and so so heavy.  Anyway, enough about me...display that medal proudly because you earned it girl!

                       

                      YES - this describes my legs exactly.  They wouldn't move.  I found a thread on RWOL with a guy who had a similar experience- gunning for 3:10 and landed at 3:38, also the last 4 miles in the sun murdered him.  Oh well.  The medal is pretty lol and I'll never forget this race, that's for sure.

                       

                      Simon - Thanks.  i'm so glad its over.

                       

                      Mdawg - yeah I think had I pushed harder I would have DNF'ed. My temperatue is still 99 today.  I'm also coming down with a head cold. Grr.

                       

                      onemile - still chasing that 3:45.  I'll probably make it a 3:40 goal for Wineglass, we'll see.  I'm not going for a BQ since I don't know what those last miles would have done under good conditions.

                      13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55

                      onemile


                        See how your training goes.  It's still too early to predict.  Is your BQ 3:35?

                         

                         

                        onemile - still chasing that 3:45.  I'll probably make it a 3:40 goal for Wineglass, we'll see.  I'm not going for a BQ since I don't know what those last miles would have done under good conditions.

                        Flinders


                        Three Martini Lunch

                          You ran a very good race given the horrible conditions.  I think with another training cycle and decent weather you definitely have sub-3:35 within reach.  Rest up, recover, and wear the medal with pride.  You earned it many times over.

                           

                          Fantastic write-up, too!

                          M: 3:31:56

                          HM: 1:37:33


                          Trail Monster

                            You did great. I was there and it sucked. I walked to a 5:49 PW. Congrats on another sub-4!

                            2013 races:

                            3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                            4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                            7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                            8/24 Baker 50M

                            10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                             

                            My Blog

                             

                            Brands I Heart:

                            FitFluential

                            INKnBURN

                            Altra Zero Drop

                            SprinklesRunner


                            Whippet

                              Onemile - Yes, I'm 29 going on 30, so my BQ is 3:35.

                               

                              Flinders- I'm going to see how the training cycle goes, who knows.  I'ts quite possible that I felt the heat from the start and didn't notice.

                               

                              Banshee- It was HORRENDOUS.  I'll only ever do a half in May again, especially if the forecast is that horrible.

                              13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55


                              Canuck

                                Great job finishing in that heat, and with another sub-4 as well.  Running in hot weather is the worst!

                                PRs: 47:54 (10K); 1:46:36 (HM); 3:50:52 (FM)

                                Recovering from injured knee (PCL/Lateral Meniscus)

                                12