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8:00 AM

26.2 mi


7:29 mi


155 lb
155 bpm
198 bpm


30 F
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Raced. Abandoned sub-3 by mile 12. I looked for a place to drop from the race from miles 12-18, but couldn’t pull the trigger on quitting. Ended up really happy with finishing, despite not hitting my goal. Finishing strong felt really good, considering how I’ve felt the last few weeks.

Mankato Marathon Race Report

Short Version: 3:15:59, 2nd AG in 50-59 (really 3rd, but ... I’ll explain below).

Nutrition and Gear details:

- start Nuun and Endurolytes in the week before the race

- spaghetti dinner ~6 pm night before

- uCan (3 scoops, water, thick) + 1 banana + 1 bagel 2 - 2.5 hrs before start

- forgot to take S-caps before race, drank less than half the Perpetuem I had

- I took 1 Endurolyte at 13.1 mi, w/ water

- I took 2 Clif gels in 2nd half (citrus, 25mg caffeine)

—> I could skip the Perpetuem and water bottles/belt altogether (Spi-belt instead; use 2 gels from spi-belt first, then the 2 from the shorts later, when less coordinated)

—> take 2 or 3 S-caps before start, take 1 or 2 of the Clif gels w/ 50mg caffeine during 1st half, take 1 or 2 Endurolytes in 2nd half, drink mostly water

- Injinji socks, New Balance Beacons

- Brooks Sherpa shorts held 2 Clif gels fine

- hamstring compression sleeves worked, maybe also wear calf sleeves (rash on shins from shoes hitting them)

- throwaway jacket

- Northstar singlet over long-sleeve Lk Wobegon shirt

Longer version (with all kinds of positive spin):

Sub-3 wasn’t in the cards today, not even close. I’m still getting over a cold that has lingered for 3 weeks, and my 5-week mega-taper didn’t help things. I wasn’t feeling great before the race, and I might’ve skipped it completely, except that I had 2 friends (Matt and Rob) that decided to run it, at least partly because I was running it. They are both much faster than me.

Saturday: I picked up my bib/packet at the expo and stayed to listen to Dick Beardsley talk at the expo (he’s the guy from Minnesota that lost to Salazar in the ‘82 Boston Marathon by 1.6 seconds). Really great talk. Very emotional. This guy has been through some devastating life events, yet he is the nicest, most positive person you could ever meet. I could go on.

Anyhow, I had a headache, cough, sore throat ... the litany of excuses for my poor performance is voluminous. The forecast called for 29 degrees at the start, with strong winds from the south 15-18 mph.

Sunday: It WAS 29 F, and the winds felt stronger than 18 mph. But I was here, and I had to at least give it a shot. Matt’s plan was to run it as a workout, figuring he could pace me for 15 or 16 miles, then drop out and cool-down for a few more miles and meet us at the finish. Rob was shooting for 2:44 or thereabouts, so he left us behind immediately.

My plan was to start around 7:30 pace and speed up to 6:50 or so by mile 3. We were roughly on pace (6:53 avg) through mile 12 when I told Matt I needed to drop out. I was very winded and breathing heavily, much more so than normal for me at this pace. I couldn’t have gone another mile at that pace. I slowed and hit the half marathon point at 1:31. I started walking and took an Endurolyte capsule, and I washed it down with Perpetuem. I started jogging, looking for the spot where I would make my graceful exit. Between miles 13 and 14, there are a few spots where you could stop and walk 2-3 miles to the finish. But I don’t know the area well enough to try this, so I plodded on a bit further. At mile 15, I saw Matt, who had dropped at the aid station. He gave me a hearty cheer and I continued. From mile 14-18, there was a headwind of at least 18 mph, and I struggled. But I thought that I would have a good place to drop out somewhere between miles 17 and 18. As I approached, the road had some volunteers and spectators standing there. I couldn’t wait to hand them my bib and be done. But when I got there, a very small boy looked up and yelled, “You can do it! You’ve got this!” I really couldn’t bring myself to quit right there and then in front of this kid. So I kept going. I still thought I might drop out at mile 22. But when I got there, the course doubles back so you can see oncoming runners at their 25 mile point. Rob was right there at the same time, and I yelled out to him. He waved, but he looked almost as tired as I felt. Something about seeing him there made it hard for me to quit yet again. So now, I finally resigned myself to finishing the race. I didn’t feel horrible; I had eased back on the pace, was breathing normally, and legs weren’t cramping, which is really remarkable to me at this point, since I had been trying to figure out my exit strategy for the last 10 miles.

I walked at the aid station at mile 24, took a gel, and drank a full cup of water. If I couldn’t meet my time goal, I wanted to finish looking strong for once. As I drank the water, the 2nd place female and the 3:15 pacer both ran by. I quickly got going and made an effort to stick with them, but they both seemed to accelerate steadily away from me.

I finished in 3:15:59. Rob finished with a disappointing (for him) 2:50xxx, although it was fast enough for 3rd Overall. And since he received an award in the overall category, and they don’t allow “double-dipping,” my 3rd AG became a 2nd AG Medal.

After lunch, we walked to the finish area for the awards presentation. Dick Beardsley was there again to present us with our respective awards, as well as pose for pictures with us. I went up and chatted with him before the awards ceremony, and he seemed really eager and excited to talk. He joked that he had run Grandma’s in 2:09 back in his prime, AND he ran the Mankato HALF marathon today in 2:09!

I’m glad I ran today, and I’m actually really happy with how things turned out. My only regret was that I could’ve tried harder to keep up with the 3:15 pacer.

There is an indoor marathon on a HS gym track in November about 30 minutes from my home. It’s a 200m track, so it would be about 210 laps. We’ll see how that sounds in a couple weeks.