But Grandpa, what about my asthma? ~ Spaulding Smails
First of all, marathons on pavement are just brutal (as far as I know) and the Denver Marathon was no exception. Now that I have that off my chest, here is a full on race report for all you race report lovin’ fools out there.
I am a little too wrecked to provide a Citizen Kane-style non-linear story line right now so we’ll just do this the old fashioned way. Work for you guys?
Get up, stand up…
The alarm clock is a wonderful creature. Even though mine has been replaced by my iPhone (another wonderful creature), I have to give some shouts to the little fella that helps a brotha get up at 4:00 in the a.m. So up, eat, drink and out the door to downtown Denver.
I parked at GroundFloor Media Global Headquarters to save the hassle of trying to find parking closer to the event. Changed into my garb (no dolphin shorts, thank you very much) and then walked the three blocks over to the 16th Street Mall to catch the early morning shuttle up to the Capit0l area. Did you know that the johns at the Bus Station don’t have doors? True story. So now you know that. Which is nice.
So the official marathon information claimed that shuttles would be running as early as 5:00 but apparently, they were sadly mistaken. So I got an unscheduled warm up by walking the length of the Mall. Not a big deal, probably a mile and a half or two miles.
Got to the event with plenty of time to spare. Watered the bushes in front of the Capitol building (just call me Groundskeeper Stu) then went to get into position with the rest of the wacky people. The corral was completely full by the time I got there but fortunately, the event is chip timed so you officially start when you cross the start/finish, vs. when the gun goes off. Sweet!
And away we go…
The plan for the day was to take it fairly easy for the first 6 miles or so. Since I got stuck way back behind my target time (and my target time for the first 6 miles), I picked up the pace a little bit until I was slightly in front of the Clif Bar 4:00 pace crew and settled into a comfortable pace. The early going was a bit hectic with everyone all piled together (relay people, half marathoners and those doing the full) and we ran past Lodo’s landmarks (The Convention Center, The Can 1 and 2, back over by the Capitol) then headed out to City Park. Things got a little tight on the first part of that loop but quickly spread back out again as we made our way to Cheesman Park (about 9.5 miles in).
By this time, my eyeballs were floating and the first batch of Porta Potties had a line a mile long (no racers, I may add) so I kept going and decided that I would have to find a tree and hopefully not frighten any children. Just as we were leaving the park, 5 vacant johns appeared miraculously and lucky me, I only needed one of them!
Shortly thereafter, we said goodbye to the half marathon crew and I set out to start really pushing it in the attempt to run negative splits.
The Second Half…
So into the second half I ran, trying to keep a steady sub-8 pace. Mission accomplished for the most part. I really wanted to have a good segment between miles 17 and 22 and focused on my form during this chunk of miles. Unfortunately, the hammering I was taking running on pavement started to catch up with me after mile 20 and my times really started to suffer. The last 4-5 miles were excruciating with my feet really taking a beating along with my shoulders. I also started to experience some exercise induced asthma, something with which I have not had problems for many years. Weird. So the last several miles were fairly miserable and I lost a lot of positions in the last 20-30 minutes of the race. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I was just happy to get it done.
Wow, hammered crap does not do justice to how I felt immediately post race. I stopped after crossing the finish line to get my chip removed, grab some water and apples then started getting tunnel vision to the point where I had to lie down on the Capitol lawn for a bit. I then made my way very slowly back down the Mall (finally catching a shuttle) and back to my car where I changed and headed home.
My left shoulder was hurting so much I could barely lift my arm, my feet were really quite sore and my legs were tight and sore. Probably pretty standard for pounding pavement for 26 miles. Oh and there is a bobcat in our yard just kicking it on a rock. But I digress. My blistered heels didn’t give me any troubles, which was nice and I never really pushed my heartrate to their upper limits. My abdomen hurt a little (and quite a bit afterward) but not so much during the event that I felt like it was hindering my performance. My troubles seemed to be abuse-based which is something I may be able to work on by focusing a lot more on running pavement. I’ll get some advice and see. All in all, a great event and a really fun day.
Caleb finished in 3:22:36 for 145th place and 30th in his class. Way to go Caleb!
Ok. Back to feet up, brain off.