Jim’s Mississauga Race Report
Thanks for the note and thanks even more for your support at the split – I was a bit tempted to go straight on at that stage but I thought I knew what I was in for on Lakeshore, so I turned right for the marathon!
You asked for a race report so here goes. You know what I can be like, so just stop reading if you get bored!!! Not sure it is of interest to anyone else but please use as you see fit.
Overall goal: I was sort of looking for an Amsterdam time of 4:25, but hoped it would be no worse than 4:30. I felt I was running faster but it was following the Bay, where I pushed hard, and I did a 32km just two weeks before the race (which was really too close) In addition, I had a general sense that I just did not have the miles under my belt to do this in good shape. Until about a week before, I did not get my head in the right space to commit to the distance but, once I knew I could mentally do it, I started to focus on pacing.
Start and first 15 km I was in good form but fighting to slow down. I was running with the flow, with Glen and generally downhill, and I struggled to keep over 6:10 per Km, which I knew was too fast. For a 4:30, I think I needed about 6:24 p km.
At the split, where Shirley was, I remained in good shape and was chatting with a couple of other runners (a first-timer and his girlfriend on No.5) and an older lady (my age, I guess, on many marathons) through to the half marathon mark, which I passed at 2:10. I felt this was still too quick but justified it as being downhill.
The run to the turn at 25 km was OK but I could feel that the wind coming back would be a problem and mentally I was losing my focus.
From 30 km onwards, it was a struggle. I was walking the hills and the wind on Lakeshore was depressing. By 34 km, I felt I had nothing in my legs and was running 2-400 metres and walking the same. I found that my right leg was not ‘firing’ willingly and striding was coming more from the hip. I was also getting occasional cramps in my calves but nothing that would stop me. Even in the last km, I walked 3-400 metres but managed to run it in! Mentally, I was playing all sorts of games in the last 8km to keep focused and to keep up with people round me.
On the nutrition side, I had about 8 gels, diluted in water, and 5 salt tablets during the whole run – the same as I had in Amsterdam. I took water and/or Gatorade at each station and was basically OK but I felt nauseous a couple of times in the last 8 km.
Overall, a 4:38, with splits of 2:10 and 2:28 (not exactly a negative split!) and lots of lessons learned. I finished but I did not have the miles under my belt; I started too fast; and the weather and the hills got to me over the last 15 km.
Lastly, since I finished, how do I feel? I got a couple of bad calf cramps just after the race but apart from that no problems. My legs feel completely wasted – I can walk fine but it feels like there is no gas in the muscle tanks. Going up curbs was a problem on Monday but better today. I have a message scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. My stomach was quite upset with a lot of acid reflux, which kept me awake on Sunday night, but again that has settled down since then. (I seem to remember the same problem after Amsterdam.)
So there you have it – the blood and guts of Jim’s ‘second and last’ marathon! I guess it just shows how ready I was for Amsterdam and how good the conditions were for that run.