Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My BMO Marathon: 32k fun run, 10k of freezing painful staggering like a pole-axed mule

2014 BMO Marathon Report

8:30 AM start at QE park.  Thank goodness the rain is a little lighter than it was for the 1/2 marathon. Still, raining and 9 degrees made the decision to get out of the car a little harder.

Last 7 days were at a Mexican all inclusive (+alcohol inclusive), we got home at 8pm the night before the race.  Probably not ideal race prep as I was quite disorganized getting things together late at night.

I did a VO2 max run test at Peak Centre the night before we left for Mexico, to get my HR zones dialed in for the race.  This would have been more helpful if I hadn't left my chest strap at their office and thus put myself in a position unable to get back in time to pick it up before the race.  Blarg.

61 ml/kg/min - if you were wondering.  Meh.  About the same as last time I think.

Happily they included some pace results with my test results so I knew I could run as fast as 4:07 per km and still be Zone 1 (the easiest & most aerobic zone), so my efficiency at slower speeds had gotten pretty good.  No HR monitor but at least I could gauge things via pace on the 310xt.

Start line not bad, about 3 rows back from the front.  Lots of silly banter from announcers, anthem sung ... bang off we went!

The first 30k were fairly uneventful, felt my HR get a touch high on the hills, but felt it drop nicely on the downhills.  Passed lots of people breathing really hard between km 10 and km 30.

Lots of friendly faces on the course: friends, family, and a huge roar from the VEC tent.. felt a nice surge with each cheer I got.  Stangers also generous with cheering and lots of good signs.  Several paying homage to it being 'may the 4th be with you' day, which is kinda unrelated to marathons but one always appreciates a star wars reference.

Felt good to 30k, running with fast looking guys, at a comfy ~4:02 pace, I'm way ahead of my 2:59 goal time, so a little slowing is fine.  Headwind has been strong most of the race and seems to be getting stronger. Gradually worsening of leg pain is concerning...

32k: bi lateral leg failure.   Hip flexors, knees, quads & calves all ceased to function.  Lifting leg forward almost impossible.  Walking ok, pace about 10min per k.  At least kind of a fast walk!

Runners are nice people, much encouragement from those passing me after I'd started walking.

By  37k the walk is quite slow.  Shaking violently f.f.ffrom worsening hypothermia.   Pace 12:30 per k.  

Hip flexors failing to move leg upward and forward.  Around the 9 o'clock gun some cruel bird had left a piece of clam shell - I couldn't get my foot over and past the obstacle for several seconds.  

By 40k, can't control shaking, walking very difficult.  Hard to hide my grimace from those happy souls giving me encouragement and merciless photogs everywhere.  I wish they weren't so focused on the latter portion of the run.  Or perhaps it just seems so because I'm going very slowly now.

Towards the end hitting 5k to go sign, then 1mile to go sign..  Each time my mind tells me what time I should be running those distances in; but I'm currently moving at 12min per km right now!?!

Last 10k of walking - the mobs are passing me.  For quite a while only passed by serious runner looking guys.  Towards the finish line I'm passed by guys in costumes.  Yes, get humble sucka.

41 k, barely able to walk.  Can't stop shivering.  Worried about finishing now that I'm going so slow.  People all around are shouting at me I can do it, which almost has me in tears since I'm kinda unglued by now. General self control is hard at this point.

The finishing straight - holy crap the finish is still so far away.  Moving like 90yo with walker.  400m may as well be a 5k.  Even at 200m I'm worried I might not finish!

Medical tent: they eventually give up trying to warm me and kick me out to track down my dry clothes.  The walk to get them is interminable.  I can still barely function due to hypothermia.  Recommend they devote more resources to hypothermia than hyperthermia, this is frigging Vancouver.  No warm fluids at all??
Some worried looking volunteer mentions my lips are blue.

One friendly person after another looks at me worriedly and offers to to help me.  One fellow runner, Michael, is particularly worried I'll keel over and attaches himself to me until I've changed and he's escorted me into a toasty warm Starbucks so I can get hot fluids.  Another nice runner buys me a mega size scalding tea!

2 days later I still can't really walk normally.  A cruisy feeling 1:25 half and a not uncomfortable 2:06 at 30k.   Just the last 10k !!??

Gotta figure out what I messed up in training once my resting HR gets back to normal...  Will try again till I get this right - I think...

An air fist bump from coach PC!

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