Moses Lake Marathon
Marathon # 359
This report will be brief since this was an unplanned/unscheduled race. My next scheduled race is an international marathon on the Isle of Guernsey in late Aug. Since my last race was in early Jun and I was unable to run any long runs in the mtns of CO I figured I needed to run a training marathon to see if my old bod could go the distance?
Many of you are aware of the problems I encountered during our 5-week vacation in CO. Surprisingly the same old problems of fatigue and shortness of breath after running as little as 1 mile appeared after only a few weeks in the mtns. By using the Galloway method of run/walk I was able to push through the problems but after 10 miles I became so fatigued that I had to stop. Thus my longest run in the mtns was 10 miles. I figured I could add some long runs when we visited our son in Seattle but I started to look for a marathon that I could run on the drive from CO to WA. The only candidate I could find was a marathon in Moses Lake, WA. The location and date were good – the only problem was the weather forecast – high 90s to low 100s in early Aug. I decided to play it by ear and wait for the final moment to register because I was only guessing and hopeful that the fatigue problem would vanish when I got to lower elevations?
The race started at the ML High School track at 7:30am on Sat. There were 150 runners in 4 races with only 14 in the marathon – only 12 showed up for the start. It was going to be a lonely and hot race. The temps were in the low 60s at the start. I joined 3 other runners at the rear of the pack for the first few miles @ 10-min pace. When we passed mile 3 in 30:02 they decided to walk and I forged on ahead. I ran the next 23 miles by myself. The course was a ‘Y’ shape so I saw the lead runners on the two loops but could never see any runners in front or behind me. Although the race was very small I need to give the race director kudos for a well-organized race. The course was well marked, there were distance markers every mile and water stations approx every 2 miles. The volunteers were friendly and cheerful. The only downside was about 6 miles of the 2nd loop were being repaved and the road was covered in oil and loose gravel that was difficult to run on.
I passed the Half in 2:14 and maintained a 10-min pace until I made the turn at Mile 16 on the 2nd loop of the ‘Y’. The road surface was crappy and really took a lot of effort to run on. I passed Mile 18 in 3:10:24 and a split of 12:08 but my legs were dead! I started walking. I hoped to run a cycle of Run 1 Mile and Walk 1 Min but my legs were totally dead/wasted and the road surface really sucked. The best I could manage was Run - 5min and Walk - 1 Min which resulted in a 13/14 min pace. When I finally reached a good road surface at 21 miles in 3:50:18 I was able to increase the cycle to Run -1 mile and Walk -1 min.
When I approached the city again @ 24 miles I was struggling just to keep the old legs shuffling and mile 25 was pure agony and pain to reach in 4:43:37 and 14:08 split. At that point I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care about time but I knew that Maddog would be extremely pissed off if I missed 5 hrs by a few secs. I had 16 min to complete the final 1.2 miles. That meant I ‘had to’ run the entire final mile. I still don’t know how I did it but I ran mile 26 in a blazing 12:17 and cruised across the finish line in 4:59:12. The temps were in the low 90s and it was HOT!
Sadly I confirmed what I had known at the start of the race. It is foolish and painful to run a marathon based on a training program of 35 miles/wk and no runs longer than 10 miles. I was not surprised that I had ‘hit the wall’ at 18 miles but I had forgotten how much it can hurt to keep the old bod going for another 8 miles after it has run out of energy. If I don’t want to repeat that painful experience in Guernsey I ‘must’ add some long runs while I am in Seattle.
I am glad that ordeal is over and I am also glad to complete Marathon #359. That number represents an important goal which will become more significant after I complete Guernsey in a few weeks.