Tuesday, August 07, 2012

RR - Moses Lake

Race Report
                                                                               Moses Lake, WA

Sat, Aug 4/12
Moses Lake, WA
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 first few days of our drive were through the mtns of WY & MT so I didn’t even try to run. Finally we reached Spokane, WA and the morning before race day I tried a 5-mile trial run on the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River in downtown Spokane. I was happy and relieved to find that the fatigue problem had vanished as hoped at lower elevations.  We continued our drive to Moses Lake which is in farm country in the center of WA. The terrain is flat and not very scenic. We found Race Registration and I was #14 to register for the marathon. I got my race questions answered but was surprised to learn there were no Italian restaurants in Moses Lake and no place that served my traditional Spaghetti Bolognaise. I had to eat Asian stir fry for my pasta dinner.

 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.

 Stay tuned!

No comments: