Austin Marathon: I did my best, but…..

……the cramps still came.

I carbo-loaded, downing  800 carbs the day before the race. I hydrated during the Austin Marathon, drinking two cups of water and a little gatorade every three miles.

I ran the first half as slow as possible, not one mile faster than marathon pace, and most of them 30 seconds slower.

….and yet my quads still tightened, calves spasmed, and a dream of a respectable marathon time already dead by Mile 15. That’s when the wheels began to fall off. At Mile 15. I started sucking down a GU and like an allergic reaction or something, my inner quads start spasming. I was like, “Are you friggin kidding me?” I wasnt breathing hard. Was just cruising. And to have that feeling was just depressing.

The other weird thing is that in the first 10 miles, when I’d drink water and/or gatorade, it made feel worse. But at the end, when I wasnt sweating AT ALL, drinking water and the downhill portion of the course absolutely saved me.

My final time for my eighth marathon was 4:10:10, with my first half split being 1:51 and my second half being 2:19.

I’ll go into more details later, but I remain at a total loss. Was it hot? Very, not as bad as Chicago, but 60s and high humidity at the start and high 70s at the end. And so, maybe, I just cant perform in the heat. Still, I seem to perform worse than others. I was in 980th place or so at Mile 20 and near 1,500th place at the end. EVERYBODY WAS PASSING ME.

And as I said in an earlier post, I’ve run that same Austin Marathon course in training, posting two 22-mile runs in an average pace of about 7:50. I think Sunday I only had two miles that were that fast.

But again, its back to the drawing board. Again, a search to figure out why this happens in races. I’m starting to see how Susan Lucci felt.

All I can say is I’m glad I finished and got a medal.

8 thoughts on “Austin Marathon: I did my best, but…..”

  1. I stalked your results yesterday… I knew something had happened :-/ I can't imagine your frustration after all these tries, and especially with your training runs being *amazing*. I wish I could help – see what your run club coaches/local shop pros have to say?

    Congrats on another 26.2, even though it didn't result as you were hoping.

  2. Dunno what to say man…has to be a hybrid of physiological and mental at this point, right?

    Fly out and run LA w/ me. Maybe I can help take your mind off the cramping. Sub-3:30 or bust. Let's do this Kev.

  3. I cramped too. Everyone passed me too. I almost DNFed. I blame my performance on going out too fast on the hills, but who really knows? Better luck to both of us next time.

  4. I don't think it's a carb or fueling issue (forgetting about the hot weather for a sec). There are many who run good marathons taking no carbs or fuel during the race and who don't "carbo load" prior.

    Training-wise, I'd work on endurance to the exclusion of anything else (you have plenty of "speed" to run 3:15 or faster). Run mileage and lots of it and lots of long runs. Then pick a marathon that'll have good weather (easier said than done).

  5. Try adding hill repeats to your training 1 day a week, then add another day with good recovery days between them. Don’t go hard, work your way into them. 1mile easy warm-up before and after.

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