A.M. Utah Valley Marathon, 2:35:42, 6th place.
Quick update. Ahead of me: Seth (2:26:22), Shin (2:27:02), Peter Vail (2:30:00), William Tete (2:30:02), and Jeff McClellan (2:30:47). No Ezekiel, but Peter Vail in decent shape instead, less trouble, but still trouble. Steve Ashbaker was with us at 10, but then fell back, and then dropped out due to a tight hamstring. Kory was 7th with 2:40:51, Jeff Shadley 8th with 2:41:41.
Ran the race in Five Fingers. This caused some problems with the chip, hopefully they will not affect the accuracy of the timing. Sarah sewed the chip to my socks the night before, but it started to come off in the 16th mile, so to avoid problems I just ripped it off and carried it in my hand the rest of the way. Aside from the chip problem, the only other side effect was some blistering and a little bit of blood, but I've had that in regular shoes. And they were really stinky afterwards, to quote a scripture from Isaiah 3:24, "instead of a sweet smell there shall be stink".
Now run down mile by mile:
Mile 1 - 5:57. Rolling. A warm up. Seth, William, Shin, Peter, Jeff McClellan, and I all still together.
Mile 2 - 5:33 (11:30). Downhill. Seth, William, Shin and Peter picked it up and pulled away. I timed their mile as 5:04.
Miles 3 and 4 - 11:38 (23:08), 5:49 average. Rolling downward. Steve Ashbaker caught up to us and joined us. We are trading leads. The leaders are gone by by as we have expected. Mile marker 3 was in the wrong place, if we are to believe it, the splits would have been 5:18/6:20, which they were not.
Mile 5 - 6:02 (29:10), uphill, even with the 5:50 guy. Still the same group. HR in the first 5 miles hovered around 150, climbed to 154 on the hill.
Mile 6 - 5:33 (34:43), downhill. Steve was feeling a little edgy, told him to ease off.
Mile 7 - 5:25 (40:08), downhill. Jeff's mile.
Mile 8 - 5:34 (45:42), downhill, I think it was mine.
Mile 9 - 5:36 (51:18), downhill.
Mile 10 - 5:40 (57:00), flatter, but still a slight down. Saw Benjamin and Kimia. Got an update on the leaders, we were about 3:20 behind Shin. Got my cane sugar drink (0.5 liters water with 60 grams of cane sugar and 1.5 grams of sea salt), and took two Gotu Kola pills. I already knew from training that cane sugar works well, but the Gotu Kola pills were an experiment. Gotu Kola is a non-caffeinated herb that energizes the nervous system. I was not sure if I'd be able to swallow those pills at race pace but I did fine. HR hovered around 149-153 in those miles.
Mile 11 - 5:52 (1:02:52). Mild uphill, turns. Steve fell back. HR around 156. Jeff is pressing it a bit. His HR was also higher.
Mile 12 - 5:50 (1:08:42). Mild uphill. Finally finished my bottle. HR around 154-156.
Mile 13 - 5:54 (1:14:36). Mild uphill.
Mile 14 - 5:31 (1:20:07). Partially downhill, but really good downhill, many turns. Half in 1:15:04. Saw Ted at the half. He said Shin was 1:12:04, but I think it was wrong, because Shin would have put a gap on us from 10, but also Shin later told Jeff it was a low 1:11. HR hitting 157-159. Asked the Jeff to back off and bring me alive to 15, then I'd pull him for a mile, then send him off to chase the leaders.
Mile 15 - 5:42 (1:25:49). Technically a slight downhill, but you cannot tell, now on the Provo River Trail, bridges, turns. HR 157. In miles 14 and 15 I killed my race, but I did not care. I knew from the start I would be hopelessly out of money anyway, and figured it would make sense to sacrifice a minute or two, and possibly a place to slightly increase Jeff's chances of being in the money.
Mile 16 - 5:52 (1:31:41). Similar to 15. Took the lead for the last time to give Jeff a small break. There was a mishap during that mile. My chip started to fall off. It was sewed to the sock, but got loose. I stopped for a second to rip it off so I could carry it in my hand then quickly caught up and resumed the lead.
Mile 17 - 5:53 (1:37:34). Similar to 15. Stayed with Jeff in the first quarter, then grabbed the bottle from Benjamin, and eased off to drink it. Took Gotu Kola pills. Jeff pulled away fast. In hindsight, this is where we made a $250 mistake. Jeff should have stayed with me for another 2 miles. But we did not know Jeff's level of fitness with this much precision, and we also did not know that both Peter and William would blow up that bad. Live and learn.
Mile 18 - 5:59 (1:43:33). Flat, turns, went under the bridge. Drinking my bottle slowly. Saw Ted, he offered to take the bottle then give it to me later, but I needed my bottle desperately, so I said no.
Mile 19 - 5:58 (1:49:31). Mild rolling down on the trail. My tempo run course. Anticipating trouble. Finished the bottle.
Mile 20 - 6:19 (1:55:50). Flat, maybe now a slight up. With 6:19 the trouble has come. How much worse is it going to get? Saw Benjamin and Kimia. Got another bottle. Drinking it slowly and carefully to salvage the race.
Mile 21 - 6:32 (2:02:22). Slight up. Not good, still 5 miles to go. HR drops to 144-147 range.
Mile 22 - 6:07 (2:08:29). Slight up, maybe flat. HR climbs to 151-152. So the Gotu Kola is good for something maybe.
Mile 23 - 6:28 (2:14:57). Same as 22. HR drops to 148-149. Not enough Gotu Kola. I was taking two 450 mg pills. Need to try it in power form and mixing it into the drink in higher concentration next time.
Mile 24 - 6:29 (2:22:26). Same as 22. HR occasionally hits 150 but cannot stay there, keeps dropping to 147-148.
Mile 25 - 6:30 (2:28:56). Same as 22. Very similar to 24 in every way. Running off blood sugar, glad I have plenty.
Last 1.218 - that is when things get fuzzy because I am not quite sure of my finish time. I do not not remember my exact finish time. I do remember seeing 2:35:42 on the watch after I finished. I do remember throwing the chip on the mat and then seeing 2:35:47 on my watch. My official time is 2:35:45. So I probably got clocked by the time the chip hit the ground. I need to figure something out for the chip next time, maybe make a strap around the ankle that will hold it securely. I was able to squat down, pick up the chip, and hand it to the volunteer after I finished, so that is good. But if we go with a conservative estimate of 2:35:42, my last 1.218 is 7:46, 6:22 pace. Met Ted with about 0.5 to go and he got me going. Once I got going I felt I could have held it longer. So maybe if he had showed up at 23 or if a competitor showed up at 23, I would have run 30 seconds faster, but who cares anyway.
Post race damage. Some blood on the feet, stinky Five Fingers, a couple of blisters, more than normal quad soreness, but not DesNews kind.
Not sure how much I lost from Five Fingers. I definitely still do not know how to run in them as well as I do in shoes. But I need to keep running in them exclusively until I've learned a better form very very well. Then I can run in racing flats again and use their extra capacity for pounding. So from now on I will not race a race unless I feel it is safe to race it in Five Fingers. Abebe Bikila ran 2:15 in Rome in 1960 barefoot. But he grew up running barefoot. I did not. So maybe 2:35 in Five Fingers while somewhat wimpy is not that embarrassing after all, qualifies me for an African wannabe.
On another note, I failed on muscle glycogen miserably. The race would have been a complete disaster without those magic bottles, the blood sugar saved me. This could still be a leftover from the ear infection in February. Or it could be something else, all those chess tournament trips with missed long tempos. In any case, to address that I will start adding mid-week 8-10 mile tempos in addition to the regular ones on Saturday.
P.M. The children ran with Sarah, Benjamin and Jenny ahead. Benjamin ran 2 miles in 17:24, Jenny around 18:30. Julia ran 1.5 around 15:40.