Things I learned from Sunday's race:
1) Don't rely too much on technology.
For those of you doing the math at home, you may have wondered how I could have thought I was on pace to do a 3:30 even though I was pacing the group at 8:40 throughout the race. The answer: something weird happened with my Garmin and when I checked my watch at mile 19 it did say 2:20. Sadly, this number was incorrect (obviously) but I don't why. I have the Garmin set to stop the timer when my speed drops below a certain pace and I'll have to remember to change that for next time but that still doesn't explain it. I wasn't stopped or walking for 30+ minutes. Anyways, I should have been able to look at the watch and KNOW that it was wrong, but I didn't. I looked and took it for granted.
Same goes with the iPod. I was counting on it to give me a boost for the last part of the race and it worked. Sorta. It worked too well when I didn't really need it and not at all when I did. No sense in making up a pile of time over miles 21 and 22 just to give it all back over the next three. Have to work on my mental toughness. At 20+ miles I still need to be able to do the math and motivate myself.
2) Overall, I am good at finding a pace and keeping it.
Below are my race splits. First 10K, First half, second half, 20 mile mark, finish.
56:17 1:56:44 1:56:35 2:57:17 3:53:19
Looking at the numbers, it's actually a little freakish. 10 second negative split over a marathon? Sure, just like I planned it! The first 10K and the last ~10k are within 20 seconds. Until the last 3 miles I didn't really feel like I was pushing hard. I wonder what effect a faster pace throughout would have had on my finish.
3) I have a problem with cramping that I need to address.
So far, I have had problems with hamstring cramping in every race I've entered over 2 hours. I thought it was because I have seriously short, tight hamstrings but this year I worked on my flexibility and it's still an issue. Which may be related to my next point...
4) I need to focus on hydration and nutrition in the last part of the race.
Which may help to address the cramping issue. I went through 150 calories of Gu2O dissolved in 24oz of water in the first 10 miles of the race and didn't quite finish the same amount over the next 16. When I finished, there was A LOT of salt dried on my face and I can't remember if I was still sweating. Either way, at some point I slowed my fluid intake and that can't be good.
5) Marathons are fun!
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