Monday, May 19, 2008

Ogden Marathon Race Report

On Saturday, May 17th, I completed my second marathon, shaving over 17 minutes off my time from my first marathon. It wasn't the improvement that I'd hoped for, and I didn't get the sub-5 hour finish that I really thought I would.

This course is an amazingly beautiful place to run. It starts off in the hills above Huntsville, Utah, and you run down hill for the first 6 or so miles. I enjoyed this part immensely, and quickly settled into a groove:

1- 10:40
2- 10:44
3- 10:49
4- 10:43
5- 10:36
6- 10:29

Mile 7 flattens out a bit, and then you get into a rolling hill/slightly uphill section of the course as you head around the north end of Pineview Reservoir. Miles 9-13 are basically uphill which, although gradual, aren't really easy. I missed the Powerade at mile 9 because of a group of run/walkers that I had been leapfrogging with. They got in front of me at exactly the wrong time and I couldn't get to the Powerade tables without going backwards. Good thing I had brought 8 oz of my own Gatorade in my Amphipod. The splits through this part of the course show exactly where the hills start:

7- 10:30
8- 10:35
9- 10:38

Just after the 14 mile marker you head up the steepest hill on the course, which I mistakenly allowed myself to walk to the top of. I had built up a .33 mile lead on my 4:50 goal pace, so I figured I could afford to give a little bit back. I quickly realized what a mistake this was, because once I allow myself a walk break, it gets really hard not to keep taking walk breaks:


I started walking through aid stations... then I started walking where there weren't any aid stations. Then I stopped running altogether for a little while...


I don't have the split for the last .2, but it was pretty quick. I had an awesome sprint to the finish for the last block, screaming the primal scream the whole way in. My wife was there at the finish line this time, which made a huge difference.

Lessons learned in this one:
1) I may have put in enough mileage during training runs, but there are no stoplights in the marathon to catch your breath. Note to self: find routes with fewer stoplights.

2) Downhill running after 20 miles isn't really that easy. You've still run 20 miles, and any further steps - uphill, downhill, or otherwise, are still going to be hard.


Next marathon will probably be Top Of Utah in Logan in September. The Slam filled all of their St George spots before I got registered, so I'm basically not going to be able to get in to SGM at all. That's okay. I will run it again, probably next year, because I have some demons to exorcise on that course still.

Keep running. Keep training.


Ingrid said...

You rock, my bro! Here's my fave quote from the back of another runner's shirt: "If it were easy, everyone would do it." You did great, you are a smart runner, and you learn more and do better each time. And you KEEP GOING, which is half the battle. You're awesome and I am proud of you!

Tall Girl Running said...

Tough race. Tough course. Tough day. You rocked it anyway. Congratulations!

Julia said...

way to go zach!! ANY marathon ANY 26.2 miles is an amazing accomplishment. :)

MissAllycat said...

You ran a MARATHON. That's no easy feat! I still think you rock. :)

Good advice - to find routes with fewer stops. I will definitely take that into consideration for the rest of my long runs.

Doug_T said...

Great run, Zach and don't sweat the widening splits. Maybe you're blocking it from your memory, but it was H-O-T out there Saturday!! The flyweights at the front of the pack might not felt it, but this "middle-to-back-of-the-packer" sure did. Congrats and good luck at TOU.

anna jo said...


I need to find running routes with fewer lights too... that's what you get when you run in the city, I suppose.

you are going to rock that TOU -- no doubt about it! (and the SLAM only has a certain amount of slots for st george? I thought if you were doing the grand slam and didn't get into the lottery, you would be guaranteed a spot with them! not so?)

anyway, good job on the PR, even if it wasn't the results you really wanted. you are still a rock star in my book!

Jess said...

Awesome job! Way to rock that race!