Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pikes Peak Marathon '05

On Sunday, I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon for the 3rd time. Jonathan, Dan, and Steve also ran the race. Jotham paced Dan down from the summit.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling good and ready to run. Once the race started, I ran a bit faster than planned on the paved section to get ahead of the pack before the W’s. This worked out well since once the pack hit the W’s I never had trouble passing and not may people passed me. The remainder of the ascent was fairly straight forward. I felt decent most of the way.

Starting at about the 2 miles to go sign, some slushy snow from the previous day’s storm covered the trail. The trail got progressively wetter as the summit neared, but the snow didn’t cause any real slow downs. Towards the top, my legs felt like they could cramp, but didn’t. The last couple miles, I felt like I wanted to go faster, but mentally wasn’t able to push any harder.

After reaching the summit it’s always a nice change to turn around and head down. After a mile or two a couple other runners caught up and we ran together for awhile down through the crowds of runners still heading toward the summit. At tree line one runner from the pack went on ahead and a couple of others had dropped off. I was trying to control a side stitch and couldn’t keep up anymore. I walked through the A-frame aid station drinking as much as possible which left me by myself for the remainder of the descent.

On the descent, I felt better than years past although I was fighting a side stitch most of the way down. I’d get into a rhythm for a half mile or two and then the pain would come back. My leg muscles were starting to complain too. Finally, just after the 2 miles to go mark, my calf muscle cramped and I had to stop and stretch. At that point 3 or 4 runners passed me as I hobbled towards the finish line. It’s always a welcoming site to see the spectators on Ruxton, but that section of road always seems long. Finally the last corner and the finish line came into view and the race was over.

I sat in the medical tent for a bit, and when I got up to leave, quickly realized I couldn’t stand up so I sat back down and had some more Gatorade to drink. After a few more minutes I was able to collect myself and wandered out to watch the other runners finish the race.

Things Done Right:
I decided to not carry any water with me and only depend on aid stations. This strategy worked well. I carried 7 gel packets and ate 5 of them. A season of training at altitude paid off again. After the A-Frame, I don’t remember anyone passing me until the 2 to go mile marker on the descent.

Things Done Wrong:
I decided to carry gloves in my pockets, but even though the weather was cool and cloudy at the top, I ended up not needing them. I gave them to Carol who was waiting for Dan at the top.

Looking at my heart rate splits, I may have started out too fast. This might have contributed to the leg cramping and side stitches I experienced towards the end of the race.

I may have not rested enough earlier in the year. Even after tapering, I didn’t quite have the mental edge to push hard through the tough parts of the race.

Race Goals:
My goal for this race was to beat my time of 5:12 from last year and if possible to break the 5 hour mark. I succeeded in running a PR for this race (5:07), but will have to wait until next time to break 5 hours.


13:02 0:13:02 168 178
17:36 0:30:39 185 188
14:04 0:44:44 188 188
9:53 0:54:37 186 179
15:33 1:10:11 182 169
9:53 1:20:04 178 178
11:23 1:31:27 181 183
13:04 1:44:32 180 180
13:57 1:58:29 178 172
18:28 2:16:58 176 175
17:41 2:34:39 173 174
16:32 2:51:12 173 169
23:38 3:14:50 170 172
11:42 3:26:32 165 167
8:47 3:35:18 164 161
8:22 3:43:42 168 168
10:02 3:53:44 166 166
6:41 4:00:26 168 168
7:07 4:07:33 170 165
6:46 4:14:20 170 177
7:41 4:22:01 173 171
10:47 4:32:48 166 165
6:19 4:39:08 165 165
8:28 4:47:36 166 163
12:14 5:59:50 163 166
7:28 5:07:17 171 182

5:07:17 174 192max