Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon is in the books:


Here is the quick and dirty race report.

The race started off just about 7:40, it was a bit cold, I’m guessing but I would say about 40 degrees or so. I wore a long-sleeved tech over a short-sleeved shirt encase it got warm I could ditch the LS
I ate a Clif bar, banana and 20 oz of Gatorade this would give me about 450 calories and a good place to start.

On the run: The Chickamauga Battlefield in northern Georgia is known because it’s the site of the second bloodiest battle ever fought on US, it was fought September 19-20, 1863 and involved more than 150,000 soldiers. I did not really get a chance to see it in detail, but during the run, we ran past many cannons and countless monuments. So the route took us into the park, did two loops inside the park, and then back to the start. The hills by themselves weren’t too bad, but combined with the distance they provided some real challenges. I can only think of one or two places that I thought where steep. My training runs where on bigger and longer hills, so the hills in the park were fine. I made my first loop with out any issues, the sun was out and it was just warm enough, the leave where just about 50-60 of peak colore and a few where falling, it was quite picturesque. The mood on the pack I that I ran with was great, everyone was laughing and having a great time. By my second loop I was just about by myself, I had a few in front and a few in back. This is the way I like it, I am a bit of a loner on tough runs. Don’t get me wrong, I love running with people, but I really needed to focus on my form and make my miles. At about mile 16 I started getting heart palpitations; yep I inherited them from my Mothers side of the family. Doctors have told me that it is ok, it’s just a bit of a misfire and that I would be ok. When it happened I kind of shock me, and it freaks me out. Now the palpitations by themselves aren’t too bad, but along with them I was getting heart rate spikes. I would get a palpitation then my HR would rocket up to 210 and once 230. This is a problem because isn’t the max HR 220? needless to say I was worried. On my training runs I experienced it once or twice on my longer runs. The times that I have had this thing it been at mile 15 or better. I am thinking it might be from dehydration and fatigue. I was really working my nutrition, water stops were approx 2 miles apart, and it each stop it was drinking two cups of water and I and every other stop I shot a GU gel. Anyway I am going to make an appointment with my doctor Monday. Ok back to mile 16, when I got my palpitations and soaring HR I would stop and walk and within 10 seconds my HR would start to drop. So for mile from mile 16ish to the end, I had to run walk it. At times I could run minutes and others maybe 1 minute and then I would have to walk. Towards the end, miles 20-26, I had to walk more and run less and it took longer for my HR to fall back to normal, and it was killing me. The real painful part was that I had the energy to run, I was feeling pretty good and I wanted to run, but it felt like I was going to die so I walked. All summer, well for 18 weeks I ran and rested and got some legs, and it was bummer that I could not run it all with my normal walk breaks. So the extra walking added about 30 and maybe 40 minutes to my total time, but believe me when I tell you, I had the time of my life today, well just below my kids being born and my wedding. It was awesome, I learned a lot about myself on my training runs and marathon.

I was shooting for a time around 5:15, this was the time I really thought I could make it.
With the extra time spend walking I completed my run in somewhere around 5:55ish.
Anything over six hours would have gotten me a DNF so I was running/walking as fast as I could. At the end of the race you ran up and took a left onto the street in front of the church and the race organizers had a person on the corner so the could read your bib number and radio it up the finish line. When I could see the spotter I hollered up to him “Can I make 6!” he laughed at me and said “You got it”, so I poured it on and just make the DNF cut-off with a few minutes to spare. The race organizers do a cool thing, if this is your first marathon and when you cross the finish they give you a duplicate of your race number framed, really cool. When I crossed I got mine and I saw in the box there were about 10 frames still in the box, so I am thinking 10 or so first timers didn’t show or the DNF’ed. I think everyone after me DNF’ed, too bad, they really should go a little longer with the time. I think I saw part results with times over the six hour mark.

My goal was to complete a marathon, and I did!

So when’s the next race…..

I’ll post a few pic when I have some time.


D.C. said...

Congratulations! It was cold this morning wasnt it? Spent too much time debating... do I run with running pants and take off.. do I run with a sweatshirt. In the end I shed them both and opted for shorts and short sleeve. By 1.5 I was comfortable. Still hurting.. cant climb the hotel stairs and the wife has a new found elevator phobia. Lucky me. Well good look in Ironman in Fla. Wish I was going but the swimming thing has me scared. YEA.. FIRST MARATHON!!!

Doc26.2 said...

Congrats guys! I did the 10-miler and had a great time... my first "long" race since college. 'Twas chilly - I wore a long sleeve dry shirt plus a cotton on top. Planning on the the "big one" next year.

Wes said...

Sorry to hear about your heart problems! That really sux dude. But you did it! You made it through, crossed the line, and finished your first marathon. That is an awesome feeling, I hope! Good luck! and get that heart checked out! Want you in top form for Florida 70.3 :-)

Rebecca said...

Congrats on your first marathon! Great job!

Anonymous said...

fyi fwiw, ibuprofen can cause palpitations. so can electrolyte imbalances.