Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oregon: Sunriver Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly's Sunriver Marathon Race Report and video.


After the major carb loading I did in Bend on Friday, the Sunriver Marathon on Sunday should have been a piece of cake right? Not so much. I was really nervous for this race. My legs were dead all summer. I tried some new things in my training to try and break the 5 hour barrier. Confession time, I pretty much have always ran my midweek shorter runs at the same pace (if not slower) as my long runs on the weekend. I should have had faster midweeks and slower long weekend runs. I decided to do Hal Higdon's Intermediate program with 5 days of running and one day of biking. I started late in the program but didn’t think it would be a problem since I ran 4 marathons in the spring and should have a good base. Wrong again, actually my legs were tired and I should have just taken it easier this summer and probably done the Novice training. I did my mid weeks faster than ever before and on an incline on the treadmill. When it came time for my back to back weekend runs, my legs were dead. My long runs were the slowest and hardest I have ever run. I started hating running. I also started having trouble with my hamstrings being very tight. I was irritable, not sleeping well, ask Dave I was pretty miserable. I was totally over training. This was supposed to be fun right? I kept saying get to the taper and you will be fine. I made it to the taper and I was not fine. Legs still dead. I stopped running back to backs for the two weeks before the marathon. I got massages to try and help loosen things up. I was hoping for the best.

Race Day

Did I mention that Sunriver's elevation is +4,000 feet? Combine that with a bad training cycle and I'm sitting in the hotel room at 6:30am TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. I finally left the room fifteen minutes later and walked the 5 minutes to the starting line. There were only about 100 in the marathon and we were starting a half hour earlier than the 350 half marathoners.

The weather was perfect. A chilly 40 degrees getting up to high 60s or low 70s . At least I had one thing that I did not have to worry about. The National Anthem was sung, I cried as usual and said a quick prayer to God to please keep me safe and I was off to attempt to finish Marathon number 15 and State 12.

The course was spectacular. We ran through the entire Sunriver Community. Which was filled with bike trails, golf courses, and lots of evergreens. Every turn brought another picturesque scene.

I started ok and things felt pretty good. I had a nice initial pace and was still at the back of the pack, but I figured that would happen and prepared to run this by myself. I think the mind games/fatigue started around mile 8. I was thinking that I was way too tired to be only at mile 8. This just kept continuing. I would get distracted and think I am fine, totally fine, and then I would say no, I feel sick, my legs are so heavy.

Back and forth with myself the entire day. I managed to pass a few people so I was making some progress. The half marathoners caught up to us around mile 8 and that was a nice distraction. I saw Dave so many times and it was awesome. He kept asking how I was doing and it kept getting worse each time. First it was “I don’t know”, then “too tired for this early” then “ my hamstring is locked up, going to have to walk more” until finally “what’s 16 X 6” I was too tired to do math in my head to make sure I was going to make the six and half hour cutoff time.

Around mile 22 one of the Marathon Maniacs I passed around Mile 8 caught up to me. I was still shuffling along at that point and he was power walking. We both decided to walk it in together and we both figured we would make it in 6 hours, which I really hoped I would. Let me tell you a little about this Maniac. His name is Larry Macon and he is the Guinness World Record holder for most marathons in a year. In 2011 he ran 113 marathons. Yes 113 marathons. The day before Sunriver he ran the Pocatello Idaho marathon. He then flew into Portland and drove to Bend getting in at 3:30 in the morning. Got a couple hours sleep and started Sunriver. After Sunriver he was flying to Colorado Springs to do their marathon the next day. Did I mention he is 67? He is one interesting guy and I thoroughly enjoyed walking those last 4 miles with Larry. He has completed all 50 states, 14 times! We both got to know each other very well and I am looking forward to running with him again.

We both ran it in and finished in 5:54. At the finish line we received our medals, a pint glass, and a long-sleeved finisher shirt. Really nice swag, especially for a charity race (breast cancerbeneficiary). Lots of snacks like bananas, orange juice, popsicles, Sun Chips, etc. The race was era well organized and the volunteers were very friendly. I'd recommend this race to anyone. It was definately not my best, but it was not my worst. I learned a lot about myself, and what my body can take. I am now running for fun again. This week I got my first runners high in months. If I ever break 5 hours it will be great, but if I don’t I am sure going to have fun trying.

Here's the race video followed by Dave's comments and some more photos:

Dave's Thoughts

Staying at the Sunriver Resort was a big plus. No long walk to the start or wait for the race to begin. Mile 1.5-5.5 went through a gated community so this gave me an hour go get something to eat at the hotel's cafe and casually drive to my first spectating point. The biggest plus to this race was the fact that roads were not closed. Runners used the resorts vast network of bike paths. This made getting around so easy. Sunriver's community map made it easy to follow the course. I ended up seeing Holly at the start, miles 5.5, 8.5, 10, 12, 13, 15.5, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, and the the finish. Open roads and a small race helped to accomplish all this. Other snacks included free coffee at mile 10, a pack of Sweettarts I bought the night before, and beer and pretzels from the golf course.

More Photos

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