Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

After taking a year off from running (blaming my sore foot but mostly just lack of drive and motivation), I started the year 2010 off with the goal of running a full marathon in the spring. Since I know that the Famous Idaho Potato marathon was pretty flat and would make a good first marathon, I picked it. I spent the first 1/3 of the year training and managed to put in almost 400 miles in training for it (including two 20 milers). Sadly, on my last 20 milers, I managed to pull a thigh muscle so I spent the three weeks before the marathon not running much, trying to nurse it back to health. But life couldn’t stop there, my work decided to get very stressful (added with the stress of running my first marathon). By the time the Marathon started, I was not sleeping well and was worried to death that I would not be able to finish the race.
The race started at the Luck Peak Reservoir, just like last year.
This year, my wife decided to do the half marathon. I figured my time would be around 4:30 and since she was walking, we would finish about the same time.
(Wow, I take dorky pictures). There was pretty good turnout for marathon and half marathon. They start both at the same time and this is one thing I would like to see them change. The path starts off on a two lane road but quickly narrows to a bike path. It can get pretty cramped when that happens.
Photo0116 I was really nervous for the race as when we started, I forgot to say by to my wife. I started off pretty good, running my pace. At the half way point I felt great and was going strong. My leg was doing well and my feet didn’t hurt any more than expected after pounding on them for over 2 hours. My only complaint would be that the race is on the Boise Green belt. It is a public path way that they do NOT close for the race. As such, you end up not only looking out for other runners, you have to watch out for people out for a stroll, dogs, bikes, skateboard, etc. A few people even seemed rather annoyed with all these runners. The few people cheering for the marathoners were great. One family had even setup a Margareta station for runners.
For this Marathon, I was rather mixed about the whole music/no music issue. I had done some training without music and decided to try the marathon without it. I have to say the results were mixed. I learn that you can orders some cute tutus from a catalog called “Firefly” (there were three women running in tutus). There were a few other nice conversions with runner. Sadly though, I also got to (over) hear about how a new medication was causing this woman’s period to be more than normal. That was just WAY too much information. I slowed way down and let them pass me.
Once I passed the half way point, the number of people on the trail (both runners and general public) dropped dramatically. It was around mile 18 that things started to go down hill for me. First, my bowel decided that it has more business to attend to. (I thought we had taken care of all that business before the race.) Fortunately there was a port-a-potty at mile 18 so I made a pit stop. After that, the wall hit. I managed to push through ok until I stubbed my toe and pulled my thigh muscle again. Given all the stress I had been under, I just lost all drive to run at that point. I ended up doing a lot of walking after that.
After the turn-around point, I came across a couple of girls, one of which was feeling dizzy and running out of energy. She managed to get to the next water station and had a half a power bar. After that, she felt better and they took off again. Finally at mile 24, I came upon a girl who was going about my pace (run a little, walk a lot). We chatted a bit and we ended up finishing the marathon together (although she out sprinted me to the finish line.
My wife was a little worried about me as I took much longer than expect (and my time at 18 miles was on schedule). My final time was 5 hours 35 minutes and I was not the last marathoner to finish. It was not the race I wanted to run and I learned that I need to 1) learn to better manage stress and 2) work on my core more. But in the end I refused to be down about it.  I reminded of the wise words of my father who told me once when I was younger “Do you know what they call someone that graduates last in their class at medical school? Doctor!” I might not have run as fast as I wanted to but I finished and that makes me a Marathoner, a member of the 26.2 club.
(Sorry I don’t have any pics of me running the race but they wanted $20 a digital copy of each photo. What a total rip-off.)

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