Not my best marathon ever.

Clay, Karl, Neil and I drove down to the OC marathon together and stayed together at the host hotel. We got to the expo at around 4:30, when all the marathon merchendise was being sold half off! I got a hat for $8. We had a nice evening.

As we woke up in the morning and Clay returned from driving his car to the finish area, Clay commented that it seemed like a warm morning. When I went out I did not think it was too warm, but it was pretty humid. Especially for a dessert guy like myself. Anyway, with 30 minutes to go we walked down to the start area and took our places. Clay, Karl and Neil were doing the half while I was doing the full. Clay, however, decided to run his half at my marathon pace and run with me until we split after mile 12. Neil headed up to the front to go race his best. Karl, found Dave Hoglund and got ready to go run a while with him.

Just before the start of the race, the 3:20 pacer guy wandered up with his sign and set up shop right next to me! Perfect – my plan was to simply go out with his group and see what happened. As the race started, with half marathoners and full marathoners together, there was quite a bit of congestion. The first couple of miles, while downhill, were mostly spent manuevering around slower runners. Clay and I ended up ahead of the 3:20 pacing pack when it finally spread out enough to manuever.

The first few miles, well the first half marathon had lots of turns and curves. I was trying my best to run the tangents but there were usually other runners in my way. My Garmin quickly ended up about 1/4 mile ahead of the mile markers. Another problem that quickly devoloped was pain in my left arch that felt like a blister devolping. I felt it almost right away and told Clay about it in the 4th mile. The right foot also started to feel like it was getting a blister, but I never mentioned it.

Miles 1 – 12
1) 7:43, 2) 7:37, 3) 7:25, 4) 7:38, 5) 6:29, 6)7:42, 7) 7:37, 8) 7:35 9) 7:30, 10) 7:42 (Had a steep 100m hill), 11) 7:32, 12) 7:51 (had an even bigger hill)

On the hills I tried to be conservative and then ease back up to the pace group on the following level and downhill. During the 12th mile however, I was beginning to drop off the back of the pack. Clay left me with insructions that it was too humid to PR, so take it easy out there…. I was thinking… but I am still on pace to PR, but my feet hurt and I’m heading toward the dreaded 405 freeway overpass.

Miles 13 – 17 – An unpleasant reality sets in. I may have been on pace according to the above Garmin splits, but as I said before, the actual mile markers were now 1 minute after the Garmin markers.

Mile 13) 7:33, Half Split – from official results) 1:41:00, 14) 7:58 – The 405 overpass hill, 15) 7:32 down the other side. 16) 7:52,  17) 7:48.

Miles 18 – 26: The death march

18) 8:24, 19) 8:38, 20) 9:01
Into a bit of a breeze and a little uphill. Now I am really slowing down. I look down at my left foot and notice that the inside of the shoe is turning red. It must be a really bad blister. I see a medical station when we turn onto the Santa Ana River trail bike path and consider stopping. But I have never DNF’d and so I decide today won’t be that day. Besides, I can do 9’s and still have my 2nd fastest marathon ever.
21) 9:18, 22) 9:43 walked a bit, 23) 9:07
These three are perfectly flat but they were heading into the breeze coming off of the ocean. I no longer felt hot and there was enough breeze that the sweat was no longer dripping from my hat.
24) 9:23, 25) 9:55 walked a bit longer on an uphill, 26) 9:18

As I entered the fairgrounds, my resolve became stronger and I tried to accelerate but as I did my calves threatened to seize with cramps. Instead I just held on and finished.

Final time 3:38:25
Pace 8:20, 125th place out of 1325, 13th out of 110 in my division,

These splits, I am sure, do not add up to my total of 3:38:25. They are from the Garmin. The Garmin finished long before I did. It had me with a total time of 3:36:10.

Why’d the wheels fall off? Well there were the blisters… Here is a picture of the good one:

And here is the bad one after several of hours of rest at home….


How’d my friends do?

Neil had an awesome half marathon: 1:19:05 – 14th place out of 4554 and 4th in his age division!!! Go Neil!

Clay and Karl who were not full out racing ran in 1:40:44 and 1:27:22 respectively.  Dave ran a 1:36:04.

Other friends – HDR runners – I know who raced today include Chuck Fieland who ran a 3:17:27 marathon (WOW!!!) and Lara Buchanan who ran a 1:46:38 half (great job Lara).

5 thoughts on “Not my best marathon ever.

  1. Dale,
    Those pictures, although ugly, don’t quite do those blisters justice. Wow, those were some gnarly ones man. I don’t know if I would have finished or not. You are a gutsy runner. It was a fun 24 hour trip, besides your poor feet. Good luck with the recovery.

  2. hey dad, like i said nothing angst you but those are some ugly feet, mainly cuz of the blisters. and the fact that feet are nasty anyway. but slippers huh…that must be a first. what did your students say? but good job on this still being a better race! i still wish i could run. but we all know i cant. so there is no reason to try. but good job again. and next time if you feel them getting that bad do something about it? and what caused it, a change of corse, the humidity, or were they newer shoes?

    well what ever it was you ran through it…insane!

  3. Geez, guy. You managed a 3:38 with THOSE feet? I have to agree with Karl…you’re one gutsy runner indeed! I can’t believe you even finished.

    I rubbed a dime-sized blister on my left toe during Boston two weeks ago and I remember how painful that was the last few miles. But that was nothing (!) compared to your feat (ok, very bad pun there, sorry!).

    The main thing we need to figure out before next time is prevention, you know? What do you think caused the rubbing or heat build-up inside your socks? Have you tried either BlisterShield or SportsShield? One’s a glide on, the other a powder, and both offer unbelievable anti-blister/anti-chafing protection.

    Anyway, I gotta take my hat off to you, pal. There’s no way I could have finished that race with feet like those, much less managed a 3:38. Unreal. Congratulations are in order.

    You da’ man…

  4. Dale,

    If the High Desert Runner’s give out an award for the toughest runner of the year, you are going to win hands down. I have never seen blisters that bad! Finishing the marathon (in 3:38 no less!) with those blisters really shows what an extremely high pain threshold you have. Way to go Dale!

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