I did the Park City Marathon on August 21, 2010 as a long training run. Overall, I was relatively pleased with my endurance, not very happy about my speed. At the end of the day, I decided it was time to start pushing speed in my workouts.
I saw Luz in the Fieldhouse this morning and then met Smooth and Teena. Teena was nice enough to KT Tape my left knee for precautionary measures. It has been a little twingy on runs, but nothing I was worried about. I had a wrap for my ankle in case I need it because it has been a bit sore at times lately, but I keep finding that it never hurts when I run, so ended up not needing to wrap it.
The contact was removed from my eye the day before and I debated putting another emergency contact in that morning. (My Recurrent Corneal Erosions flared up again a week or so earlier). I am starting to dreading sleep because that is usually when I feel the skin on the cornea tear. The eye bothered me all day – probably should have put the lens in – but I used medicated eye drops instead.
Anyway – back to the race. Park City is so low key compared to other races. They had the anthem right before 6:30 and then we headed out. I kind of wish they would start the race at 6 to try and beat the heat up there more. I knew I wouldn’t have any speed because I haven’t done any speed work or altitude work this year. I had said hello to Mike DeWaal and his wife before the race – he is my mailman from work. This was his first marathon post heart attack and they were aiming for 5 hours as a long run too.
Shortly after starting out I saw one marathon runner just quit the course and then about 1-2 miles out saw a couple of half marathoners realize they were on the wrong course. Talked with Ken, one of the bike paramedics and we would joke with each other throughout the race. I actually geared myself to be in last at the beginning and was comfortable not pushing myself. I knew I would start passing people after a while.
Around mile 4 I passed my first runner. She was talking about the hills and I mentioned there were about 17 miles of uphills on the course. She then said, “Good thing I am only doing the half.” I mentioned she was on the wrong course and she said that she had a brother and other friends also running the half that were up ahead. After the race I mentioned this to the RD, Jolie, and suggested she post a sign around the corner by the Fieldhouse to let half marathoners know they were on the wrong course. Never saw that runner again. Hope she got a ride back.
At mile 6 I passed two runners. Easily pulled ahead of them and then didn’t pass anyone again until mile 12. I was just enjoying listening to an audio book and really didn’t pay attention to the mile markers, but noticed they were usually 1/10 of a mile early compared to my GPS.
Starting at mile 14, I was able to pass 2-4 or more runners each mile and only one ever passed me back for good and that was at a pit stop. Took advantage of any water hoses that people were using to mist people and had my lower body cooled down.
The course was a little different coming back through Park City. I think they had events with the Tour de Utah and had to keep us out of the downtown area. After Empire Avenue, I found they did a better job of marking the course in the neighborhoods and didn’t get off course like a bunch of us did last year.
One bossy little girl was really cute and giving out ice water at her house. I gratefully took it and then put all the ice in my cap. It felt good to have that melt over the next few miles.
One disadvantage of running near the back – all the food was gone when I ran by the big barn. PC uses Hammer Gels, so had to carry all my own gels since those made me sick. (I found out later that no one got the deluxe spread they usually have at the barn this year).
Overall – it was a good race. I like the new disposable chip system and thought the race was well run. I did like the food at the end – they gave you a disposable bowl with 3 banana chunks, two types of bread and some pretzels. Now if only the chocolate milk was not all gone (one of the disadvantages of being near the back of the pack).
I had plans to run more later that day, but the altitude and hills took a toll on me. Just did an ice bath and lounged around wearing compression shorts and socks.