Well this adventure all started only a few short months ago, where I decided to train for the 2012 Hamilton Marathon in only 2 months. That may not be that difficult for some, but after not running or training or doing a race for over a year that was the true challenge. But I have never been known to back down from any kind of training or race, as I have completed a full Ironman with less then one year of triathlong training and never doing a triathlon before and also doing many extreme in home workouts such as P90X, Insanity, Insanity Asylum, P90X+ and more recently GSP RushFit and Tapout XT. But I have completed many marathons sub-3 hours and Boston twice as well.
Anyways it all started in Sept. when my friend Chris who just completed Ironman Mount Tremblant asked if I wanted to do Hamilton in 2 months. So he kicked my butt in gear and my first run off the couch was a 12 mile run, which needless to say was not the smartest thing to do, but like I said I will never say no to a challenge. After that run I really had to tone back the mileage and continue on a strict condensed training schedule with no off weeks. Most of my weekly runs were speed work with my 2 huskies running 4 miles with them, and on the off days biking at least 30 mins some days hard some days easy, then doing a long run on the weekend with one day off to rest. This worked well with my work and family schedule as well and the training seemed to fly by. Throughout my training I used GU gel packs, mostly the ones with caffeine and I also started adding Gener8 Vitargo S2 (fastest release carb on the market) to my water with some Amino Vital and one Zim. Yes I like to have my water bottle loaded up for the long runs and my body thanks me for it as well. I noticed an immediate increase in energy in my long runs with the Gener8 and I would never do an endurance event without it now.
Now to the race week, all went well with the short 2 month training and new race nutrition plan as well. I had my usual race week massage and was all ready for the race. Now race day was here and I was feeling good, I arrived early to the race site with my friend Chris and my dad who were both doing the race as well. But only to find out that the start of the race was delayed by 12 mins due to busing issues. Once the race got started I began to warm up, as it was about 3 or 4 degrees with a windchill at the start of the race, but I decided for dress a bit lighter anyways. The first half of the race we went out not too hard and were holding a 7 – 7:15 min mile pace. Then we hit the long straight incline with a head wind on the top loop of the course which really slowed the pace to a consistent 7:20 min mile. Now to the long downhill section about the half way mark of the race. This section I was looking forward to holding a nice consistent sub-7 min mile pace. But to my surprise it was tougher then I thought to hold that pace and it was a struggle to keep a consistent pace. Now that the hill was done and onto what I thought would be a pretty much flat route to the finish. But to my surprise before the flat section was a dirt trail with a very short and steep down then up hill which is about 50 meters apart, so that was a real zap to the legs and didn’t feel very nice. Once onto the flat out and back with a loop, the first loop went ok but the 2nd loop was getting tougher on the quads and they really started to tighten up. With out 8 miles to go it became really difficult to remain focused on keeping my pace up as my quads hurt so much, every step just hurt, and my stomach wasn’t feeling very good either. But I just couldn’t stop, as I didn’t know if I would be able to get running again. My pace eventually slowed to a 8min mile pace for the last few miles. But on the last turn to the finishing shoot I was able to sprint to the finish with a time of 3 hours and 12 mins (127th overall, out of over 1000). I was very please with my result considering how I felt near the end of the race.
The post race athlete food was not very impressive, only some white buns, sugar cookies, bananas and some awful subway soup which was really just warm water with some onions in it. I am glad I had a Cliff bar and protein shake in my bag. But I really couldn’t stomach much, and later I found out from others on the run that this might have had to do with the fact that we training exclusively with GU gel, but they were giving us Eload in the water on the run. This combo seems to be what caused my stomach issues as well as others, so I will know to avoid eload in any future races with taking GU.
All in all it was a success, tough marathon, but with only training 2 months and still getting a really good marathon time, I am happy.