This was by far my best St. George marathon experience to date. Not because it was my fastest time, but because I was able to actually run the race without crashing and burning as I have done all 8 times previous. My only stops during this race were to drink at aid stations and a 1-2 minute pit stop in a temple of doom. I never hit the wall. I never stopped to walk because of fatigue. I picked up the pace in the last six miles and I actaully ran a negative split for the first time ever in my 8 attempts at this race. I got to the end and felt like I could have run the race a little bit harder than I did, but my training leading up to this race wasn't such that I had confidence that I could have run any faster, so I didn't. My top goal was to come in under 4 hours for the first time in 3 years. I even printed up a 3:50 pace band to try and make sure I made it in under 4 hours giving myself a 10 minute cushion to aid in my usual crash and walk along Diagonal Street.
The only things I did different this year that I can attribute the non-crash to are: I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich at the house before heading to the busses, I took about 6 salt capsules during the race, I ate a small clif bar at around mile 20 and I ate about 6-8 sugar wafers during the race.
I did have a pretty good 16-18 week training block leading up to the race with three 20 milers mixed in there. I also incorporated 10-12 mile mid week runs mixed in with my usual 6 milers and averaged about 40 miles a week on 5 days/week training and absolutely no speedwork whatsoever. Average pace for the year according to Garmin has been around 8:45/mile...so slow.
I was nursing a couple of injuries leading in to the race with what feels like a high calf strain on my left calf and an achilles issue on my right heal with swelling and pain that goes away after about the first mile and really becomes a none issue after that....not sure what that is.
Anyway, to end this babbling I am absolutely happy with my effort and I look forward to hopefully improving upon this effort and lessons learned in future marathons. Not sure I will continue blogging beyond this entry, but who knows. I'm totally sore in my quads and struggle to go down stairs at all. I guess that's what happens when all you do is train mostly on the flats.