The Hamsterwheel Marathon: Race Report
One of the beneficial things about running a treadmill marathon is: the starting line is waiting for you to press “start”. I definitely missed my mark this morning, waking up with the sun peaking through my curtains and thinking: “SH!OOTAH!” I looked at my alarm clock and it read 8:15. Good thing it was supposed to go off at 6:45am so I could have my morning cupa brew with peanut butter and jelly toast for breakfast because I was supposed to meet Marg and Erik at 7:30. Crap. I was still able to grab a cup of coffee while flying out the door, but missed the toast.
After a good panic-mode gear-up, Baberaham and I got in the car and headed to the SDC. Belts were moving for him and I by 8:40am, and Erik and Marg were already a good 4-5 miles ahead of me. The cool thing? We all got to still run side-by-side, even though they were so far ahead. Marg’s plan wasn’t to run the full marathon, but she was gonna give’r until she felt like not givin’r anymore. Erik- he wanted to shoot for a sub 3hr marathon pace to see if he was where he wanted to be in his training. Baberaham wanted to get in a long run. My personal goal: Run 26.2miles on the ‘mill. Time? Not important. Just stay steady, and increase my pace every hour or so.
Once I got moving, I tried to collect myself from the late-start anxiety by listening to an hour of Alexi Murdoch’s album “Time Without Consequence.” It helped me find my center and I got through the first 7.1 miles like a breeze. The treadmills all auto-stop after 60mins, giving us all a break on the hour to restart the speed.
Round 2- 5.8 miles, with some faster music on my ears.
Round 3- 7.4miles- slightly faster pace and faster music, and I caved and turned on the television (Geronimo was on AMC). Marg left after she finished around 18miles, a pretty gnarly job. Erik also stepped off the belt around 24miles, but was on pace for a 2:47marathon, and thought: what’s really the point of pushing it those last two miles in a training run?
Round 4 – last 6miles, faster pace yet (with a few miles between 7:15-7:30) and the last two miles were a slowed, cool down if-you-will. I got a little nervous that I might get booted from the Fitness Center because I was in there before it officially opened, but no one seemed to care. My headphones came off (intentionally) with two miles to go because I was over the feeling of having buds in my ears. I also started craving the bubbly, sweet nectar of beer. Baberaham promised me I could drink some, once I finished the run, and we went home. Talk about motivation! I hit 26.2miles at 3:36, total time, with a bathroom break and the stops between treadmill restarts.
How I felt: Not too shabby, actually. The first hour went by fast, and the second hour as well. It wasn’t until the last two miles that I thought: “OK, I’m ready to be done.” In the last 10K, I felt better and wanted to push the pace a little more. I wanted to be tired when I was done but not over-taxed. And I wasn’t over-taxed. Baberaham and Erik chilled out until I finished and cheered me on in the last few miles, which was nice. I feel good now, minus some muscle soreness which is expected (and really not anything more than I normally get after a long Sunday run). I think some Trigger Point this evening will get rid of all that.
Necessary items: hand towel for wiping the sweat off my face, Headsweats visor, two chilled-over-night water bottles, fully loaded and fully charged iPod, phone (for the calculator function, of course, so I could keep track of miles; the ‘mill autorestarts after 60minutes!), snacks (including Honey Stinger chews and EFS liquid shot).
Wanna do one, too? Try this:
- Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. If the treadmill-room is small, make sure you get a fan blowing air on you.
- Treat it like a race-day.
- Talk some friends into doing it, too! (helped me stay motivated, fo sho!) —>
- Get new music or a new podcast (something that will be enticing to listen to since you’ve never heard it before).
- Set up your station (make sure your nutrition is easy-access, one of the benefits of running on the treadmill. Start the run in an organized fashion and plan when you’re going to eat/drink).
Nutrition: Pre-run, I had a homemade fruit and nut bar (dates, almonds, cocoa nibs and cocoa powder) and a cup of Blue Ox Blend. In the first hour of the run, I had a pack of Honey Stinger chews and 3/4th a bottle of Kona Kola Nuun. Hour two: the rest of the Nuun and 1/4 bottle of Grape EFS, another pack of Honey Stinger chews and a few sips off my flask of EFS Liquid Shot (or what I refer to as frosting. So. good.). In the third hour, I had another half bottle of the EFS, went through half the EFS Liquid Shot flask. Last 40ish minutes, the rest of the EFS and chugged another bottle of water when I finished.
How I feel: Mood: I felt quite elated at mile 22, almost euphoric. The whole run just flew by, which is suprising since I was confined to a very finite space. Body: My legs are a little sore, and sitting for an hour means it takes a few minutes to get used to standing up. But I don’t feel like I normally do after running this distance.
Recovery nutrition: I had a glass of Nuun when I got home (because I was so frekkin’ thirsty!) and a bowl of falafel with sauerkraut. I am pretty sure I am allowed to eat whatever I want after a run like that, right? I just made myself an Ultragen shake (orange creamsicle) with peanut butter and milk. Bottoms up! (Don’t worry, the beer will be coming soon…)