Finally I was able to get that marathon PR that has evaded me for quite a few years. But I certainly didn't do it the easy way. With all the Payson Canyon running we've been doing I decided to ignore the Garmin and just run by feel. I guess I felt like running really fast (for me) on the downhill and trashing my legs, then being mostly in agony the last 8 miles and just holding on for dear life to secure the PR.
Looking at some of my splits on the downhill (you come out of the canyon around mile 17 or 18) seem WAY too fast and not so smart. My legs are pounded to shreds I really hurt BAD right now. But I figured the last 8 miles that are mostly flat or uphill and in the heat (especially since race started 30 minutes late due to some bad bus driving getting high centered 3 miles below the start!), and are going to be hard no matter what so I decided to make hay while the getting was good, which today means that I clocked in at the 1/2 way point around 1:25. Yikes! Almost a HM PR.
Mile-by-mile breakdown and gory details follow.....
1 - 6:13 very steep first mile to start the race, maybe the steepest of them all, I tried to go slower but it seemed safer and more fluid to just try and go with the flow and not fight the steepness. Pretty much followed this plan on all the downhill miles.
2 - 6:39 some flatter stuff on this mile. Feeling dandy and enjoying the scenery. I was surprised with the high elevation (over 9000 ft these first couple of miles) that the breathing didn't feel more labored. I think all those Payson Canyon runs really helped.
3 - 6:23 don't remember much about these next few miles, pretty steep and just enjoying the ride and ignoring my watch!
4 - 6:17
5 - 6:13
6 - 6:11
7 - 6:22
8 - 7:14 some flat and minor uphill during the next few miles
9 - 6:36
10 - 7:04
11 - 6:40
12 - 6:2
13 - 6:04 Yikes! I guess this mile was pretty steep)
14 - 6:44
15 - 6:13
16 - 6:47 getting near the mouth of the canyon and not quite so steep anymore
17 - 6:50 starting to get the feeling like crash-and-burn could occur shortly
18 - 7:10 out of the canyon now, still net downhill but getting warm and a lot more flat/uphill portions, starting to hate life around this point and all the other negative thoughts that come when you hit the wall. The most negative thought was that "I STILL HAVE TO RUN 8 STINKIN' MILES -UGH!!!!" - this might be the censored version of what I was thinking :)
19 - 7:18 stinky but 7:18 is still respectable at this point
20 - 7:50 really starting to die, also some uphill on this mile that I don't appreciate. Thought of 10K still to go is almost unbearable, start having thoughts of how I'll explain my quitting the race even though my time is still under 2:20 overall at this point
21 - 8:16 bleh...
22 - 8:30 more bleh... but I seem to snap out of my funk enough to where I realize I can really tank bad and still PR even with mostly walking the whole rest of the way. This actually gives me enough positive vibes that I'm able to speed up a bit towards the end of the mile.
23 - 8:02 had some downhill on this mile finally but legs are so thrashed I can't really capitalize. Also I'm starting to linger a bit long at the water stops walking while I drink.
24 - 9:17 WHO PUT THIS STINKY HILL AT MILE 24!! UGH I DON'T LIKE IT AT ALL!!
25 - 9:05 THE STINKY HILL CONTINUES FOR PART OF THIS MILE - I WANT TO KILL THE COURSE DESIGNER ABOUT NOW!!
26 - 9:06 no more hill -mostly flat but I'm pretty much done and finding all kinds of reasons to not go any faster since I know that barring passing out or cramping up (which could easily of happened at this point) I will get my PR
.27 2:16 (8:23) The longest '.2' I recall in a marathon. It didn't help that the mile 26 sign was placed too early so we had to actually run .4 miles or so to the finish from where the sign was. I didn't love it. But I DID love finally getting done and getting the PR. Now I just hope the massive pains and soreness in my legs doesn't linger for too long and that I haven't injured myself!