Week 25 MarathonPre-race:
Saturday I ate a lot to have the final carb loading.
1. I woke up at 4:30am and felt hungry, so I had two pieces of whole grain toasts with peanut butter and orange juice.
2. Then got up at 10:00am, had the same.
3. Lunch 2:00pm I had a big bowl of rice with some stir fried beef & vegetable. I was stuffed.
4. Dinner I had pasta with chicken and two pieces of garlic bread.
5. At 9:00pm I ran 2.5 miles on treadmill slowly, then had another two pieces of toast like my breakfast and some strawberry.
Also I drank a lot water.
Saturday night, I didn't really sleep well. I kept dreaming that I was very late and couldn't race.
1. I woke up at 4:30am and had the same breakfast as Saturday.
2. I got up at 6:00am and had one piece and a half toast (couldn't finish two)
That was enough carb I thought.
I got to the race venue at 7:50am. The race started at 8:00. Luckily only a small group of people (about 350) ran FM. I needed to pee. I found a line of port-a-potty and looked for a vacancy. I was in a rush, I didn't see the queue. A lady said: excuse me, here is the queue. Oh my! about 50 people waiting there. No way I could make it. I had to hold it.
Then I discovered one pin was missing. Luckily I got one from somebody.
We had a moment of silence for the victims in the Boston bomb. Then here we go.
There was only 3 pacer: 3:30, 3:45 and 4:00. So I had to run ahead of the 3:30. About 2km, I asked a guy beside me about his goal time. He said under 3:10. I said: great, I will follow you. I followed him for about 3km. He was so fast. I couldn't keep up with him. I checked my watch, I am a minute ahead of my target. I decided not to follow him. About 1km later I asked a guy behind me. He said he was targeting for 3:05. That was great. I could follow him.
Now I really need port-a-potty. Finally at 8km I saw a couple and got a chance to release myself. When I came out the guy was about 200 meters away. I had to just keep my comfortable pace.
10km, I checked my watch, I was about 1:30 ahead of my target. I felt I need some GU. A volunteer said the water station was just ahead. So I opened one GU and sucked it in. After about 1 minute, I could feel the energy. The water stations are about 3-4km apart, so I alternated Gatorade and GU & water. I could feel energy from Gatorade quicker than GU. The Gastorade and GU are a huge help. They certainly kept boosting me to keep my pace.
At 13km, I caught up the 3:05 guy. I followed him until 15.5km. Then there came a big hill. Up the hill, he slowed down quite a bit. I felt relatively strong after the Gatorade just before that, so I ran ahead of him. Since then I didn't see him again.
I felt strong all the way up to the half. When reaching the half, my time was 1:33. I was 2 minutes ahead of schedule. From 13km to 23km, I was running alone. Then I felt my pace dropped a little bit. A guy passed me. It was great. I had someone to follow and kept my pace. I followed him until 33km. It was a bit difficult but I remembered Pfitz's book saying from the half to 20 miles, you have to concentrate in order to keep your pace. So I used that tip. About 33km, he seemed to drop his pace a little bit, so I passed him. I no longer saw him again.
The second half until this point, it wasn't as easy as the first half, but I still felt strong enough. I was 3 minutes ahead of my target. After that, It just seemed full of hills. I was rather tired. I could feel my calves' soreness every step ahead. There was no one to follow, my pace was dropping especially the hills. I gathered all energy I could get, communities' guys and friends, etc. I kept talking to myself: I am powerful; I am strong; etc. I also remembered the Pfitz's book saying: after 20 miles, you need to dig deep. So I needed to dig deep then.
5km to go, 4, 3... I just kept one step to the other and tried to push a little bit. I knew and could feel my pace dropping.
Oh my, the last 2km was just so long. It seemed no ending. I used all my 5 GUs at this point. The last one was 1km before. I felt I really needed more energy. 1km to go. I remember people saying at this point, you don't need water. But I just felt water might help me to finish it. So I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and had the last sip. It didn't seem to help at all. Oh great, it is a downhill. I sped up a little bit. Last 400 meters now. Oh my, another uphill. It was a gentle one, but it didn't really help. Luckily the crowd was loud and I checked my watch. I think I could make it. I gathered all my energy I could find and tried to speed up a little bit. Coming the 100 meters, I sprinted. Reaching the finish line, I smiled and lifted my two hands. I saw the time 3:09:... I did it!
The split was: 1:33, 1:36.
Finally, I want to thank all those who have given me tips and suggestions, even I didn't take all. :-) Certainly let me think and adjusted my training. THANK YOU!