February 28 was the final voyage of the Gasparilla Marathon. They site not enough entrants into the marathon as the reason. They needed at least 4000 to continue. It is hard to believe that a marathon as well run as Gasparilla could not make it. A fast, flat Boston Qualifier in a nice winter climate city with an international airport could not attract the numbers.
Nevertheless, the day was perfect with respect to temperature and sunshine. I saw a few complaints about the finishing headwind but really it was nothing compared to weather we have been having this winter. Team Joule was ready to go more or less. Addie was elected to go first with a seven mile leg. We gave her three weeks warning after basketball season finished. We didn't tell her it would be in the dark as the marathon starts at 6am. (she is afraid of the dark)
As for the rest of the Joules the plan was for us to run together the last 19 miles as a training run passing the torch as we crossed the check points. Meanwhile, Rom developed an Achilles problem pretty much like I had last year and an upper respiratory tract infection the week before. He finally decided to settle for running the last 12 and was definite about running the park 8 loop to get revenge for last years wrong turn. The day before it was decided we would do this as a training run. Not for time or speed. Yeah right. Carol always blames me for dragging her but it is not true. She is dragged by shear determination and grit that never slows.
Race morning we sent Joule 1-Addie off in the dark. Mistake number one- we went to Starbucks the hour before we ran. Coffee and a granola bar. Off we go to meet Addie. She finished strong and smiling. It was her first experience in the crowds of a marathon start as a competitor and she loved the excitement. Carol and I took off happy to get warmed up in the low 40s F temperatures. We took off-fast. Our usually long run pace is 11 to 11:15 min miles for our training runs. My last marathon pace was 10:36. We were running 9:30 to 10 min miles. Carol was leading. We slowed to 10:15 to 10:30 but in the end averaged about 10:30. This was not so good in the end for Carol who started having some GI issues about mile 8 which got worse about mile 12. We met Rom anxiously waiting at mile 14 ready to go. We kept that pace until about mile 12 which called for a bathroom break for the both of us. Rom went ahead afraid that his Achilles would lock up. My stomach was rumbling and I was afraid to take much in the way of gel for fear I would stir things up. I was carrying a flask of heed that was mixed a little strong which did not help. I decided to stick with the water. I did take some amino acid tablets and endurlytes. They eventually kicked in and I was able to pick up the pace at a mile 13 to 14 and took the band from Rom four the last 4 miles. Addie met me to run the last .25mile and we crossed at 4:45. Carol and Rom were about 10minutes back and finished strong.
The post race party was one of the best with food from Columbias and Mich Ultra. We sat in the sun and planned our next run. A great day to be a Joule.
I think that was my last coffee before a marathon. Also, I am going back to the strict rule of eating 2 hours or more before the start. I think the Heed is ok. The endurlytes and amino acids definitely. Not sure about the gels Still a work in progress.
We have the Sarasota half marathon in two weeks as our next run. I plan to race that run if all is well. We hope to get 2 more twenty milers in if possible before Boston. I wore Glycerin 7s for this run. I think I will were the Launches for the half and possibly for Boston.