This past weekend I raced in the Cal International Marathon in Sacramento. Despite zipping through the 13.1 mile mark at 1:18:29, I found it would have been much better to run closer to a 1:22 in the long run. My pace after mile 20 drastically slowed. Additionally, I really needed to take in more than 4 gels and micro-sips of water during the race. Clearly I was in a state of imbalance nutritionally and became quite "bonkish" around 21 miles. The difference would have meant a 3rd place in my AG vs whatever place I actually ended in. The winner of the 60-64 AG was only 1 second behind--amazing! At age 62 this older fart was a lightening bolt.
In hindsight, after spending Sept. 24-Nov. 2 with an injury that kept me from running, followed by 2 weeks of the flu, my total of 20 runs from Sept. 24th through Dec. 4th left me quite "out of shape and it is difficult to do a marathon on such little training. At least I can say I ran 2:49 (with a #2 pitstop at mile 14), on less than three months of training. Whatever the case, I feel pacing the first half considerably slower would have allowed me to comfortably finish under 2:45 without any issues. Remember that next time you run a marathon, race the first half as if it were more of a warm up!