This of course is the part of the race report I'd just as soon never write. It doesn't do to have a blog and only write about the things you want, though.
I wanted to finish off the race with a 1:45 second half of the marathon. After feeling so horrible going up the big hill, I was amazed at how good I felt coming back down. From miles 14-17, I felt good. I kept turning it over. I made it to the entrance to the out and back and I was still running pretty well. If I had been drinking soda, who knows ? I did take some bananas, some water, some gatorade. But I look back and I know I needed more. The Cliff Shot Bloks were in my Elite singlet. I didn't think I could eat any more.
I was too worried about my gimpy legs, not worried enough about my nutrition. Even when I'd been running well, my head had started to swim. In fact, I was seeing an optical illusion that was making me worry I was hallucinating. When I looked over at the double yellow line, to the right I was seeing a third line, a dark, translucent blue line like an energy beam from some sci-fi show. I looked over and thought 'I can't possibly be seeing that.' Except I was. This went on for a while.
Finally, I slowed to a walk to go through the feed station around 18 miles. I don't know what my heart rate was because the battery on the chest strap died the day before we left for LP. I worked to get it down and then Jeff Molson went by my, cruising along. Like a man caught after a long breakaway, I tried to re-integrate myself to the flow, but he went by. It was enough to get me running again. I made the turn of the out and back, and started back, running, but slower. I wanted the hit a porta-potty but someone from the other side of the road beat me to it so I stood behind it to pee, then started running again.
I lost track of mile 21, but somehow, I made it to mile 22, and I was somewhere around 10 hours. I'd taken it easy up the big hill after the out and back. My head was really swimming now, but I knew I'd get there and that was a good thing. I slowly ran mile 23, losing time, losing hope. This is my greatest regret. If I had held on better in 23, I would not started walking in 24. Miles 24-25 I had to walk, or I thought I did. I went by Steve and Chuck on the out of that shorter out-and-back and I was now a good 15 minutes behind schedule.
Then I hit the cone, and started running again immediately, slowly and painfully at first, but then suddenly I was passing people again, going downhill. I got to the oval and passed several more people, including two after the final turn, where I found a little bit of steam.
And then I was done, 16 minutes late and very frustrated, yet also satisfied with my second fastest time on the course. Can you be frustrated and satisfied at the same time ? That's for another post.