This is the first marathon I've really prepared for in 6 1/2 years. I had wanted to run Utah Valley Marathon for several years but hadn't been able to work it out. But this time I did. My training has been up and down over the past 5-6 years but mostly down. I decided at the beginning of 2018 to really give this a go. My training wasn't as high as it was leading up to some other marathons I've done, but it was actually pretty good. I did several long runs of 16-20 over the past two months. My average weekly mileage over the past 2+ months was about 40 (max = 53). That's pretty good for me, in part because I'm busier than ever. I'm going to document a few things that seem to have helped me as I prepared and ran.
- Starting at the beginning of the year, I cut my sugar intake way down. This helped me drop some pounds. I don't have a scale, but I'm guessing I weigh about 165-167.
- I ran long runs leading up to it.
- Last week I ran 37 miles, so I didn't cut back too early.
- I ran the first 10 miles of the course last week (with my friend Duane). That made a huge difference mentally.
- I didn't carbo load until the day before the race and didn't go too crazy with it. I did eat a Honey Stinger right before bedtime and ate oatmeal and raisins in the morning (3 am).
- I stopped at every aid station until about mile 23. I walked for a few seconds through them.
- I ate a Gu packet at miles 0, 3, 7, 9, 13, 16, 19 (that's a total of 7). I really believe that was a big part of the reason I didn't bonk.
- I drank water at every aid station where I stopped.
- I ran the first 17 miles with Duane (he told me to go ahead at that point). That helped me run a slight negative split.
- My wife and kids cheered me on at mile 23. My wife was so kind to haul 5 kids out there, relatively early in the morning!
- I wore relatively light shoes but not racers (New Balance 690).
- The weather was perfect. There was a light-to-moderate tailwind for much of the first 20 miles. It was a bit warm the last few miles but very manageable.
- A guy from New Mexico went back and forth with me over the last 10K. That kept me focused and motivated. According to the race timers, my pace over the last 5 miles was close to 7 minutes / mile.
- I kept my stride short going down the hills (and really for the whole race).
That's about it. It wasn't a PR but I'm happy with my time. It felt great to be a "real runner" again. I feel motivated to see what else I can do. It'd be nice to break 3 hours before I get too old.