The Greenway Marathon was an interesting and valuable learning experience for me. I went into the race with an expectation that I’d be setting a new marathon PR since my current PR was only 2:58:34 set at the Horse Capital Marathon back in May 2016.
Post Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon, I had expectations of having a successfully long and hard summer of training leading up to the fall of 2016 which included the Greenway Marathon in the beginning of October and the Nashville Ultra 60km in November. The training went well during the first half of summer (end of May to the beginning of July). From the middle of July to basically the end of August, my motivation was shot, plus it was very hot outside at all hours of the day.
Anyways, back to the Greenway Marathon… We arrived in Nashville, TN the day before. The week leading up to the race, I hadn’t slept all that well. The morning of the race I felt prepared and ready to rock and roll. I started out the race just fine and was running with someone for about 1 mile of the course, then they slowed down big time, so I continued on my own. This may have been my first big mistake. The course had “some” signs at splits of the greenway system. There were a few times, like at miles 2.5, 5, and 7, where i literally had to stop, wait around for someone to tell me which direction to go. Either there were no signs at the forks in the road or the sign was literally in the middle of the fork in the road with a straight ahead” arrow…. Hmm…
I felt solid up until mile 18 and then my legs decided they didn’t want to cooperate anymore. I guess I hit the WALL… big time. I went from running sub-6:45 pace to hobbling along and barely making it mile to mile. No lie, I lost so much time on those last 8 or so miles. Maybe it was the second half of summer’s miserable training. Maybe it was hotter than I realized. Maybe it had to do with having more rolling hills than I anticipated. I ended up crossing the finish line for the Greenway Marathon in second place overall in a time of 03:18:11.
Not my best marathon time, but certainly not my worst, either! I actually was a little ashamed of how poorly I did at the race, so I held off on posting about this on here, and also remained pretty quiet about the race on social media, too.
Considering the fact that I felt like quitting running over those last 8 miles, I’m still pleased I was able to keep things together. However, after the run, I could barely stand up, could barely eat or drink anything. I felt weak. We made it back to our friends’ house and I started to feel like garbage. I went immediately to the restroom. I felt like I might vomit.
I curled up next to the toilet for probably 30 minutes, nothing happened, so I decided to take a shower since I felt a little more mellow. I showered and right as I was drying myself off, it hit me. Barf…. Thankfully I made it into the porcelain thrown. After a few minutes of dry heaving and pain, I felt 100% again. Weird how that works.
The weird thing is… I stayed hydrated at every aid station, kept myself fueled, etc… so I’m not so sure what caused the illness at the end. Maybe I was overheated? Maybe the mohawk has run its course and no longer brings luck during races?
Who knows.. but what I know is that after I had time to think about it.. second place overall is not bad and a 3:18:11, considering how poorly the race ended for me, is not bad either.
The Greenway Marathon was also a nice preview and reminder of the Nashville Ultra in the beginning of November. A good portion of the Greenway Marathon is on the same course as the Nashville Ultra, which I did not recognize for some reason before the Greenway.