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Well, I can now say that I have run a marathon. I can also say that all the advice about starting out too fast and dying the last few miles is also correct. :(

Brief story:

Finished in 3:54:40 so I was happy to break 4 hours. My 1st half pace was 8:00 per mile and the second half was 10:00 per mile. I discovered that you do not make good time when you have to stretch out cramped legs ever few hundred yards. Oh well, lessons learned and hopefully not to be repeated next time.

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Congrats on breaking 4 hours! Sounds like you had a tough race at the end, but way to keep on keeping on. Running your first marathon is a big deal and quite and accomplishment. Hats off to Packbacker. :cheers: :cheers: :dance2:
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First one!! Absolutely tremendous. Detail, details, what's Raleigh like, course-wise and such? Sub-4:00 is a great debut. Lesson learned.. I hear ya. There's 212 things in running a marathon to figure out. Do tell about it PB.
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Awesome job Packer-Backer!

Finishing a marathon is always accomplishment enough.
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Wow! Great job :dance2:
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The course was described as rolling hills and that is probably accurate. The course was a double loop and the size of the hills sure seemed bigger during the second loop.

I started with a couple of friends who were running the 1/2 and swore they were going to run 8:30 pace for the first few miles. However, they wanted to start in the middle of the pack so our first mile was at 9:00. so just ran a "little" faster. I missed mile markers 2 and 3, but by mile 4 I realized that we were running at sub 8:00 pace. That is when I should have slowed down, but somehow my brain had stopped working. Time for the 1/2 was right at 8:00 pace and I was hoping to keep that up.

Now comes the second 1/2

I was pretty tired by mile 17 and was having some trouble with my socks bunching up aroung the ball of my feet. So I had to make a couple of "quick" stops to fix. That is when I learned that when you are exhausted and cold, you cannot untie a double knot very quickly. Well, my wife and son were at mile 20, so on I went. My left hamstring was tender, but nothing bad yet.

At mile 21 my left hamstring cramped right in the middle of an intersection. The nice police lady kept saying just run to through the interstection ( I think she thought I was confused and/or lost) but all I could do was try and stretch out the leg for a few seconds. Well, I got through the intersection and strtched a little more on the sidewal. Only 5 more miles to go. Well, those 5 miles were long. I could not run more than a couple of hundred yards without cramping. Ultimately I think both hamstrings and both calfs cramped. My wife and son were at the finish line, so I tried to look good running the last 1/4 mile, but the calfs were cramping badly. Ever tried running on your heals ( with your toes up) so that you could run and stretch the calfs as the same time.

Oh well, other than the last 5 miles, the race was fun and now I want to run another one to see what if feels like to run a sensible pace.
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Sub-4 ain't to shabby. Great job, way to hang in there.
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Woohoo! Great Job
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at least you know what it is like

very nice first half pace !!!
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Excellent! I mean it! Your first marathon and a great finish time. :thumbsup:

Shelly
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great job PackerBacker! Raleigh is my old hometown. finishing in under 4 hours with all that cramping -- excellent determination. :cheers:
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RR, I didn't know you were from this area.

Did you realize that they had moved large hills into the Cameron Village area? Well they did just for the marathon. :o
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Good Job PackerBacker! :banana: Sub 4 is a great show for a first marathon.
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Way to go Packer backer! I am doing my first one this coming weekend with the same goal of sub 4!

Time to relax for a few days and then enjoy the slow recovery runs!
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What determination........I know you are hooked and will string out a fine bunch of PRs. I know that it takes alot of mental strength to continue with 9 miles when you have calf cramps starting at 17--been there a few times.

Already talking about "next" time!?! 8) ----wowee!!!!!!!

You've got something to build off of now, enjoy a week or two off of running and just soak in the accomplishment itself. Heading out to the start of the marathon this weekend for a point-to-point course on a shuttle bus, I realized......I don't care how long it takes to get from A to B...it's a long way!!!!!! Do you realize what you just did? Next time you have a trip tell your family you are clocking 26.2.

After 2 weeks you can go ahead and analyze mistakes with the race itself and go over changes in training.

congratus!
sue
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