Completed the Edmonton Marathon on August 24, 2014. Easily the hardest thing I’ve gone through physically. Did not realize how much it takes out of you and the recovery needed afterwards.
I’ve been running consistently for a year. I aim for 10-20 km a week (a few times a week, somewhere between five and ten kilometers per week). I can pretty easily run up to 15 km at a 5:30 min/km pace without any issues. Early hours work best with two young ones at home.
Leading up to the marathon, the most I’d ever ran was a half-marathon about seven years ago. In hindsight, I was extremely unprepared back then but I finished the 21km trek in just over two hours. I remember being absolutely spent after that run, so I trained enough this time to avoid getting burnt out.
Along with running over the past year, I spent one morning a week at the local track merging in sprints, jogs and body weight exercises. Just picked up a couple tips online from this website that really helped build up the legs and core. Had ACL surgery in 2006, so I had to make sure the knee and supporting muscles were feeling fine.
Going into the race, I figured a pace closer to 6 min/km get me to the finish line. Objective was to finish but to maintain a good, reasonable, pace. Doing the math, it would take me around 4:12 to finish, but I also padded it and decided that a 4:20 to 4:30 would be reasonable.
The course started in downtown, went east towards Rundle Park, then back to downtown and then looped to the west end, and then finished in downtown. A very flat course, with no hills. Caught myself a few times looking out into the river valley. Click here for a map of the route: Edmonton_Marathon_2014.
I followed along with the 4:15 pace setter to start and see how things feel. The fellow keeping the pace was very social and passed on some great advice along the way. I stuck with them for the first 29 km very comfortably and was very relieved that I made it that far without any physical issues. Unfortunately, I had to take a bathroom break and never caught up to the group after that. Right around the 33 km mark was when the discomfort kicked in, making the rest of the run extremely tough. Thankfully, I pushed through, made it to the finish line in 4:32 and felt fine, all things considered.
Quick breakdown of my run, courtesy of Sports Stats:
Average finish time was 4:06:51. Total of 542 participants.
Legs and back were pretty stiff after the run. Soreness stuck around for about 4 days. Took two weeks off from any physical exercise to fully recover, which I’m glad I did. Muscles felt very shaky for days, so I decided I didn’t want to risk any serious injury. Also felt pretty nauseous for a day, but some sleep and a good diet took care of that.
Thought the event and route were well planned. Really can’t say enough about the volunteers. From handling the race kit pick-ups, to the water stations, to the signs along the way, the volunteers really made the event a success.
Congrats to Arturs Bareikis for winning the Marathon. He completed the route in 2:27:46 with an average pace of 3:31 min/km. Just ridiculous. You can track his journey to the Olympics on his blog.
McGrath runs personal-best in Edmonton Marathon, but still finishes second – Edmonton Journal
Reporter on the Run (Series) – Otiena Ellwand of the Edmonton Journal
Edmonton man runs five marathons for his aunt – Edmonton Journal