Note: Full Album of photos here
When i got home after the SFM I showered, foam rollered and spent a lot of time with my legs up. I napped from 3pm to 6pm and slept soundly from 9pm to 5am. From what I have heard from other runners, this rest as well as eating a bunch is key to doing doubles, triples, etc.
When I got up to prep to go up to SF my legs felt pretty good. Tired but not hopelessly so. I didn't know if I could run on them but it seemed I might be able to.
I drove up the 280 to Lake Merced. ...this lake is a cachement basin for the city I think..it's a beautiful lake but fenced off and not for public use. (SF gets all its drinking water from the Hetch Hechy lake in Yosemite valley (as does the city where I live) and this is sierra snow melt water..can't be beat...so I'm not sure what the lake is for.)
But it makes a dandy thing to run around for a marathon: the course is to run around the lake 4 times (about 4.5 miles each) and then run around 2 times taking a short cut over a bridge at the far end which shortens the distance and make the total a marathon.
I got there about 45 minutes before race time and there were a few cars with runners in them. Eventually more and more people showed up until we had maybe 20-30 runners and then Tracy herself showed up and set up and off we went. She suggested we reverse directions on each lap so we'd see other runners more often and so we would get different views.
What a contrast to the hullabaloo of SFM! 20 runners instead of 20,000. $20 instead of $150. I'm very grateful that people like Tracy give us options besides all this big commercial races.
The rigid thinkers amongst us couldn't grok the reversing each lap idea...but I found it a great idea and most folks did that. We all ended up at the same place (i.e where we started) so dunno why the others didn't want to do it ;)
The person I met at the wave 8 corral the previous day, Mei Chan, showed up with two of her U.K. friends in tow. They were now embarking on the last run of A TRIPLE marathon. Yow.
Himself, Mr. Marathon Man, showed up in full regalia which was fun, and Tony, aka Endorphin Dude also showed up ..this race was in his honor: He had completed his 100th marathon at the SFM on the previous day. He was not running and just basking in his accomplishment and was therefore delegated to be the official timer keeping track of our laps and times.
(Tony is pretty amazing. Not only has he run 100 marathons but he's also full of energy and attention to others in a way that is pretty special. He remembered that he had spoken to me on the bus at the Tacoma marathon. He's also a very funny guy and generally fun to be around. )
I think just about all the people running were maniacs or half fanatics (the race had a marathon, half marathon, and 5k).
Anyway, Tracy called the start: "GO" and we all set off at a crazy fast 10:xx pace...I didn't that that was a good idea at first but hey, I was amazed I felt as good as I did.
The fog was still thick but it broke up on the first lap and then we had sun...which made for some good pictures..luckily it came back and kept us from getting too hot. The course was mostly flat but had rolling hills that were pretty optimal for using different muscles.
I basically ran the first 4 laps (to mile 18 or so) at a pretty steady pace ..walking the steeper ups more and more as the miles piled up. It was fun to see the other Maniacs on the course..we all gave encouragement and high fives as we passed in opposite lap directions to each other which was pretty cool.
It really helped with pushing yourself to do more and not just walk when you really didn't have to (obviously there comes a time when it's just too hard but before that time....some good works help you keep going).
The locals were out in force doing their walks and runs around the lake. I have no idea what they made of us but they looked us over pretty well.
My most interesting interaction with the locals was at mile 18 or so. There was a big guy running with his 12-14 yr old son. They were both running pretty slowly...scuffing their sneakers...just really sad. Very very slow leg turnover. The dad was yelling "encouragement" at his kid, who seemed to be taking it without complaint. Both were way way overdressed in sweats. (Maybe training for wrestling or something?)
I puttered by them ..not that I was going fast but I was going faster than them...wearing this 'marathon' garb that made it clear I wasn't out for a fun run.
In about 5 minutes I stopped running to walk up the biggest uphill on the course and eventually they caught up to me and passed me..but not without the dad really yelling at his kid right when they got to me.. Yikes. When I got to the top in another minutes I felt really really bad but I started puttering along again and blew by them again...and never saw them again.
I wanted to tell that kid: Just keep at it and soon you'll be able to outrun your dad and can start giving him "encouragement". ;) Not a great Father's day for that kid.
I was amazed at how well everybody was doing. Nobody had any "dropout issues" AFAIK. I was happy to not have any cramping or other issues that would force me to stop.
When I got to the last two laps (8 miles) I knew I was getting pretty toasted, but I knew that I'd be very close to my previous day's time and this was a happy thing. I didn't really pay much attention to the detailed pace and ended up just one minute slower (5:10) than the previous day.
Perhaps if I had paid attention I could have beaten my previous day by a few seconds but I considered completing the double with basically identical times a satisfying success.
After the race I hung around to see Mei and her friends finish their Triple. Mei surprised herself by running something around a 5:17 which was faster than the first two marathons she'd done! Kind of amazing actually since these guys are jet lagged and not at home with
all their normal support systems.
A lot of group pictures were taken which will be in the Maniac newsletter as well as on Tracy's site I'm sure. We also all got to share in Tony's 100 marathon cake. Yum! Perfect after 26.2.
I found the experience challenging, fun and call it a success!
I'm not sure how relavent it is to doing a 50 miler though. That 20 hours of time in between marathons makes a HUGE difference. I just don't know how anybody can keep running at all after 26 miles..and walking 26 miles is a good 8 hours if you are tired.
I'm now a "Iridium level" 4-star Maniac. 8)
Below are the Marathon results, I did pretty good for my age.
Not everybody was doing the double so kinda hard to compare