Less time, more pain
Fifteen months after my first marathon, Seattle in November 1997, I ran the Napa Valley race. I finished in 4:19:44, a few minutes faster than my first race but short of my 4:10 goal. My three-mile splits tell the story: I don't think I went out too fast. It was a comfortable pace, and I didn't feel like I was pushing myself. But I had hoped for a cool, overcast day, and when the fog burned off at around mile 10 it got a lot warmer than I had expected. Maybe I was misled by my Seattle experience: On that cool, cloudy day, I got by on water and one pack of carbohydrate gel. I think this time I was sweating out more than I was replacing. Anyway, around 20 miles I really started feeling wrung out, and from 22 on I was hobbled by cramps in both calves. I finished right in the middle of the women's pack, 352nd of 701 finishers. And the next day, it was cool and cloudy.
Am I going to do this again? Honestly, I don't think I would race for racing's sake, but I would probably do it for training's sake. Without the incentive of a marathon on the schedule I'd probably drop back to 800 miles a year, which is where I start feeling kind of bulgy. So I guess I'll look for something urban that has a good chance of being cool and cloudy or even rainy. And, at David's request, I'll keep an eye out for something sponsored by Silver Oak or Heitz or Beaulieu.