Mesa Falls Marathon

On Saturday I ran the Mesa Falls Marathon.  I’ve now completed a marathon in 12 of the 50 states – almost 25% of the way there.  My co-conspirator for this one was Matt Blumberg, who ran the last half of it with me and wrote about it in Half as Long, One Third as Hard.

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This was a small marathon – my guess is around 150 people ran it.  My goal was to finish in the top 200 which I accomplished comfortably.  My serious goal was to break 4:45.  My official time was 5:02, although according to my Garmin 305 my running time was 4:52.  I can confirm that I lost about 5 minutes to a bathroom break at mile 10 and another 5 minutes at the half way mark and on a few pee breaks.  So – I was close.  However, I finished much stronger than I had two months ago at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth so I’m pleased with the progress of my training under my new coach Gary Ditsch.

Mesa Falls was a beautiful marathon.  The first 10 miles are on a dirt road in the middle of no where.  Tranquil, quiet, and wonderful.  I had trouble getting into a rhythm – my shoes were too tight, I had to pee, and then around mile four I got an upset stomach.  There was a porta-potty at mile 6 but I felt better so cruised by it.  Predictably, at 6.5 miles, I had to go.  For a brief moment I considered turning around, but powered on to mile 10 where I took a delightful 5 minute break.

We immediately turned onto a road and I totally kicked ass – covering the next 3 miles in 27 minutes.  It was a decent downhill but I felt much lighter.  I stopped for 15 seconds right at mile 13 to look at the incredible view at Mesa Falls and then stopped again at 13.1 to meet up with Matt, make the "Uncle Spike sign", have Amy take a few photos of us, and change my shirt.

 

It was huge to have Matt join me.  The course had a brutal uphill between mile 17 and 20 that Matt towed me up.  I marched through to mile 23 where I finally slammed into the wall.  I don’t really remember the 25 minutes that it took me to run mile 23 and 24, but Matt said I was pretty calm.  I got a seventh wind at mile 25 and covered the last mile in under 10 minutes.

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Thanks to everyone who supported me on this one, especially my sponsors Return Path, Pixie Mate, NewWest, and Bill Flagg who made an extra generous contribution to Accelerated Cure.  And of course – my sherpa Amy and my friends the Blumbergs.

Next up – Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor, ME on 10/19/08.

  • Mike Clark

    I love keeping track of your marathon progress and all your tech and investment insights as well. I am a fellow marathoner and appreciate your trials and tribulations. Keep on running!

  • http://www.copydiva.com/blog Robin Seidner

    I should know better than to read a marathon post while eating. Way to go Brad, that's a lot of miles…

  • http://www.samidh.com Samidh Chakrabarti

    Congratulations on your 12th marathon! It's too bad there aren't more people like us who are in the tech sector and who are also runners. Have any advice on geeky gadget gear that helps with running “analytics” (other than your Garmin)?

    • http://www.qolfe.com Giulio

      Not really geeky. I use my Suunto T4 and track average heart beat every 2km versus average pace. The Suunto memorizes it then I do analytics on a spreadsheet.
      That plotted in various graphs gives quite a good sense of my daily training form and improvements. With the outcome I make some incremental changes to my F.I.R.S.T. training schedule raising the bar a little higher in a controlled way. That gave me really huge improvements in performance. Now training for a 10k targeting below 50' time.

  • http://www.owocki.com/ Kevin Owocki

    Congrats on 12 out of 50. I can imagine the dedication and commitment it will take to get through the other 900+ miles.

    As a fellow distance-runner, I'm wondering what drives you when you hit that wall at mile 23-24? I've always had problems with motivation around mile 10 or 11.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      It's the same “suspension of disbelief” that gets me through really bad movies.

  • garyd

    brad, if that second photo is an example of your current running form – we may want to take a look at it before the run in October :-)

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      Yes, well, I told you I had lots of areas to improve.

  • http://blog.jeffreymcmanus.com/ Jeffrey

    You were hoping to finish in the top 200 of a 150 person race? I can see that I'm going to need another beer before that will make sense to me.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      Set expectations low. Exceed expectations.

  • Bill Mosby

    Thanks for the race update and the pix! If you get time some winter, go back and ski it. You might wind up being paced by a moose! I usually saw one or two whenever I went over that way.

  • http://www.naffziger.net/blog Dave Naffziger

    Congrats on the finish. That hill at mile 17 looks brutal.

  • http://www.umapper.com Andrei

    The real question is whether Google helped you finish it (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/27/how-google-e

    Cheers,
    Andrei

  • http://www.lauraroppe.com Laura_Roppe

    Brad,
    You are an inspiration. I've run two marathons, and you make me want to run more. I will certainly keep track of your progress.

  • Samidh Chakrabarti

    Congratulations on your 12th marathon! It's too bad there aren't more people like us who are in the tech sector and who are also runners. Have any advice on geeky gadget gear that helps with running "analytics" (other than your Garmin)?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Yes, well, I told you I had lots of areas to improve.

  • Jeffrey

    You were hoping to finish in the top 200 of a 150 person race? I can see that I'm going to need another beer before that will make sense to me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ignighter36531 ignighter36531

    Congrats on 12 out of 50. I can imagine the dedication and commitment it will take to get through the other 900+ miles.

    As a fellow distance-runner, I'm wondering what drives you when you hit that wall at mile 23-24? I've always had problems with motivation around mile 10 or 11.

  • Mike Clark

    I love keeping track of your marathon progress and all your tech and investment insights as well. I am a fellow marathoner and appreciate your trials and tribulations. Keep on running!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/garyditsch garyditsch

    brad, if that second photo is an example of your current running form – we may want to take a look at it before the run in October :-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Set expectations low. Exceed expectations.

  • Bill Mosby

    Thanks for the race update and the pix! If you get time some winter, go back and ski it. You might wind up being paced by a moose! I usually saw one or two whenever I went over that way.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/robinseidner robinseidner

    I should know better than to read a marathon post while eating. Way to go Brad, that's a lot of miles…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Giulio Giulio

    Not really geeky. I use my Suunto T4 and track average heart beat every 2km versus average pace. The Suunto memorizes it then I do analytics on a spreadsheet.
    That plotted in various graphs gives quite a good sense of my daily training form and improvements. With the outcome I make some incremental changes to my F.I.R.S.T. training schedule raising the bar a little higher in a controlled way. That gave me really huge improvements in performance. Now training for a 10k targeting below 50' time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    It's the same "suspension of disbelief" that gets me through really bad movies.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dave_naffzi2081 dave_naffzi2081

    Congrats on the finish. That hill at mile 17 looks brutal.

  • Andrei

    The real question is whether Google helped you finish it (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/27/how-google-e

    Cheers,
    Andrei

  • Laura_Roppe

    Brad,
    You are an inspiration. I've run two marathons, and you make me want to run more. I will certainly keep track of your progress.