Friday, April 1, 2011

Patriotic Double Part 2... Bataan!

Last we left off fellow Maniac, Dave, and I were in 1st class flying to NM from DC on our Patriotic Double Marathon weekend! We didn't get into El Paso until after 9 and we didn't get to the hotel until after 10:30 (12:30 EST). Considering we were up at 5am I was pretty spent! I fell asleep as soon as I laid down. Traveling cross country while trying to recoup between races is not an easy task. There are some things to do to make recovery easier while traveling. This is what I recommend...

~ Nutrients! Within an hour of your first marathon finish it's very important to get as many nutrients back in as possible. I suggest getting something with carbs, proteins, and electrolytes. I brought powdered Accelorade with me to dump into water so I could have a quick drink to get everything I need. 
~Water! Start drinking as soon as you start the 1st race and don't stop until you complete the 2nd.
~Salt! Runners have a lot of issues with water/salt retention. Electrolyte drinks usually help but try to eat something with salt as well... esp in the morning of the 2nd race. Without salt, you'll retain all that water and it won't get into your system properly. 
~Compress and Lift! If you can find compression socks, get them on asap (esp for flying). Also, your legs should be rested and elevated as much as possible. This is hard on a plane, but as soon as you can try and get those tired legs up! 

Race Morning~The Start
Two years in a row I've stayed in Las Cruces before the race. It's about a 20 minute drive from the missile range and the closest town. Another option is to stay on the base in bunks (no thanks!). When we got up and went to the car if felt like perfect weather... still and warm but not hot. 

Then we drove to the base. On the way out I felt the wind pushing my rental car. The short drive brought us up a pretty good climb then down into the valley around the start. It also brought so MAJOR wind! Not only that, but the wind was cold! What happened to the warm weather just 20 minutes away in Las Cruces???

We found a group of maniacs to take a picture and huddle together to stay warm!

Lining up for this race isn't like any other. They pay tribute to the vets that were present for the historical death march... who by the way also happen to be there! They go as far as doing a roll call for the vets that passed since the prior year. After, the Bataan vets are walked to the start first followed by the amputee soldiers. The rest of us fall in line behind them and we're off. Since they honored vets are placed first at the start, the first half mile or so is a little bit clustered. Weaving and bopping is needed but everybody is so lively and supportive of each other it feels good. 

The first few miles were fine as we were partially blocked by the buildings and going away from the wind. However, we would turn toward the wind for a tenth of a mile at a time and I knew we were in trouble on THE hill. I was told that because of the way the valley is built the wind comes up OVER the hill, meaning I was going to be on marathon #2 for the weekend, facing some of the most challenging climbs I've ever done and oh yeah... let's throw 30-45 mph winds just for kicks!

The Hill!
I counted down the 7 or so miles until we started the climb. Below is the elevation chart Dave got from his garmin running that morning.

The hills themselves weren't bad at all! I remember the climb being a lot worse, but I've been doing a LOT of hill training for WS as well as some tough trails. The wind, however, was pretty bad. I would be pumping my arms and legs as hard as possible and sometimes I would get pushed backward!!! 

Being tired and a little run down from the day before, the hard wind was very demoralizing. I finally got through the climb then began the roller coaster downhill portion of the race. At this point I was passed by one female and stayed with her until about mile 20 when I was just too worn out to go any harder. 
Running my my patriotic outfit!
The final few miles include the "sand" portion of the course which is just kind of annoying to wade through, as well as a few turns that brought us back into the wind. This is definitely not one of my easier marathons. I was able to pull through with a 4:01:58 to give me 2nd place. Combined double marathon times... I've dropped about 40 minutes since my last double!!! On top of that I know I could have gone much faster if I wasn't on such a tough course. I'm really looking forward to the Nashville/Flying Pig double to see what kind of times I can get! 

A great race to be proud of however I had really hoped to go sub-4 at this race. It also would have been nice to take first at one of my favorite races! Next year I won't be running as part of a double marathon weekend or part of a team. 3rd times a charm? Let's hope! 

Happy Running,


  1. That elevation profile makes me want to cry! Therefore, I must do this race one day, LOL

  2. Thanks for the review! This is one that is on my must do list!

  3. Great job! You must be so proud of your improved time.

  4. What a great photo! Love the arm sleeves and head band!