Sunday, October 23, 2011

Anatomy of a Bonk

The Duke City Marathon was today. I've been training for a few months. I'd been hoping for a pace around 9 min per mile, but I'd been able to keep a bit faster pace during my runs without trouble. So, I went out a bit faster, around 8:45 - 8:50. Even at 15 miles, I felt great. I kept going at that pace until I started to fade a little because I thought I'd be able to back off some and keep going if needed.

Boy was I wrong.

Check out my Garmin splits from the marathon. As you can see, I'm cruising up through mile 19, at which point I start to slide. And like an avalanche gaining speed, I quickly slide all the way down and am doing nothing more than just moving forward. I was lucky to be doing that.

I made the classic mistake of going out too fast, overestimating my abilities. I won't say I would have gone under 4 hours if I hadn't done that (because who knows?), but through 18 miles I was on pace for a 3:51. Apparently, that's way out of my league.

I would also say that it wasn't a mental breakdown. My body was done. I was nauseous, dizzy, and running for even a minute left me out of breath with my head spinning. When I finally finished, I couldn't stand up straight without getting out of breath for half an hour, and I was nauseous for twice that time. It wouldn't have surprised me if I had passed out just standing around afterward.

It was a good race overall though. My time was decent, and I learned a lot about running a marathon. I think I could have gone faster with better pacing, and I was hopeful to be able to hold the pace I tried based on runs like this one. But ultimately that's not what God decided to have happen. C'est la vie!


  1. No, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the problem.

  2. lol...good point Rachel--you never know! :P Thanks for the story and I'm really glad that you didn't die on us! Good job. We are in awe of you.

  3. We're proud of you just for the attempt - and VERY proud that you finished!! That is a great accomplishment! Don't sell yourself short. I agree with Nicole - glad you're still with us! and you learned a vital lesson. We're very proud indeed!

  4. Amazing Jesse. No body I knew have run this kind of marathon and finish it, Congratulation.