Upcoming Marathon: Must Hypermile

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Chuck, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Last year I did my 1st marathon, then got way overconfident and completed three more in six months - not near enough time to recover. That does not include the Pikes Peak Marathon (bonked at mile 21 of 26.2) Going to try it again this August. Extra challenges:
    • Running 1.5 mile up
    • 11.5-degree climb the first 13.5 miles, unrelenting
    • 15% humididy - Gatorade even more critical
    • 60% as mush air at 14,110feet as sea level - killed a runner last year. :(
    It took only 24-hours for all 800 spots to fill, so I want to do it while I've got a chance. Losing another 20 pounds would help a lot (sort of like driving a Civic with 750-pounds in the trunk). Obviously, it lightens the load, but there is another critical benefit. Illusionist David Blane lost 50 pounds before he attempted to hold his breath for a record nine minutes (didn't make it).

    Time to make my point. I have started many of my marathons too fast. It's very easy to do that at the gun, but past the midpoint, you start to suffer the consequences. While the human body behaves a lot like a hybrid car, regenerating during a race is not really one of them.

    I have to hypermile (go slow) to have a chance to complete this race. The math would make it seem like it would be easy - 26.2 miles in ten hours. No, it's not a stroll, but maybe just a steady slow jog will get me across the finish line.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  2. Proco

    Proco Well-Known Member

    WOW! This marathon sounds like a real bear.

    While true regeneration during the race isn't possible, it should be possible to use "cruise contol" at points during the return when you're descending the peak.

    I used to be a sprinter with a little x-country thrown in to help my endurance, so I don't know what goes into running competitively for more than 5K. But I learned a technique for running 400-600 meters that worked sort of like cruise control.

    I'd come out of the blocks hard and get myself up to that cruising speed. It wouldn't be a flat out dead sprint, though. That would burn too much enengy & I'd end up fading near the end. As I started to approach the finish (maybe 150 meters left), I'd shift into a different gear & run as hard as possible through the finish.

    Actually, it's more like"pulse & glide" than cruise control. :D

    You might be able to do something similar, just without the sprinting. Let gravity do as much of the work as possible when you're descending. That might help you have enough energy to get through the finish.

    Good luck & let us know how it goes!!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2006
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Will Blame Global Warming if I Fail

    Global Warming is making mountains slightly taller. (see story)

    If I fail, I'm going to blame that for failing the Pike's Peak Marathon on Aug 20. :D

    Hey, if Wayne can do better than 150mpg in my Insight and it was 400 pounds heavier than Bill's Insight, there is hope I can hypermile up the peak and back. ;)
  4. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    hypermiling a course is one thing, hypermiling in real world conditions is another.

    Good luck dude!
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Tonight I Leave


    I will be out about 4 days driving from Dallas to Denver, to Colorado Springs for the Pikes Peak Marathon. Hope to get some mountain driving in the meantime, but lots of rest because unlike a hybrid, I can't recharge during the run. ;) I'll attempt to translate what it would be like to do this in a hybrid.....

    • Start at 6,500 feet
    • Only get half a gallon of gas - max. to go 15-20 miles to 14,110 feet to the summit. (hint, it's a relentless climb and your FE will probably be about half of the usual)
    • Every two miles there is a pit stop that offer a vial of premimun gas (like the runners GU pack for 100 calories of carbs)
    • Unpaved
    • Can't FAS on the way down or you will tumble off the mountain.
    • Got a time limit (ten hours for runners)



    Going above the timberline at about 12,000 feet. A brisk walk can take the breath out of you at this point.
    We cut around these people. They were administering CPR to a 59-year old man that had been in 44 previous marathons and ran up Pikes Peak four times previously. This year he was going to run up and down the peak - a marathon. A doctor and cardiologist sadly could not save him. [​IMG] Story I knew something was wrong with the rescue helicopter was silent for awhile after landing.

    You just can't underestimate what 12,000 feet does to people and cars. Had thermostat problems with a previous car at that height. The runner was in good health except he was on medication to treat his high blood pressure. He had been running for at least 4.5 hours and his pulse was probably was at least 80% of his maximum heart rate - maybe 90%. This was the day after 49ers Thomas Herrion collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver
    Me at the summit, six hours 25 minutes into the race.

    I got overconfident and did not drink enough fluids going down. Was also fighting frostbite and trying to catch my breath. Simply spent too much time above the timberline. I "ran out of gas" over halfway down, five miles from the finish line and had to hitch a ride.... Disappointed, but not ashamed. Ran my first four marathons since Feb 26. Just running to the summit is the effort of the average flatland marathon. Hopefully I can do both the summit and marathon next year.
  6. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    good luck to you, chuck. i have been up that road and it's tough even in a car.

    when i did grandma's marathon twice, my plan was to run 15 minutes and walk 5, starting at the beginning and doing that all the way through. it worked pretty well, except i got some razzing from some kids early on about walking so soon.

    take it easy out there.
  7. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

    Hey, Chuck --

    Wishing you well, buddy. I've been up there in a car but never tried to run it. Heck, I can't even run up my own stairs. :(

    Let us know how it goes!

  8. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I'm back and it was a great vacation! This is a summary - it's going to take awhile to elaborate....
    • For the first time, drove from Dallas to Denver on a single tank of gas. Got 83mpg, most of it going highway speed behind big rigs.
    • Got about 75.6mpg over the 1,860 miles of the entire trip - definitely the best mpg of any vacation, esp to Colorado.
    • On my "Insight Mountain Climb" from western Denver 20 miles west to Idaho Falls, got 55.6 mpg up, 96.5mpg on the way back - giving about 76mpg for the whole trip.
    • Hope to hear from a couple that I saw on US 287 from north of Amarillo to Childress, Texas in a silver Prius bound for Tyler, Texas. We saw each other on the road, and met 100 miles later at a rest stop.
    • BTW, finished the Pikes Peak Marathon just 15 minutes inside the 10 hour limit ;) . Had to "hypermile", had a "flat tire" (severe foot blisters) the last 3-4 miles coming down that almost did me in.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chuck:

    ___Congratulations on the marathon accomplishment! I know I will never be able to accomplish what you did and I do not know how else to it but way to go! The vacation/drive was a marathon and an accomplishment in and of itself and there again, nice job and congratulations for your best ever long distance tanks and segments …

    ___After all is said and done, it will be a story you will be able to tell for many years to come and for the next one, maybe one or two of the hypermilers that know the ways of marathon running might even join you ;) As always, thank you for the great dialog and for getting home safely as that is what it is all about.

    ___Good Luck and congrats.

  10. highwater

    highwater Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the finish and the FE.
    Glad your back.........neighbor:D .

  11. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    I feel very fortunate on many levels as my feet feel like your back did recently (ouch!!!!)

    This Marathon is the effort of two normal ones, or a flatland 50-mile ultramarathon, yet if the U S National Park service limit of 800 was lifted, 1,500 would have run it! It was "bumper to bumper" as it was. As I was struggling to complete the last half-mile almost totally exhaused and blistered almost to the point of can't walking, a Dallasite with a White Rock Lake Marathon jersey was cheerleading me on. Somehow had enough energy to ask about that runner that had the white Navy #12 jersey (Roger Staubach's college jersey - remember - I'm from Dallas. The Navy's coaches son at the time was a big fan of his and was fortunate enough to find his own #12 - Tom Brady :D ). As time ran out, we joked "What Would Staubach Do?" :D :D :D

    It was a lot like completing my 1st marathon in Fort Worth in Feb 2005 - hobbled in - immediately got medical attention, remember the day forever. Barely made the time....might not get in as they may do a lottery like the New York Marathon, or have strict qualification time like Boston (very hard to run in Boston - nearly all 26.2mile runs say if they are a "Boston Qualifier)

    If they had awards like the neighboring Leadville Marathon that is all above 11,000 feet - I'd gotten an award for being the last male to finish - "Last A$$ Thru the Pass". :D :D :D



    You will want to note that at the finish they played the theme from Chariots of Fire (story of two Brits in the 1924 Olympics - one that overcame anti-Semitism, another a Christian that would not run on Sunday but won in a different race, movie produced by the late Dodi Fayed ).

    Due to the thin air, I was breathing with my mouth wide open, so loud I was expecting to be called "Vader" :D. Later found out that "The Flying Scotsman" in the film Chariots of Fire also ran with his mouth wide open. :D


    Fortunate to talk to the King of Pikes Peak. Scott Carpenter has won seven Pikes Peak Marathon and six Ascents (13.5mile half marathon runs "just" to the summit. He won his latest marathon at age 42! His VO2 Max is incredible - 90 (average for a guy his age is 40, me - 59, Lance Armstrong - 84) :eek:
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006
  12. Proco

    Proco Well-Known Member

    I'm a little late with this, but allow me to add .. :woot:

    Major congrats to you for completing the race! Way to go!

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