Correndo Descalço

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quarta-feira, maio 26, 2010

27th Porto Alegre International Marathon - RS - Brazil : May, 23, 2010

Start hour: 7:15 AM 
Temperature at start: 68 F 
Temperature at finish: 71 F 
Finish time: 3:37:40
Overall place males: 318/1119  
Age group M40-44 place: 58/201

My second marathon in three weeks. Too much? My inspiration was Barefoot Rick's Marathon History. Looking there you see that he did many marathons with just three weeks or less apart. And he usually runs the second marathon faster than the first. I set myself to try a similar challenge.

I arrived Saturday (05/22/2010) in Porto Alegre when it was past noon. I headed straight to lunch with fellow runners Antonio Colucci, Eduardo Rocha, Marco Bossetto, Luciano Sauer and Stephanie Perrone (who organized the lunch). After lunch, Eduardo, Marco and Colucci, accompanied me in taking my race number, chip and so on. After that we took a taxi to our hotels.

As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I started massaging my left piriformis muscle. Yes, although I have rested a lot since the Sao Paulo Marathon (05/02/2010), my piriformis was a little hurt. On Wednesday of the marathon week I woke up with my left leg tingling
. I think the correct medical term is paresthesia. At first I thought of a circulatory problem by sleeping "wrong way" with that leg. Only on Thursday I found the real cause, a tense piriformis muscle. Started massaging it until Saturday night. On Sunday morning the tingling had passed, there remained a bite at the bottom of the Achilles tendon, which I knew could not be from the tendon, and a nuisance in the buttock.

When leaving the hotel to walk to the start line (only a half mile), I heard the first person shocked with me barefeet. The
hotel receptionist said, "Go run barefoot?". I replied: "Yes, I am accustomed." Already at the starting corral, I met and talked briefly with a guy who is starting to run in VFF, but there he was running in regular running shoes and would only participate in the Marathon Relay. 

Race begins and I soon met fellow runner Eduardo. We ran together the first kilometers. His goal was to improve his PB of 3h37m, which he acomplished closing in 3h35m12s. My plans were for 3h38m so I let him go. By the 4th mile I met fellow runners Colucci and Marco, who ran side by side, overcoming me. I let them go since they pace was well faster than mine.

The main advantages of Porto Alegre Marathon, comparing with Sao Paulo, are the flatter course, milder temperatures, the use of a bib with our name at back beyond the bib at breast, and a greater contact with the public since there weren't tunnnels and desert locations along the course. Thus, I was called by my name several times during the race. The preferred regional slang is "warrior." Then I heard phrases such as "Leonardo. He is a warrior!" or "Go Warrior! Congratulations!" I also heard jokes like "Forgot your running shoes?" to compliments. After passing a group of about 3 or 4 young ladies, one of them shouted: "Hey Leonardo, you're my man." I also met Carlos, a Paraguayan runner from Team Asuncion Runners. He approached me just to ask if I did not need running shoes. He and his team traveled by road about 870 miles from Paraguay's capital to attend the event. I also started up a conversation with Valdomiro, 71 years old, who was running in a good pace and finished fifth in his age group. 

After the 14th mile, Porto Alegre Marathon becomes monotonous because the course go and then come back through a long avenue at the banks of Guaiba river (see the course recorded with my Garmin Forerunner, Google Earth take a few minutes to process the file, be patient). At this point there is another factor of discouragement. They are runners who are running the marathon relay, so while you are at the 14th mile they are at their 1st mile and pass very fast.
After warmed and until the 18th mile my piriformis muscle do not bothered me. After this point the tingling returned but only on the sole of left foot. Indeed, it was beyond tingling, I lost a bit of sensitivity. My running form deteriorated so that, for the first time, I finished with a small blood blister under the middle toe of that foot. 

By mile 22 I overtook fellow runner Colucci who was with cramps and went slowly. At this point we were already returning along the long avenue and faced a head wind. So, at mile 24 I "broke" too. My pace droped from 8:10/mile to 8:51/mile. In this part one guy yelled, "You are the 2nd barefoot runner." Latter I discovered that the other barefoot runner was not running the marathon but the relay.

Near finish line there was a good crowd at the edges of the street. Broken, I thought I deserved applauses like a champion. I raised my arms and asked for applause! They applauded me! Great! Thank you, crowd! You raised the mood of an exhausted body. Despite a PB, 3h37m40s, this was the marathon I felt more tired at the end. Maybe it was the only three weeks of rest since the last one. 

Walking back to the hotel I saw a runner lying on the sidewalk. Approached and asked if everything was fine. He said yes, he was just resting and relaxing while waiting for some friends. He said it was from Curitiba and knew me by the video of the Curitiba Marathon from
It was a good experience to do two marathons so close. I confirmed that marathon, by itself, is very tiring. I think I'll take a break in training for long races. I think I will now focus on improving my time in the 5K.