2013 Cape Cod Marathon

Last Sunday, Debbie returned to a road marathon for the first time since January 2004. Not counting Ironman’s, that same road marathon was also my last (and my first). I’m in no rush (I swore them off) to do another. However, Debbie had the bug earlier this year and signed up for the 36th Cape Cod Marathon.

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Truthfully, it’s been a rough year for her. She would readily admit that her performances have been below par. Something’s up. She is working on it, but despite a lot of effort, her fitness has failed her and many of her races have been humbling experiences. I’ve written about many of her successes over the years, so there is no reason to disguise slow running when it occurs. Rest is in order, but as most runners know, the pull to run again is strong.

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She is searching for the answers, but is also still testing herself. It’s part of the process of experimentation. Try this. If it doesn’t work. Try that. Repeat. This isn’t willy-nilly. Her “team” is on it. Regardless of how fast she ran, it was a great day for running. When we arrived “on Cape” the Saturday before the race, the wind was howling at nearly gale force. The sea was churned into a white froth and I got sand-blasted on my pre-ride of the marathon course.

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We awoke to the pitter-patter of rain drops on the roof of the house, but the streets dried, the clouds cleared, we were treated to one of the best days of fall. I absolutely love the Cape in autumn. The whole family had a good time. We were hosted at the new version of the “Cape House” by Stevie, Susan, and Maggie.

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They helped with the kids so I could jog to the start (just over a mile from the house) with Debbie and see her off. I raced back to the house, which is technically at the 2-mile mark, to cheer with the family.

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I drove up to see her at 11 miles, and then over to the 15 mile mark, before returning to the house to pick up the others. Then, we all went to the finish on Main Street. We waited longer than we hoped, but in the end it was all good. Debbie is sore, but her spirit is not broken. She has one more major event this year and then she will likely hit the reset button.

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Her coach, Al Lyman, is a strong proponent of going back to the basics. She is still gathering evidence, and there may be more than one issue, but so far one lead is pointing towards a nutritional deficiency. It’s just one thing to look at and a logical approach. The symptoms include muscle fatigue, and of course, slow running.

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After 15 years of running ultras, there are a lot of miles on her engine, but she is in phenomenal overall shape and she takes care of herself. So, the suspicion is that there is some sort of imbalance causing her the struggles. Without the variables of a long distance trail race, Cape Cod at least confirmed things.

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A straightforward road marathon that was not too hilly and not too flat was the ideal gauge for her. The fact that she ran it more than 30 minutes slower than her personal best at that marathon nearly 10 years ago, doesn’t make sense. I don’t buy that it is aging.

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One might suspect that our vegan diets could be a factor in this mystery. That is under review. Remember, we have had some pretty good races eating the same foods and while not eating others. Like I said, it’s likely a combination of things.

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I got some great photos of the runners. I enjoyed the husband/wife team of Patrick Moulton and Katie Moulton take the wins. That was a first for the race.

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This was still a great race weekend. The other runners and spectators were a blast. We saw our fair share of costumes and antics. It was a different crowd from the trail scene, but it was still runners and we love runners.

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Race Results

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