I went into to the Big Beach Marathon with a solid block of training at fast paces, and intended to try to PR . . . but the weather didn't cooperate - race temp was 65 degrees with about 100% humidity. I went ahead and tried to run fast for about 4 miles, then decided to back off and "just" try to sub-3 . . . I kept that up until about mile 11 or 12, when I went ahead and backed off to drop my heartrate below 160 and just cruised the rest of the way in. I still finished in a reasonable 3:06:18 and in 2nd place overall. I should have started out at a 6:50 pace and "just" tried to sub-3.
The course was very windy, and curved back and forth on paved trails throughout Gulf State Park. Given it was sheltered from the wind, that was nice, at least. The forecast had been for rain most of the week, and it rained overnight . . . but the rain cleared off around 7 am and it started getting warmer. I could have wished it had at least been raining - that would have at least been a bit cooler. I did run off course for about 0.1 mi at the one unmarked turn . . . volunteers at that corner didn't know where to tell us to go, either. Luckily, a spectator drove out and caught us (me and one other runner) and told us more or less where to go.
Some nice bling - a very useful beach towel (needed that to sponge off the sweat) and a $40 gift certificate to a local running store (not sure how I'm going to redeem it - if I can't, I guess I'll mail it to the local high school and donate it to a needy kid on the track team). The medal was rather big and gaudy. Race pix were free, but not many shots were taken, particularly of the marathoners (lots and lots of pix of half-marathoners).
Shoes: I ran in brand new black Altra Escalantes.
Shorts: I ran in new black and gray striped Adizero shorts from Adidas.
Shirt: I wore a Texas singlet from Sugoi
Hydration: I started off planning to alternate water and gatorade at every aid station, but after I bailed on trying to run fast, I just drank water.
Socks: Injinji OTC compression socks.
Fuel: I took Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gels at miles 6, 13, and 20 - had I been running faster rather than cruising in the second half, I would have taken a fourth.
Hat: My old white adidas visor
Glasses: left my sunglasses in the truck - it was overcast/misty all day
Watch: Garmin 920 - no problems