Well the race is over and I'm pleased with the result. I just barely even signed up for this race a few weeks ago when I knew I couldn't do a 24 hour race in Austin the same weekend. I've been having problems doing my long runs so I figured I could make it through a marathon even though I wasn't in the best shape. My longest runs going into this race was in the 14-16 mile range, but I have had good success with my weekday runs that were from 7-10 miles.
I guess I should go ahead and get it out, I finished in 4:08:33 and came in 31st place out of 261 in the Big person division, not my best time but one that I'm real positive about going into the future. My goal going into the race was to stay relaxed and try and run about a 2 hour half and then see what I had left. If I felt great I would go until I had nothing left, if I just felt OK I would stay with that pace and then if I felt tired I would back off and just try and enjoy the rest of the race and not worry about my time.
I started off nice and relaxed and did a better job of controlling my pace the first 5 miles but still went a little faster than I should have, but that's just my style when I feel good. Miles 1-5 went like this
Miles 6-11 were making our way toward the lake with a slight increase in elevation and I was still feeling good and trying to make sure that I ran at a relaxed pace. The half marathoners left the course just before mile 9 and the course cleared quite a bit. Miles 6-11 went like this.
Getting down to the lake and starting to run North into the cold breeze is when things started to get a little more difficult for me. I started mixing in a little walking and walked more through the aid stations. My goal was slow my pace slightly but to keep pushing and not give up like I had been doing on my long training runs. By mile 15 we had made it to far end of the lake and started back around the other side. Having the wind at my back was nice but now the sun was beating down and I was needing to take in more fluids because I was was sweating pretty heavily. Miles 12-17 went like this.
Mile 18 is when I hit my low point and bad thoughts crept into my head. You know the ones that just say "quit", or "walk some more", just "walk it in, no one will care". They were speaking loud and I did struggle during these 2 miles.
Finally getting off the lake was good and I was feeling a second wind coming, unfortunately so were the hills. Being a runner that weights in at 217, hills are not my strong point. I felt OK but I struggled up them and lost some time even though I felt pretty good. The splits went like this.
Now that I made it through the worst part of the course it was all down hill until the finish line and knew I could get in in under 4:10 if I got after it. I was feeling good, I guess as good as you can feel at mile 23 of a marathon so I just went with it. The last 5k of this race is what I am most proud of because I really didn't have the training to feel good at this point in the race but I did. I passed a lot of runners during this time and felt like I was flying during the last couple of miles. I ran through the finish line and felt great, felt like I could keep running for another 5k. Me splits went like this.
After the race I got my medal and finishers shirt and met up with a couple of people and my brother. This was the best I had ever felt after a marathon and I can only believe it has a lot to do with having more miles on the legs and some of the ultra runs I've done. So even though this wasn't my fastest marathon, I'm very pleased and will now be thinking about what is next in my future of running. Will it be a continuation of my 100 mile training or will I back off and do more marathons? Only time will tell.