Sunday, February 10, 2008

2/10/08 Valentine Marathon

Sleep in, in my own bed, nice breakfast, then a short drive to catch the 9:30AM early start at Millersylvania State Park. Bob Green is in the hospital, but the race will go on. Same course and many of the same runners as the Christmas race. Cool and windy with a good chance for rain.

Mile 2 - I have been running with Ashley but I tell her to go on ahead. My plan is to keep the pace around 8:40

Mile 4 - I have been running with Jessica Norton who I just met. She won the Whidbey marathon last year and is running the half today as a training run. Pleasant conversation - I don't think I have ever met anyone who has been on a box of cereal before. Sorry to see her turn around at mile 6.5

Mile 10 - Breezy but not as bad as Christmas. Running comfortably

Mile 13.1 - Turn around at 8:40 pace, aid station has just been set up but I've got my fuel belt stocked with gatorade. Approaching the turnaround I tried to yell hello to everyone that I knew. SR Lopez, Hope, Ashley, Ron, Jim, Jim.

Mile 17 - Starting to slow down. Wind is blowing in every direction. Ashley is a tiny red speck in the distance.

Mile 20 - Billy is waiting for me, to help me run in to the finish. What occurs next is the most difficult hour of running in my life.

Mile 21 - Stomache ache. Throw up a little bit in my mouth. Run past the water stop as there is no need.

Mile 22-25 Very short walking breaks as needed when quadriceps fail. Counting to 200 was effective in keeping me going as was looking at landmarks up ahead. Considerable suffering as I just wanted to stop running but forced myself to keep moving. Cry a little bit and get emotional as I see Tammy and Haley there to cheer for me. Not having fun at all.

Mile 26.2 - Quads feel like noodles, not working like they should. Shuffle across the finish in just under 3:57. Timer calls my time at 3:50 something and I try to correct her, she later adds five minutes to my time but not anyone elses

Very pleased to be back under 4 hours, but this one took a lot out of me. It is good to suffer and push it sometimes but I would not want all of my races to end like that.

20th of 59 runners

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