Monday, October 03, 2005
They say there are good marathon days and bad marathon days. Want to guess what kind of day it was as I embarked on my first 26.2?
3000 people DNF'd
They pulled the pace rabbit because there was no chance of a record falling.
The male winner was 15 minutes slower than his PB
Joan Benoit Samuelson was shuffling and dogging at mile 20 (yet still qualified for olympic time trials for 2008 at 48 years old)
The female winner was walking at mile 22 and 24.
It was the second slowest finish in the history of this marathon.
The average finish was 4:27
It was a beautiful day-but just humid and weird. It was like the barometric pressure couldn't make up it's mind.
There was a lot of this-cramps, vomiting, etc.
I was ready to turn off at mile 5-since that marker was only 4 miles from home. At mile 6 I knew the first blister was forming on my feet so I stopped at an aide tent. 3:45 time delay- but better than the woman who stopped with me and nearly passed out.
By mile 7 I was finally feeling really good, until mile 11 where I stopped for the other foot. At mile 14 I met the tribe for the first time. Take me home, please. Of course I didn't want to go home, but I didn't want to keep going either. I can't explain it, physically I felt great, mentally I felt like rats were gnawing on my cerebrum.
The crowds were constant and so inspiring. Just keep moving, just keep moving. I walked and drank at every water stop. miles 15-18 went better, but then I started to hyperventilate. (more on that later) The tribe met me at mile 17, God bless them. I was running for the right to tell them to never quit. I threw out my pace charts at mile 13. Notwithstanding the 9 minute delay for the feet, my 13 mile split was discouraging. I figured if I could just click off 4 more I could get mentally close enough to the finish line that I could push through to the end. As soon as I saw mile 19 I knew I was going to make it. Somehow getting within an hour of finishing was very helpful. Then came the ALARC wall. I passed mile 20 knowing it's all up hill from there. I felt good though-at least physiclly, so I at least knew I could keep moving. I could walk if I had to, but I didn't want to walk.
Surprisingly, when I was running, I was carrying a good pace. Run, run run, walk, drink, walk, run, run, run. Finally mile 24 and the tribe waiting to cheer me home. I knew I was so close that was no chance of not making it. I tried to not think about what my feet must look like by now-theyll heal- and I focused on smiling, and encouraging everyone plodding along next to me. One last up hill then mile 25. Finally that awesom downhill and the capitol. I forced myself to run the final half mile praying I wouldn't trip and finally, finish line. I made it! My time was a full 1/2 hour slower than what I wanted, and I was disappointed, until I learned that it wasn't a day for records or speed-it was just flat out endurance today.