This one was rough. I had no real expectations going in. My training for the last few weeks has been almost non-existent. I ran a decent 10 miler two weeks ago but have done nothing since. The highlight of the day for me was seeing all the folks from the running/walking group before the race; seeing Dave at mile 8ish and seeing some new first time marathoners approach the finish and learning that some fitters got PR's out of the day.
I started out running water stop to water stop. I only got as far as the second stop (around mile 3) before I switched to 3 and 1 run/walk interevals. My feet were numb, my legs felt like lead. I felt like I was going backwards - on the downhill. My head was out of the run early. I saw Dave at his usual spot between mile 8 and 9 and asked him to walk with me a bit. I told him I likely wouldn't cross the finish line until after the 3 hour mark on the clock. I was figuring a 2:45 finish at that point. (Remember, I don't cross the start line until well after the clock actually starts)
Dave said all the right things and none of the wrong ones. He didn't tell me I could do it. He knew that would likely annoy me in my current state of mind. Instead he simply told me he loved me and that he was proud of me. So how can I disappoint that right? Everyone should have the support I have from Dave. I actually picked up the pace and enthusiasm from there to mile 11.5. Unfortunately at that point my right hip and left calf were quite painful. My calf was cramped and the hip just wasn't happy. (Both are better now).
As I came around the bend from the Art Museum toward the finish line. The announcer started giving the full marathoners an extra push to cross before the clock read 3 hours! I got caught up in that and did manage to finish before the clock read 3 hours. I think Dave said my time was 2:36 and change. Longer than 2:30 but considering everything not too shabby.
To give you an idea of how down I was in the first half of the race - for the first time ever I wanted to smack, no punch, a spectator. Now spectators are not always the smartest in what they say. Like the person who says "You're almost there" ....at mile 2. Or the one who tells you "You're looking good" when you are barely moving, drenched in sweat and grimacing in pain". But neither of these folks means any harm really they just aren't thinking. So you let it roll off your back and move on. Today, I was in a walk interval and a guy steps in front of me and says "We don't WALK in this event!". And because our names were on our bibs he used my name. He was loud and really obnoxious. There is no way to give this guy benefit of any doubt as to his motives... he was just being mean. Likely drunk but still... For half a block I wanted to turn around and punch him. I thought, "If you don't want to cheer for me, fine but don't put me down". I was so mad. But half a block later I decided he wasn't worth it.
So it's done. My 2012 racing season is over. It's been an up and down year. Hip flexor stress for the first 4 months. Coming back to an awesome race in September and finishing with an ok Philly Half. I finsihed! :)
Now it's three weeks of no running! None, zilch, nada. Since I started in 2008 (except for the injury induced layoff) I've been going, going, going. It's time to take a break. Over the next three weeks there will be lots of biking (I hope), hiking, walking and YAYOG sessions..... but no running. I'll think about running, no doubt. But I won't actually do any.
On December 1st, or thereabouts, I'll share with you my training schedule for Bob Potts. Today was a struggle but I'm still excited about doing it.. and the century ride, and the OCNJ half.. all in 2013.