I haven't completed an open marathon in 7 or 8 years and Monday morning reminded me why.
Let me back up a bit. I signed up for this racing while still in decent shape from IMOO. The hope was to better my PR marathon (set at IMOO). Could I could pull off a 3:30 with some decent training and weight management? Well, ten pounds and probably not enough training later, I arrived in Phoenix with the realization that I would settle for any type of PR, let alone a 3:30.
The idea was to start just ahead of the 3:30 pacer and continue with an 8 min pace...possibly picking it up a bit in the second half. My better half decided that she would push 7:45 to 7:50's, but didn't mention that our previous plan had changed. The first 6 or 7 miles were between 7:40 and 7:55, so I realized that picking it up probably wouldn't happen. At about mile 11 or 12, I started to notice that Julie was getting smaller and smaller until finally, by mile 13, she was out of sight. It was then that I realized that I was really quite cold. Most people had started out with gloves and a long sleeve throwaway. I kept my long sleeve COTTON shirt and gloves on the whole race, not knowing that it was my cooling sweat that was keeping me cold. My heavy sweat rate was no different the any other run/race but for some reason I didn't make the connection. At mile 16, signaling that I was starting to slow a bit, the 3:30 pace group slowly went past me. Not good for the old mental toughness. My new goal as to keep ahead of the 3:40 pace group. At mile 22, a woman ran past me with a 3:40 pace card on her butt. I thought the she must have dropped the pace sign or something, so that goal was shot. Just a half mile or so farther down the road, the actual 3:40 pace group came up to me but didn't pass. My legs were basically done, but I just stayed with them until we came to a "hill" (really a bridge overpass). At the start of the down hill, I picked it up just a bit and didn't cramp. I decided to just keep pushing and see if I could stay ahead of them. It hurt...a lot. I ended up coming in just under 3:40, so that was great, but I have never hurt like that during a race...Ironman included.
In hindsight, I never would have pushed through the pain without my training last summer. It really taught me that the body can do so much more than the mind thinks it can.
Post-race, we decided that In & Out burger sounded like heaven (maybe it was just Kerry and me), so we walked there and then back to the light rail for the trip home to the Yndepad.
Sunday evening/Monday morning were brutal. Feet hurt, quads just killed. Walking down stairs must have looked hilarious, but it felt really bad. At one point, walking down stairs backwards was just the stuff. I'm kind of dreading masters swimming tonight. There will be no heavy push-offs, nor any kick-work for this guy. ***(I bagged masters, sorry Theresa!!)
Thanks for reading!!