Sunday, October 09, 2005

Marathon Day at Last!

ORN: 26.2 miles, run 2 min/walk 3 min: 6:09:55

WOW, what a day!

I was pacing a friend through his first marathon. Our goal was 6:30 based on the training runs, but the Marathon Gods smiled on us BIG TIME today. The weather was perfect, except for a few windy spots, but all-in-all it couldn't have been better.

Some observations: for some reason the Gatorade didn't settle well. More precisely, it just seemed to be going right through me. That's unusual because I really LIKE Gatorade and the new "endurance" formula has worked well in the past. It might have been the cold, too. At any rate, I ended up stopping several times in the early miles to "drain the tank".

I ate 1/2 a Powerbar at mile 8, ate the other half at mile 16, and then used one Powergel at mile 20. In between I drank water and the "problem" went away.

We ran a negative split, meaning that the second half of the race was faster then the first half. In fact, the fastest mile we covered was between 25 and 26! We were strong enough to pick it up at the end.

As much as I complain, there is something magic about the marathon distance. Things happen from mile 20-26.2 that just don't happen any other time. I have to work past the fear, the fatigue - and in my case the anger - that seems to become ever present. It is much more than a physical challenge at that point.

Plus, the marathon distance rewards patience. When we took our first walk interval - TWO minutes into the race - we heard someone say "Well, they didn't get very far". I wish that person had been there to see us pass hundreds and HUNDREDS of runners who had crashed and burned!

So, marathon #41 is in the record books. I'll take some time to recover and then figure out what to do next.

Waddle on, friends.



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whitneyD (passed by weiner dogs) said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Sounds like you had a great run! I'm glad all went well and there were no problems (other than the Gatorade thing). I'm also really glad that your back is cooperating again.

As for what to do next...may I suggest the Carlsbad Marathon on January 15th?

Vicky and Dale said...

AWESOME!!! Great glad I get to share in the journey! Thank you for continuing to inspire and encourage me. I'm in the first couple weeks of training for my second marathon...Houston...and have a chance to BQ. Who would've ever thought a SO slow overweight girl would turn into the lean, mean running machine that I am today??? And I owe it, in part, to YOU...for letting me know that it was ok to be slow and overweight and still be a runner! So I kept at it and now almost 7 years later... WOW! thank you thank you thank you = ))

Kate said...

Congratulations on having such a great day! I've been reading your blog for the past couple weeks, and it's really been helping me psych up, but also relax, for my first marathon on Sunday. I've been stressing about running so slowly, but you help me to remember that running a marathon is an accomplishment in itself.

liz said...

So VERY cool of you to pace with your friend! Awesome job despite that Gatorade thingie...

You're making me want to do a marathon when all along a half was just perfect for me!!!!!!

Thanks for blogging and thanks for saying it's ok to not be an "elite" runner!

Barb said...

Congrats on a great run! I saw you around 11.5 miles and cheered for you as you ran by. You both looked strong.

I have to say, you've been a great motivation and inspiration for me as I train for my first marathon, the Rock N' Roll Marathon in Phoenix this January. In January 2004 I was told that I would never be able to participate in any type of endurace event or major cardio work when my lung collapsed 45%+. After working hard with doctors and PT's, and showing them your walk/run plans I was cleared to begin training earlier this year and I've never felt better. And as luck will have it, my marathon exactly 2 years to the day of my terrible lung collapse.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the world and as Liz said, that it's perfectly okay not to be an elite runner.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Training pays off! I did my first half marathon Sunday, and thought of you often - sometimes it's good to know that it's OKAY to be out there when we might otherwise feel out of place. Penguins may be slow, but we're courageous.

Anonymous said...

You inspire me. Thank you zillions! And then thank you again!

Melissa said...

Congrats John! Watching you and all the others on Sunday has inspired me to do the marathon next year!

Jarrett said...

Way to go. You should know that you have inspired this new runner to participate in the Indy 500 Mini Marathon in 2006! Who knows? Maybe in 2007 I'll try for my first marathon

Dawn - Pink Chick said...


Lily said...

Congratulations!!! What a training session this has been. I hope that your friend is inspired to try another. Nothing could be better than having the fastest mile at 25-26. And to finish faster than your estimated time. Congratulations again. Can't wait to see what's next!!!

Kristy said...

Congrats John, sounds like you had a great run and even better time!