Sep 15, 2008

2008 Erie Marathon

This one's hard to summarize... My final time of 3:33:24 is my slowest marathon since May 2003. I knew I wasn't in good marathon shape and anything even close to a 3-hour marathon would be asking an awful lot of my body. However, given my 3:02 at Cleveland in May and how I felt during my long runs over the last 6 weeks, I felt 3:10-3:15 to be realistic.

Race morning... Yikes! 80 degrees, humid from the rain that passed through the day before, and a little on the windy side. I thought to myself how I've never been warm prior to starting a marathon. That's just the kind of day it was, a day of firsts. I was shirtless by mile 8 (a first) with my race bib pinned to my red split-leg shorts (another first). I had to stop for at least a minute to make this happen (not at all concerned about time). About a mile later I shoved some ice down my shorts (not only a first, but also a last!). I can't figure how I was on pace to run a 3:10 through the half because the contingency strategy was in effect since mile 7 (i.e. finish in one piece). I know more than the average bear about how hard the body must work to stay cool on a hot day and I wasn't about to make it work any harder.

It was a fun race nonetheless. Highlights include (in no particular order): running a mile with the winner of the '85 and '95 Erie Marathon, helping and being helped by others over the last 6-8 miles, very nice volunteers, not stopping to walk despite cramping quads, running faster miles 22-26 than miles 18-22, crossing the finish line, and last but not least, shaking the hand and talking with a 90-year old who ran the 1/2 in 3:04, a world record (see picture below).

I was sad Teresa had to work. She knows more than anyone what running means to me and understood my desire to squeeze this one in despite her not being there with me. She also understood how much it meant for the twins to be there with me despite the forecast of rain. I believe they were both awake at the finish line this time!

The sleeves were definitely not needed... could have ditched the shirt as well

Age group world record, Henry Sypniewski, 90 years young

Finish line in site

Happy to be done.. and proud to be an American : )

Me and my homies

Sep 11, 2008

Not Sure What to Expect

T-minus 3 days and counting. Marathon #12 is sure to be an interesting one. I'm predicting I blow up somewhere on the course and have to drag myself through the final miles. The devil on my shoulder is telling me to go out at my standard marathon pace and see what happens... the angel is urging me to take it easy, run a nice even pace consistent with your current fitness level. I think I'll lean the direction of el diablo for the first ten miles or so and rely on the lighter side of my conscious to bring me home in one piece. The weather is forecast to be nice... a little rain perhaps, but mild temps. Wish me luck!

Me and my little buddies - early August