Short version-NCR Trail Marathon this morning in 4:28.
Long version-There is no room for inflated egos in the marathon world. Your training can be fantastic and you can still fall apart on race day, but the important thing is that you finish if at all possible. Once you give up one time I imagine it’s much easier not to finish the next time.
I ran the first 1/2 pretty much on pace for a 4 hour marathon. I hit 10 miles in 1:32 and went through halfway in 2:01ish. Then the wheels started to fall off. Actually, they were falling off a while before that, but until things really got bad I was in denial. After about mile 16 I accepted the inevitable. I felt queasy, my hips were tightening up, and pretty much everything hurt. It was a combination of being sick the past two weeks, driving 17 hours roundtrip to Rhode Island a few days ago, and setting too ambitious of a marathon goal. 4 hours sounded good on paper, but I just didn’t have the training going into marathon season to back it up.
The great thing was, I still had a good time. I walked 5 minutes a mile and ran when I could. It was a beautiful day. My mom, my coach, and two of my friends (one with her husband and a baby on the way) came out to cheer me on. I finished under 4:30. I ran through the finish line. When all is said and done, I still ran 26.2 miles, which is something more than 99% of the population will never do. Given that I wanted to drop out of the race about a dozen times, that’s an accomplishment.
I’m switching my focus to 5ks for awhile to work on my speed. I’ll miss 20 mile long runs, though, I have to admit. I think they’re more fun than the marathon.