Oct. 14, 2007

Unexplored Territory

I'm sitting at my Mac with some very sore legs right now... A few hours ago I finished my first marathon, clocking in at 3:30:28. I'd signed up for it many months ago because I wanted to get that running distance under my belt before I took on an Ironman triathlon. Recent events events have put me in the unexpected position of doing that Ironman only six weeks afterward, which is closer than most people would recommend. Well, there you go.

It was a cool morning, but not too bad. Better than last year's half marathon, which was down right chilly. I ran into several team mates at the start and a few others during the race. There were a lot of friends on the side lines too including Sheryl and her grandson who came out as the race passed their building. A couple of team mates rode along side me for a while and really helped me through some rough miles. It was a great feeling having so many friends around. I probably won't have that support in Australia...

Working from my performance in last year's half marathon and the 30K Around the Bay race I figured that a time in the lower half of three hours was doable, so I grabbed a 3:10 and a 3:20 paceband at the pre-race Expo on Friday. In the back of my mind I was thinking about the qualifying time for my age group for Boston; 3:30... I ended up using the 3:20 pace band and was able to stay slightly ahead of pace until about 25K. Then I started slowly dropping off.

This is my 42.1 marathon as recorded by my iPod. Not perfectly calibrated yet!

At about 28K I was unable to ignore my sore hips and the ache in the ball of my left foot, so I started taking walking breaks. But I realised at about 33K that I might be falling out of the window for Boston. I kept taking walking breaks, but I put on a bit more speed. Things started looking a bit grim when I turned up University Ave. at about 39K, but I saw a crowd of TTC members at the last water station and then my friend Andy found me on his bike. He gave me some great encouragement heading up to Queen's Park and I had a good burst of speed over the last 2K. When I crossed the line I'd just stayed in the 3:30 band. I qualified for the Boston Marathon!
Place Bib# Time Chip Pace
272/1773 915 3:30:56.8 3:30:29.0 5:00

First 21.1K Last 21.1K Last 12K First 30K
1:38:20 1:52:38 1:06:34 2:24:23

Category Category Place Gender Place
Men 45 - 49 50/229 245/1232
Of course I also have to acknowledge that running a marathon 6 weeks before my first Ironman is not the smartest thing to do. But I'm doing this thing MY way! I just wish I could bring along some team mates to Australia for the fantastic boost I always get. Say three or four.

Listening to: Please Come to Boston by Dave Loggins from Please Come to Boston.

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