Running 26.2

My marathon was today. I finished! All 26.2 miles. Being my first marathon, finishing was my main goal. My secondary goal was to finish in under 4 hours 30 minutes. This was a softer goal but given the pace at which I had been running my longer runs that seemed attainable. I am proud to say that I finished in 4:21!

It was a pretty cool experience. The energy of the dense crowd at the beginning was intense. I started way at the back which might sound like a bad thing but I thought it would be a good thing since it gave me an opportunity to pass more people in the later stages.

I found myself running a little faster than the pace I wanted to be keeping. After about 3 miles, things thinned out. They thinned out further when the half marathon course split from the full marathon course. That’s when I really settled in.

I passed the 5:00, 4:45 and finally 4:30 pace teams before mile 12. I thought about keeping with the 4:30 team. They were a large team and had a lot of spirit. But, I felt good enough to put some distance between them and me. Miles 12-17 were great. I kept my pace and many others around me were at the same pace.

Not surprisingly, miles 20-25 were the toughest. At that point, the course went along the river and it was a lot of up and down hills through parks along side the river and over and under bridges. A lot of people choose to walk up the hills over these miles. But, I pushed ahead continuing to run even if my pace slowed a lot up those hills. I walked through the aid stations as I drank water and, in one case, a short distance afterward but I was afraid if I walked too long I would not be able to start back up. My legs were really feeling tired.

The enthusiasm of the crowd through the last 1/2 mile was incredible. Total strangers cheering me on. At the start of that last mile I was able to call my wife on my cell phone to let her know I was close. That provided more motivation knowing my family was waiting for me at the finish. Over the phone I could hear the cheering at the finish. Rounding the last corner with the finish in site I felt no fatigue, no pain. As I crossed the finish my name was announced for all to hear. And, then I spotted my family waiting for me.

5 thoughts on “Running 26.2

  1. CONGRATS!!!!

    That is a LOOOONNG run! I dont think I have driven the feature that many miles this month!!!

    Is there another marathon in Boston or NYC in your future???

  2. Hey man way to go. I know that hitting that “Wall” had to be tough. My wife explained it very much the same way you have. Great job on the finish. Take care. Chet and the gang.

  3. Thanks Anton, Ken and Chet.

    @Ken, I don’t think I’ve had my Mustang out that many miles in the last month either.

    Yesterday I thought this might be a one time occurrence. Today I am thinking there might be more in my future. Although, more might have to wait until next year.

    What I think is amazing is that there were a fair number of people who were running and on their way to a goal of running a marathon in all 50 states!

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