Congrats to everyone who ran and a special congratulations to my lovely wife Libby on her PR and placing 5th in her age group! Yes she does remind me of it when I get out of line…and you know how often that happens!
It was a great day. I ran 3:08, a PR by 5 minutes. However, panic started the minute the Rogue Limo dropped us off an hour before the gun! Fighting the crowds to the clothing drop and back was horrendous! I made it in the coral just 15 minutes before the gun went off and that after jogging and dodging people to get to the start. With the adrenaline running high at the start, I had to stay focused on my plan to keep my pace slower than MGP. I have never been passed by so many so early in a race. I stayed true to the plan; slower up the hills, faster (but not to fast) down.
I have to mention the parts of the course I absolutely hate. It is the section up Exposition and then Great Northern Blvd. Mentally it is tough on me. These areas wreak havoc on my mental Psyche every time I run this marathon. But not this time, I stuck to the plan and made it through. During the hills of Exposition, I met up with a guy from New Braunsfels who had never run the course. He was having a great run and we chatted about goals. His goal was to break 3:10. I recommended that he continue to take it easy through the hills until he got to mile 20. Around the Shoal Creek area I came up on a kid (Hey! he was in his 20’s, to me that’s a kid!) The conversation went back and forth. At some point he wanted to know how someone my “age” could run so many marathons (I’ve run 14). I’m not sure I answered, I think I just laughed. He would run a while, then walk, then start running again. Did not appear to be rhythm or reason to it, but he was keeping up with me. We parted right after he saw his parents and I told them they had a great runner, about mile 22. Now back to me! Once I hit 19, I was so excited that I was not in the gutter (as I usually hit the wall between 18-20) that I started increasing my speed slightly ahead of the plan. I continued to feel good and at mile 20 was truly amazed by the amount of strength I had to keep pushing for the next 6.2 miles.
Although I was getting fatigued towards the end, my “cheering squad” lead by Coach Kim and Dave Goodstein, yelling my name and cheering me on gave me that last burst of energy needed to cross the finish line feeling strong. A big thanks to Coaches Kim, James and Aussie Scott. You guys are awesome! The pictures attached (around miles 9 and 24) show just how good I felt, as I have NEVER before been captured smiling in a marathon after about mile 2.