I set a PW (Personal Worst) on this marathon run. Luckily I wasn't expecting great things. I have only run maybe 13 miles in the last 3 weeks, so I was out of shape. Sasha slept at my brothers house on Friday night, I had told him that my knee hurts so I haven't been able to train for the last few weeks. He told me to give it my all for the first 16 miles, then just try to finish the last 10.2. He seems to know what he is talking about, so I did as he said.
Although my training has been bad, I figured I could at least do 7 minute miles for the first half, then maybe 7:30's until 16, after that I was just going to focus on getting done before 4 hours. But my final goal was to not quit.
I started up at the front of the pack by my brother Jason (3:00:38 I think, Great job). I didn't want to start in the middle and get caught in a group or have to weave in and out to pass people. I figured I'd start up front and stay with that pace for a while.
Mile 1 was ok. About 5 minutes into the race I could feel that my knee wasn't 100%, but I already knew that going in. I picked a pace that felt good with my lungs and my knee and I stuck with it.
Mile 1 was 7.07.96. 7 seconds off my pace, but I didn't want to shoot out of the gate and go faster than I felt comfortable with.
mile 2 was 7.00.24, right on pace. 3, 7.06.54. 4, 6.53.68. 5, 7.06.97. 6, 6.59.42. 7, 7.04.16. 8, 6.51.89. 9, 7.01.9. 10, 7.09.23.
By mile 11 my lack of training started to hit me, and I felt my self bog down. Luckily there was a strong tail wind that kicked in around here, and there was still a couple of miles of down hill.
11, 7.13.51. 12, 7.12.93. 13, 7.18.64. I hit 13.1 with a time of 1.32.07, a whole 3 minutes and 8 seconds faster than I did the first half last year (last year I wasn't going all out for the first 16, I was trying for a good 26.2).
13, 7.18.64. 14, 7.34.3. 15, 8.42.11. 16, 12.10.71 with about a 4 minute bathroom/gatorade break.
At this point I was thinking I was dead. I had no energy and still had 10.2 miles to not get a D.N.F. next to my name. Here comes a lot of super slow jogging, just a hair faster than a walk, but it was all I had in the tank.
17, 9.30.22. 18, 9.58.45. 19, 10.51.22. I pretty much walked all of 20. I started getting cramps in both legs, which made it hard to bend my legs. With walking and stopping to try and stretch out cramps 20 was 14.53.16.
From here until the end I was forced to stop and stretch about every 1/2 mile.
21, 12.10.42. 22, 12.21.91. 23, 11.23.64. 24, 11.38.01. 25, 12.18.78. 26, 11.33.01. 26.2, 2.05.83.
Total time was 3.59.18 (Sasha predicted I would get around 4 hours, he really knows his stuff).
Although this was a personal worst by about 8 minutes (and about 38 minutes off my PR, all on the same course), crossing the finish line never felt so good, or like I had accomplished more than it did for this run.
I was planning on taking about 3-4 months off to let my knee heal, but after yesterday I don't think I will be able to stay away that long. My plan is to take maybe 2 months off. Use lots of rest, ice, a knee brace, and use weights to strengthen my leg muscles (I think I have runners knee).
Hopefully it goes well and I can crack 3:10:59 next time.