I spent 4 hours, 42 minutes yesterday earning the right to say this: I’m a marathoner! It’s still a little surreal that I did that – and that after 4 months of training, it’s already over – so maybe a brief recap will help it all sink in.
Team Flail convened at my hotel room in the morning to get bibbed up and then head to the start line just a block away. I met up with Portia at the 10:00/mile group marker, where Amy C got a picture of us (scroll about halfway down this page). We had a few minutes to freak out and then it was time to go.
The first 18 miles were just plain solid. Portia & I held ourselves back to slow-pace the first 2, then settled into roughly 9:50 miles. About halfway, her knee started acting up & she pulled back but told me to go ahead. I kept running with a guy (John or Sean? Not sure) who had joined us, until he pulled back around mile 14.
I put in both earphones and settled in. But around mile 18, the effort started to feel harder. I hadn’t really planned what I would do in the latter parts of the race, but considered two options: keep running until I absolutely couldn’t, then struggle through whatever was left; or start conserving what I still had, and “enjoy” the end of the race. Since my plan has always been “one & done” with the marathoning, I went for the latter.
I switched to 1 minute walk, 4 minute run in miles 18-20, then roughly half & half through those *%@!ing hills in miles 21-23, then mostly powerwalked 24-25. Weirdly, walking was actually more painful than running, so I got back up to a trot whenever I could. Just before the 26-mile marker, I ran and kept running as I turned the corner (waving to Leah & Annie who were cheering me on), where I saw the 5 ½ year-old bandit who jumped in and ran across the finish with me.
Official time: 4:42:21. Going into it, I thought 4:30 was the optimistic edge of doable, so I’ve got no problem with those extra 12 minutes. My Flailmates, on the other hand, put their wheels on yesterday. Now-three-time-marathoner Andrew PR’d with 3:47, Adam beat 4 with 3:54, and John (who, I’m not kidding, ran not more than 6 times total in the entirety of our training period) came in at 4:08.
It’s a good thing I’ve got finals to cram for, or else I’d go on forever about this. One final additional round of thanks before I shut my trap about all this running – thanks to our friends Annie, Amy, Alison, Joe, Leah, Pippi, David & Michele, who all witnessed and cheered us on in The Great Flail yesterday. We promise not to do anything this ridiculous again.