The days between the red the circle on my calendar are dwindling and with each day my anticipation grows. It feels like a year has passed since I signed up and now its near; Sunday brings the Philadelphia marathon and I’ll be running it. This will be my 7th marathon where I toe the line. Where I trust in my training, hope for a good day, focus on the race plan, and take stock of my strengths (pacing, consistency, and toughing it out) while trying to mitigate my weaknesses (those self-doubting voices in the head and losing focus in the middle miles).
The goals have changed since I signed up in the spring but so it goes. I will not be chasing my first sub 3:00 hour marathon as I expected. My spring goals missed the mark and had the slide effect on all goals. Well that and my torrid spring/summer/fall romance with plantar fasciitis. I wish I could quit you plantar? But we deal with what we have so the goals have reverted back to going for my first Boston Qualifying time of 3:10 and to follow the lead of my partner in running shoes I’m documenting my misses. (Shawn’s is here)
2007 Fargo Marathon – 3:50:13 – This was my second marathon and technically I was trying to pace my friend Mike to his BQ of 3:15 so this wouldn’t have counted but in my mind I thought I could run a 3:10 and it was such a tragic run I’m throwing it in. Ran a great first 1/2 with Mike and Ron, then around 14 my abdomen hurt, followed by cramping in my groin, then both of them, then glutes, etc. I limped through the second 1/2 and made it through. Later learned I had two inguinal hernias…nice.
2008 Phoenix Marathon – DNF – Ah, my DNF marathon! You never forget your first! And please be the last. In hindsight, what was I thinking? I raced for a PR marathon 6 months after surgery for two hernias? The adductor pain was intense that winter and few Minnesota ice slip-n-falls on the trails didn’t help much. I ended up keeping pace through mile 16 and then shut her down at mile 21 when I couldn’t walk without pain. The positive though was that this was the second marathon in a row my training partner reached their BQ.
2010 Fargo Marathon – 3:46:13 – Shawn and I had an excellent training session for this race and hit all the marks in preceding races that left me highly confident going in, the result proves the axiom of “it depends on the day”. We did not get a good day. Thunderstorms, humidity, rain, high temps after a training session in the Minny winters. I held up through 20 and was DOA at that point. I thought I was done at mile 10 actually so a small victory.