Completed first marathon (Maine Marathon) on October 6 in 3 hours 22 minutes. Beat realistic goal of 3:30, but fell short of reach goal of 3:15 needed to minimally qualify for Boston Marathon in my age group.
- Support was HUGE! If my family had not been along the route during the last six miles, I might have finished at a leisurely Lonesome George shuffle step, or have ditched my bib, pulled off the course and pretended to be a water-stop worker (“you can do it! almost there!.. ” I know the lines now, you liquid-pimping sadists!) until the volunteer shuttle came. Emily ran with me for a good chunk of the last mile, which was great. I anticipated being able to summon more of a conquering Caesar finish with a sprint at the end, but in true October/Halloween month marathon style, I crossed the finish line like a walking-dead zombie.
- Well-run race… on the organizers’ part. Good swag bag, GREAT shirt this year, easy to get to start/finish line, and a very nice touch by not firing a gun at the start in respect for what happened at the Boston Marathon in 2013. A little air horn went off and then the race organizer just walked up to the front of the corral and said, “go… GO DAMN IT! I started the clock! Go! RUN!”
Marathons have time to catch up to me. I made the turn (out and back course) at 1:32, felt great, and didn’t finish until 3:22. Virtually ALL of the added time in the second half came in the last six miles. At the turn I was thinking, “if I’m close at mile twenty, I’ll go for 3:10 this time, and then go for sub-3 hours next time.” Idiot. Moron. Tragically-flawed getting-ahead of one’s self simpleton. The last six miles were a series of pace-exploding, have-to-stop-and-stretch-omfg-forrest-gump-something-bit-me leg cramps and I was thinking, “I’m standing in the middle of the road with less than a Chatham Harbor Run to go and I’ll be lucky to beat Oprah’s marathon time… or Al Gore’s marathon time… or Al Roker’s marathon time (although he might be still running).”
- Hydration and nutrition are legitimate factors. I haven’t run into leg cramps at distances up to the half marathon, but even on a cool, autumn Maine day, the marathon distance shut down both legs. I carried my own Gatorade in a nifty Orange Mud mini pack and consumed approximately 18 ounces. Apparently this is not enough, or I didn’t drink it early enough. Along with the Gatorade, I ate six Cliff Margarita chews “with 3x the salt,” and four Endurolyte capsules. I may pack a pizza and a growler of beer next time… or push an IV stand… or at least switch back to Gu’s.
- Heady Topper is the best beer I have ever had (put “Hints of grapefruit belong in an IPA, damn it!” on my gravestone), and I’m designating it my officially official celebratory libation for marathon PR’s, BQ’s, and maybe even DNFs. Hard to find beer, you say? Yep. Almost as hard to find as this particular Andy in a marathon, since I’m currently averaging 1 marathon every 41 years.
Running Goals for 2014:
- Qualify for Boston 2015 (3:15 for lottery, probably 3:12ish to realistically get in).
- Sub 3 hour marathon in Fall.
- Sub 39 minute 10k.
- Sub 1:25 half marathon.
- Perfect alchemy of electrolytes, fluid, food that allows me to hide what’s going on from my leg muscles.
First Marathon by Mile Splits (reality by Garmin!):
- Mile 1 – 6:50
- Mile 2 – 6:54
- Mile 3 – 7:04
- Mile 4 – 6:50
- Mile 5 – 7:00
- Mile 6 – 6:55
- Mile 7 – 7:10
- Mile 8 – 7:15
- Mile 9 – 7:09
- Mile 10 – 7:20
- Mile 11 – 6:54
- Mile 12 – 7:11
- Mile 13 – 6:59 (delusions of still making reach goal)
- Mile 14 – 7:12 (no worries!)
- Mile 15 – 7:31 (hilly… no panic!)
- Mile 16 – 7:16 (got this easy!)
- Mile 17 – 7:38 (angry face, but doing fine!)
- Mile 18 – 7:33 (hold it to 20… got this!)
- Mile 19 – 7:31 (Nice… I’ll take this pace to the house!)
- Mile 20 – 7:30 (Only a 10k left… nice!)
- Mile 21 – 8:30 (first leg cramp… wtf! Eat and drink everything left on my person… lick visible salt!)
- Mile 22 – 9:58 (despair… train wreck mile… multiple locked up leg cramp stops.)
- Mile 23 – 8:44 (baby rally… still can make up some time… finish this thing strong!)
- Mile 24 – 9:44 (more leg cramps… despair… I hate Maine!)
- Mile 25 – 8:20 (family witnesses… baby rally… or hallucinations)
- Mile 26.2 – Approx. 10 mins (forgot to stop watch at finish line… again!)
- Average mile: 7:43 / Final time: 3:22:03