Did my 1st Marathon today!!!
So for New Year's resolution 2007 I decided to run a marathon. I started training in Feruary and stuck to my running schedule all year. Even at Libertycon I slipped out Saturday morning and ran about 6 miles. Then mileage started to build up, Big Time. Sometime around October I started running 20 mile runs on the weekend, sheewww! I kept thinking, 4.5 hours, I could do it. Realistically, I calculated I'd run a 4:53 sometime in mid November. But, but, but, Oprah ran a 4:29, I'm in waay better shape than her, right? I wasn't racing Opray damnit, had to keep putting that through my head.
Thanksgiving week I came down with a serious head cold, but that didn't stop me. I still ran, even in the rain. This week rolls around and I just have sniffles but it wasn't really a factor other than keeping me from sleeping to easy (you know, stuffy nose, hard to breathe laying down, get up take some Afrin, repeat again after wife tells you you're snoring, crap).
I felt good this morning at 5:52am when the alarm went off. Hell, it was 65 degrees outside today! Shorts, an underarmour T-shirt, and the www.baen.com jersey on top. Race # 914 pinned affectionately below the website.
The race felt good, I felt good. At the half marathon mark (13.1 miles) I had my best time ever compared to training, 2:14. Wow! I was on track to beating Oprah! Calm down I had to tell myself, the last 6 miles are the hardest to finish and where everybody gets sacked according to everything I'd read.
At 19 miles, I was still on track to at least tie Oprah. The temperature was now 70 degrees. I was sure I had drank enough gatorade. At every stop I forced myself to walk while downing all of 4 cups of the stuff. I even had a few PowerGels with caffiene and a couple of tylenols and asprins for shits and giggles.
At 21 miles I was still 13 minutes ahead of what I was expecting. Okay, probably would beat Oprah but was getting close at around 4:35 or so. Cool!
Then it happened. I'd trained and trained, but that last 6 miles is a bitch. Between miles 21 and 24 I started cramping in my right upper calf muscle. And I felt like I was gonna bonk (uh, that means out of energy like a diabetic insulin crash not get hooked up with somebody on the course).
Then I started thinking, "God, I have to finish under 5 hours!" So I picked my ass up and started running, as fast as I could for the last 2.2 miles. I crossed the 25 mile marker at 4:39. I had 11 minutes to plod out 1.2 miles and stay in the 4:40s. Hell, I'd run 1.2 miles in just over 7 minutes recently, I could do it.
I looked at my watch when I could see the 26 mile marker and the finish line just 2 tenths beyond that. 4:47 and change. Push, push, push!
I struggled with everything I had and sprinted across the line at just over 4:51. Damnit. Oprah...
Oprah was the last thing going through my mind just then. Not throwing up or passing out were #s 1 and 2 and I'm not sure in which order.
"Gatorade!" I gasped as two dudes held me up and took the timing chip off my shoe lace and retied my shoe for me. I was glad because that shoe on the end of my leg was about 30 feet away and there was no way I could reach at that moment.
Then, 5 minutes later, I could breathe, they put a finisher's metal around my neck and a hat on my head. I stumbled out toward the parking lot and there was World Class Marathon runner and NYT bestselling author Jeff Galloway. He looked at me and approached me. I was nobody to him, right? He slapped me on the arm and said, "YOU DID IT!" and gave me a big smile. I felt 10 ft tall at that point.
You Goddamned right I DID IT! All 26.2 freakin' miles of it!!! You know, Galloway is a cool dude. It really made my day.
Then I went home and sat in a tub of ice cold water for a while, ate some chicken, apples, pretzels, nuts, candy, and anything else that wasn't tied down. And, I sat my ass on the couch for the rest of the day.
I went to bed around 11pm and woke up at 3:50am starving to death and thirsty as hell. So I decided to have a snack and post my results on the bar.
There's a marathon in April in Nashville. I'm not thinking about Oprah any longer. I'm thinking about 4 hours. Not in April could I beat 4 hours, but I bet in a year or so I could. But until after Christmas I'm gonna do nothing and catch up on some of the beer drinking I've missed since February. Then in January, look out Oprah.
Hey, maybe I could finish an Ironman? A half ironman for sure, hmmmm...
Merry Christmas y'all,
[edit: image uploaded]