Start time: 6:02 am
Temp: 32 degrees
Time: 4 hr 34 min 09 sec
Avg. per mile: 10:27
Fastest mile: 9:40 (m3)
Slowest mile: 11:44 (m 23)
It was as fast as my body would allow me to go today. Visions of a near 4 hr solo effort were on my mind as I started out. The body initially seemed ready to respond as after a few mile warmup, the pace was starting to drop and I could feel myself getting into a rhythm. That was soon replaced with some stomach distress and forced a pit stop at the Golden Arches at around 11 miles.
I thought that after this I would be just fine as in the past, but I was wrong. The Gu tasted terrible, and the water/Gatorade mix was mildly nauseating. Just a bad patch, I said to myself. That patch turned out to be about 16 miles, the rest of the marathon. Back home @ mile 21, another pit stop had me reconsidering, well actually stating, there will be no more pizza, pizza the night before a marathon! The only thing good about getting back to the house was that I shed the handheld water bottle and picked up Nemo to help me through the final miles.
These days build character. They make you appreciate the days you set a PR even more special because everything has aligned just so and at that moment, distance, you are at your best. Today, there were no crowds, fellow runners, or Ipod rocking to get me through the marathon, it was just me. Today, forced me to do a gut check.
No one is making me do a marathon a month. I am receiving no endorsements out of this, other than my own self satisfaction. My decision was simple when I first started having issues. Cut it short and go home, or put my head down, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. If I kept going long enough, that bad patch would either go away, or I would be done. Today, it ended up that the bad patch lasted until I got done. Perhaps an even more important lesson for me was learned than just turning in a good time, and along the way got me feeling pretty stoked for the D.D.M.C. for April which looks to be Glass City!