Earlier in the week, as Dirrty Girl and I talked about the Glass City Marathon and the predicted crappy weather, she was like, "Well, why don't you just pick another marathon?". My response, "I already paid for it." Another friend said to think of it as a character builder.
Sitting, in my car prior to the start, the weather report had been true: light rain showers, snow showers, and a blowing wind. Even with a temp in the mid 30's it felt much colder and I struggled with several clothing options until I decided on the following: half tights underneath a pair of Brooks Tights, a midweight zip top base layer, North Face SS shirt, and a Nike Windshirt. On the feet were a pair of Injini socks and my newly broken in Nike Air Pegasus, circa 2006.
Stayed in the car as long as a I could and when I ambled out to the start, the race director reported a temperature of 36 degrees and the following statement: "Well the weather is bad for spectators and not so good for the runners." And with that we were off. I really entertained no time goal other than to get under 4 hours considering that the first 3 marathons in the D.D.M.C. were solo and rather easy. Figured with some other hearty souls there it was rather achieveable.
No timing chips or pace groups for this race, so off I went and the first mile went by in 7:51. Hmm, I thought, bit fast. Somewhere btwn mile 1 and 3 I hooked up with some guy and in conversation began a long diatribe for the better part of 10 miles about ultrarunning, training, and so forth as he was working on his 42 second marathon and was prepping for another 100 miler this summer. Eagerly, I asked for info and he obliged. In the meantime, we managed to cover miles averaging btwn 7:39 to 7:26 and even managed to run with the lead female for a bit.
Soon enough we parted ways, and i hit the half marathon mark in 1 hr 38 min and some change. Someone blurted out I was on pace for a 3:16 finish? As I hit the turnaround and wiped the snow showers from my eyes, I was in a bit of disbelief. I felt really good given the weather, but now the question remained as I made the turnaround and had the full brunt of the wind and the weather was detriorating was how much did I want to hurt? If I blew up, I probably could come in under my PR of 3 hr 33, but by how much and if I kept pressing how close could I stay on pace for that 3:16?
The next 7 miles were no fun as the rain showers turned to snow showers and the wind was blowing right at me, but I still managed to hit the 20 mile mark on pace for a 3:18 finish. Closing in on home, I encountered one problem. My hands were so cold that i could not unzip my pockets to get HammerGels out and had to resort to using my teeth. The final 10k pretty much sucked as I ran into people who were underdressed and looking like on the verge of hypothermia and i was getting pretty chilled as I was soaked to the bone. Soon enough the finish was in sight and a new PR of 3 hr 24 min and 39 seconds was mine!
Hurriedly, I made my way inside for some chicken soup and drink, before heading off to the car to get out of the wet clothes that seemed to weigh another 5 lbs. Interesting to note that even with the Injini socks, I still ended up with a rather large blood blister on one my toes. First one I have ever had, and will count it up as coming with running for the better part of the marathon on wet feet.
Overall time:: 3 hr 24 min 39 sec
Average pace per mile: 7:48
Fastest mile: 7:23 (M12)
Slowest mile: 8:45 (M24)
I am stoked make no mistake. Even with the D.D.M.C. challenge now 25% over, I have been toying with the idea of making a run at a Boston Qualifying Time (3 hr 10 min) this fall. Given my training to date, perhaps it is within my reach??