Monday, October 6, 2008

Marathon post: part 1

When you just look at time, finishing the marathon in 5:17:54 is well, not so good (awful) for me and my previous expectations.

But this is a race in which time is practically irrelevant.

I finished my first marathon.

And I finished it during after a summer that some would argue, I had no business running (the marathon, not running in general). Of course, those some were non-runners. You guys said, "just do it".

So I did.

Let's start with some interesting facts (in other words interesting to me, boring to you).

Running Summary since June 01, 2008
Runs: 23
Avg time: 01:18:26
Total Time 30:04:11
Avg distance: 7.5 Mi
Total distance: 173.6 Mi

Which means that on Sunday, I ran 1/8th of my total distance all summer. With no prior experience of running more than 14 miles. I had "run" 20 miles once 2 weeks ago in Providence while my wife was at her meetings. Well, I sat by the river for 5 minutes after 10 miles, took (left) a s*** at mile 14 and then walked for about 3.5 miles of the last 4 miles and then had the audacity to call it a 20 mile run. But it was an achievement. I had never covered 20 miles before that, even with rest and walking. And the route was beautiful.

I just noticed that I am avoiding talking about the actual marathon.

Ok, here we go.

Mile 0 -

No sleep! Nope, not one wink. But amazingly I was totally, completely relaxed all night. I just accepted it, I just don't sleep well before something like this. I was all like zen or something.

Finally, just got out of bed at 4am, had some breakfast and then laid down again on the couch after setting the oven alarm. At 5:30, I had a high protein boost drink and took off to the Kelly Inn (for those not in the know. The Kelly Inn is close to the finish and where you can take a bus to downtown Minneapolis to start). I wanted to be at the Dome in plenty of time to see the 10 milers take off. Alberto Salazar talked to the crowd and hit the starting horn. It was pretty cool watching him as well as the women starting off the 10 mile National Championship race.

I watched all 3 corrals for the 10 miler start then headed back to the dome to warm up and psych up.

Earlier in the week, Iron Girl Nyhus left a voice message asking if I wanted a running partner that was also really, really slow! I'm kidding Laura! She did not say that! But it was hilarious because she was trying to tell me that I wasn't slow, but I wasn't fast, but well, I wasn't necessarily slow either which fit in great with her sister who also reads my blog.

I think I always claim 10 people read my blog (perhaps down a few since facebook is gaining in popularity), but now I can say 11. ;-)

I was a bit nervous about running with someone. I have probably only run with other people about 5 times, ever. What if I slow her down?, What if she slowed me down (doubtful), What if she was embarrassed to even be next to me, for whatever reason? (high school memories).

Sarah, Laura's sister, was a Godsend! Sarah has run a few marathons before (I think she said 7) but hadn't been able to prepare for this one much. So a 10 minute pace would be perfect for her. I was confident about a 10 minute pace for the first 15 -16 miles and thought that because of racing and spectators and just the atmosphere in general, 20 miles shouldn't be a problem. Admittedly, I was a little scared of beyond 20. But I didn't want the fact that I was scared be what limited me.

Sarah was relaxed, I met her husband Erik (please, please, let have remembered his name right) and their (remember, this is Laura's sis) mom as well. With everything, including the sudden appearance of IronJenny, I didn't have time to feel nervous about running my first marathon. At least that's how I remember it. Maybe I was nervous and it was quite obvious?

What I do remember is that after about 1/4 of a mile, I said to myself, "I'm going to do this for 26.2 miles". Then I wondered if I could run that distance. Then I continued this little self conversation with "well, come hell or high water, I'm finishing this today", "I am going to be a marathoner"

It was high water!


  1. I didn't sleep a wink the night before my first marathon either. OF course, I wasn't as zen about it as you were - I got more and more worried that I wasn't sleeping, which just makes it all worse!

  2. Sorry you didn't sleep! I slept like a rock.

    I'm on the edge of my seat for the rest!