Finishing the marathon.
Thoughts prior to the race: I wanted to go out and have a solid first half effort. At the very least I could compare split times with last year. I wanted an honest effort.
The race started and I found myself running a tad faster for the first mile than I had anticipated… whatever happened to me warming up? Oh well… I thought, and kept the solid pace going. By 2 miles in I had only 1 runner in front of me (the eventual ½ marathon winner). I made it up to the second aid station (6.5 miles in) right around 50 minutes which was about one minute faster than last year. I knew it was solid, yet I also knew that the course would be muddy and snowy slowing me down later. I did not really care I wanted a fast first half.
The road conditions only got better: the road turned to a sloppy mud fest. Oh Boy! I enjoyed running along. Mud splashed my legs, I felt fantastic. The course veered off the main road and up a snow covered jeep road. I was expecting to be slipping a bit on the hard pack ice but it was not bad. It was just warm enough to melt the top layer of snow enough to provide traction. I kept an honest pace knowing that I’d be rolling into Turret in a few minutes (mile 12.1). I hit Turrit, in 1:25. This surprised me as I was about 2 minutes ahead of last year’s pace. I left and timed myself back to second place. I had about a 5 minute lead.
When I say second place it was actually a battle going back there. There was Andy Henshaw (4th at Leadville last year), Nick Clark, and Ryan Burch (13th at Leadville) all battling it out. I kept a solid pace going back to mile 17.2 (2:03, I think) where the course took a nice turn into the woods on old jeep roads. It was around here that I decided to just finish up the race. I had pushed it enough and the snow, ice, and mud were slowing up the running. I had a 5 minute lead and mentally I did not want to push it any more. I’m in the middle of some solid training and know when it is time to call a good day of racing done and just finish the race. I did just that: kept running without pushing the pace anymore.
I had about a mile to go and quite suddenly I realized I would indeed need to make a quick pit stop. I jumped in the bushes examined some rocks and left. I finished in 3:13:17. Andy was second in 3:18:15, closely followed by Nick in third 3:19? and Ryan in 4th in 3:20? These times are estimate as the website: http://www.salidarec.com/ccrc/Run-Through-Time-Marathon.htm is a little off. Congrats to Keri Nelson who won for the women running 3:30ish?
(The picture shows the legs after the race... and after i've had a minute to remove some of the mud.)
After getting back to Gunnison I took Cody out for a walk the next day and i taught him how fly. Even if only for a 1/2 second. Proof is in the picture:
Next up is THE Boston Marathon. I’ve got the endurance now, I just need some solid speed.