2008 - a brand new year. But it didn’t seem so brand new to me as the clock struck and the ball dropped on
I stayed with the awesome Trimama (RNR sherpa this time) and Lora (who ran was running the half). We met up with Commodore (and his beautiful wife and cool Mighty Mo), IronJenny, IronGirlNyhus, Greg,
Frankie and Momo
TriDummy and Aime
Eric(MarathonerInTraining), IronJenny, and Erin
Pat and his wife, Amy
Frankie eating a lemon! Did I mention how cute she is?
Me and Taryn
Me and Trimama
I got up on Sunday morning and carried out my usual pre-race rituals – shower, shave, a touch of makeup because they have cameras out there ya know, body-glide all over, etc. I ate a Zone Bar 2.5 hours before race start and drank a Gatorade. I also took 2 Immodium to keep my stomach tame throughout the race. This was a piece of advice from Jenny, which proved to be AWESOME. The benefits of having these veterans around are wonderful! Trimama, in all her sherpa goodness, chauffeured Lora and I down to the race start. At the start, we found Jenny, Erin, Robert, Sarah, and TriDummy. We got into Coral 4 and somehow lost Tridummy.
I wore the Garmin.
I know I said I wasn’t going to, but when it came right down to it, I strapped it on. Not the HR monitor, though. The gun went off, and Erin and I took off together. I immediately noticed that my legs felt great! The temp was probably mid 40s, no wind, no humidity, and the sun was coming up nicely. I had taken a Gu about 20 minutes before start time, and had planned on re-Gu’ing every 6 miles. Erin and I chatted about everything under the sun, we ooo’d and aaahhh’d over the beautiful desert and mountains, and we sang with the bands when we knew the songs! In other words, we were having fun. I peeked at my Garmin every now and then, and noticed that except for the 1st mile, which was congested and slow (, I think), we were easily hitting sub 9’s. And a lot of and . It didn’t worry me that it might be too fast, because it felt very easy and we were having fun. Around mile 7 I thought “I am in no hurry to get this over with. I could go on all day!” We got water at every water stop, but we took it and ran, no walking. I took my scheduled Gu at mile 6, then again at mile 12. I was happy to cross the 13.1 mile mat well under 2 hours, and I knew that my family would be happy to see that if they were tracking me at home. We ran through tons of cheering spectators at mile 14, and could hear Trimama screaming above them all! By mile 17 I started to feel a little bit of fatigue, and decided to go ahead with another Gu. It helped, but I was aware that it wasn’t going to get much easier from here on out. I thought about how strong I had run so far. I thought about the time I already had in the bank.
For some reason I decided at mile 18 that we had 6.2 miles left, and looking at our time I thought
We reached mile 20, and I ran up behind a man with a picture of his son on the back of his shirt – he was running in his memory. A cute little boy. “What I am feeling right now is not pain, that is pain” I told myself. H.J., who had called me before I left for
I said “There you are. I knew you would be here. You’re not my enemy, you’re my friend. I love this pain. You’re what makes the marathon special. If it weren’t for you, everyone would do this. I want to get to know you really well, because we’re going to spend a lot of time together training for Ironman. Believe it or not, I like you. C’mon and run 4 miles with me.”
I knew I could run 4 miles, and I envisioned running from my house to the stoplight and back (4 miles) like I do all the time. Mile 23 seemed to come quicker than I expected, and I took my last Gu. I’ve never been able to handle a Gu after mile 20 before, so this was another success. Mile 24 came, and I realized that there really was not going to be a wall today. I had 2 more miles. Yes, I was VERY uncomfortable, and I was moving as fast as I could go and barely hitting a mile, but there was no way I was quitting now. I took a cup of water at the mile 25 water stop, and they were yelling “Just over the bridge and down into the city and you’re there!!” That sounded so good. About 9 minutes later the 26 mile sign came into view and the clock said :XX. We were about 2 minutes behind the start clock. I looked at
I wanted to jump up and down, but that was not physically possible, so when I saw Trimama and Lora I yelled “I DID IT! I DID IT! !!!” I was ecstatic.
I did my first marathon in April ’06 in . In August of ’06 I started training for a sub-4 marathon and was confident that I could do it, but came up short in Vegas with a . The Rocket City Marathon, in December ’07, was horrific, and before Jan 13th I was no longer sure that I was capable of a sub-4. Getting up at to run 16 or 20 miles in 20 degrees is not all that fun all the time. Passing on the margaritas and late nights is annoying sometimes. But there was NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING that was overrated about crossing that mat and hearing the beeeeeeep with a clock up above my head that still had a “3” on it. Not that it’s some great feat or makes me special or anything, but because it didn’t come easy. Because it took more than following a plan; it took more than just putting in the miles. It took time. It took persistence, and it took risk. It took 2 failed attempts. It took getting back up after being knocked on my ass at
They say nothing good comes easy. They are right.
Running a sub-4 marathon doesn’t make me much more of a runner than I was when I clocked a over a year ago. It doesn’t put me into a class of fast runners or anything. I didn’t win any money, and I didn’t come anywhere close to being at the top of my age group. But the taste of victory – personal victory – in the face of adversity, in spite of obstacles, and notwithstanding your pride is one of the sweetest tastes there is in this world.
Pick your goal, whatever it might be, and set out to get it. Don't give up. Do not EVER give up. Embrace the adversity you might face, the obstacles you will encounter, and the probable fall of your pride. They will make your victory that much sweeter.
Splits, numbers (ofcourse!), and detailed analysis coming soon…