Thursday, January 17, 2008

The marathon is not an easy event...

"...The marathon is not an easy event. You cannot predict..." Haile Gebrselassie

So says, "Da Man" and so it is.

For the Houston Marathon, I was an official pacer. Yep, I was supposed to pace the 3:10 folks. You know, keep them running steady in the early miles, hold 'em back in the middle, and encourage 'em in the last 3-4 miles when it's really tough. Basically, try to keep the group running at an average of 7:15 per mile. I was really excited to be a pacer. And I was looking forward to a good, tough, workout.

On Thursday evening, before the marathon, I felt a "tickle" in my throat. By Saturday I was sick with the crud. On Sunday morning...well, let's just say that had I not been a pacer, I may not have run at all. Certainly not as a hard workout.

But, I took a hot bath, felt a little better, and thought, "maybe I can get the pace group through 20 miles." In hindsight, it's just amazing how one can rationalize ridiculous decisions. I mean, 26.2 miles is tough if you have both lungs working perfectly. And when they are not...things get ugly.

Anyway, things got ugly.

The plan was to start out slow, and pick up the pace gradually. We did; and hit the half at 1:34:38. Just a hair early but certainly not a bad pace for a 3:10 marathon. As we continued toward the 14 mile mark, it was a struggle. I couldn't seem to get enough air. At first I thought that maybe I had picked up the pace too much. At mile 14, I looked at my watch. 7:33. I knew it was over...I had been slowing down.

After that, every single water stop was a slow walk, then a jog, then stop for coughing, then jog...well, you get the picture. And that 7:33 for mile 14....it was my fastest mile of the 2nd half. I finished in 3:33:44. Over 23 minutes late to the party....

Oh, the pace group? Fortunately, the Marathon Veteran's group understands the need for two (2) pacers. Peter took the group in just under 3:10 on a very steady pace. Nice work Peter!

I love this sport. Especially the marathon. But it is truely humbling.

Everything has to be perfect.

7 comments:

Gaslight ;-) said...

Shoes? check.
Singlet? check.
Enegery gels? check, check, check.
Two lungs? well, I can feel one...

Vince A. said...

Hey I passed you heading up into Memorial, I can identify with your pain - but thanks it gave me a lift at toughest part of the course to pass a pacer, helped me a little bit to a 3:27.

Chip Tyme said...

Glad I could be of some help.

I would have said hello except there were soooo many folks passing me... ;)

Priscilla said...

I was late to the party as well but we survived to the end! Perhaps I can try to chase you the next time you are a pacer and make it right on time. You stayed strong out there.

Wonderduck said...

For such a smart guy how did you convince yourself to run a 3:10 with the crud? You must be more convincing than smart;-)

TruthBeforeFaith said...

Hey did you ever get a patch?
I always wanted a patch but was told they never produced them! Where do you get it from? Thanks Jedberman@gmail.com I want one for 2007

TruthBeforeFaith said...

Hey I want a patch for 2007! Did you ever get any Boston marathon patches? let me know jedberman@gmail.com