I finished my fourth marathon last Sunday, clocking in my worst time ever at 7:16:25. That’s about an hour slower than I had hoped for and than I had trained for.
To give you a perspective on my time, Daniel Kiprop Limo–the man from Kenya who won the race–finished in 2:10:36. He could have run 3 of his marathons in the time it took me to run mine!
To give you another perspective, that medal Mr. Limo is wearing in the above photo? I have one just like it.
The big story of this year’s marathon was the heat. It was projected to hit into the low 90s which is dangerous weather for running. Vast stretches of the course are pretty sun-exposed, too, which was cause for concern. I prepared for the heat by taking a lesson from folks who work out in the sun on a regular basis.
The hat paid off. I never felt overwhelmed by heat, even in the stretch between 17 and 20 where I kind of fear the course. The hat not only blocked out the sun and let in the air, it also worked well when I put handfuls of ice in it. Just like my own personal air conditioner. The course also cooled off noticeably after mile 23, with the ocean providing a little breeze, too.
My downfall this year was a massive blister on my right foot that limited my 1 minute run, 1 minute walk pace around mile 14. From about 16 onward I just walked it, unable to take the pain of a running step.
I’ve never had a problem with blisters. They’re either the product of bad feet, bad gear, or bad prep. Since I haven’t had them before, and I knew my gear already, it was probably my own doing. I likely didn’t tie my shoes tight enough (I always fear going too tight!) and that little bit of room meant a foot sliding ever so slightly, which caused the blister.
I’ll spare you the photo but the thing covered about half of the top half of my foot, right where you put pressure on a running step. Today my ankles and back are sore from my compensating for it, 10 miles of walking while trying not to walk on it. Tough stuff. But also the stuff that makes this whole thing so rewarding.
Here is the start line just before us regular people started the race.
They said more than 26000 signed up. Only 21958 finished. From what I hear there were maybe a few thousand who started but didn’t make it to the finish. Maybe a thousand or two thought twice after hearing the weather reports and just decided not to show up.
My wife worked a support tent at mile 20. I couldn’t do this without her support in numerous ways and at numerous levels. It sure made it easier to see her there.
After the race, we went to my folks’ house where I showered and ate. My mom made green chile enchiladas, rice, and beans–a perfect post-race meal.
They made a good next day breakfast and lunch, too!
All in all, I can’t say I’m disappointed in my performance. The struggle is a predictable thing in a marathon, the question is what you’re going to do to get through it. The same can be said about a whole lot more things, too.