I told myself a few years ago that I wanted to do a marathon before I turned 30. On Sunday May 27th, at 11:14 a.m. I made good on that commitment. I’ve been training for the 2007 Mad City Marathon since the end of February. Since then, Katie and I took a trip to Europe which really hurt training, although I did two runs, one in Munich and one in Freiburg.
The training really had an impact last Wednesday as my tapering was coming to an end. I had gone on a 4-mile run that felt fantastic. I came home and told Katie that I was ready – that the training had prepared me for Sunday’s race. Saturday evening Katie put together a family dinner for the carb-loading.
Saturday night, I was a little nervous. Katie and I loaded the final songs on the new iPod Shuffle she got me for birthday/marathon gift. By the way: if you’re training or working out, you need a shuffle.
I won’t take you through the play-by-play of the marathon, but here’s a summary: I went out as slow as I could for the first 6 miles and felt good. I sped up the next 9, and “cruised” for miles 15-18. Miles 19-21 got tough, and from 22 to the end, I wasn’t quite prepared for how difficult that was. One coach of mine calls the last 6 miles the “survival shuffle.” Now I can see why. I walked more than I wanted, and I was slower than I had hoped. At mile 22, I had a chance to finish under 4 hours for the race (which was my ultimate goal) but I couldn’t quite hold on. I finished in 4:04, which I am still happy with for my first marathon.
Katie was a fantastic supporter the whole race. I will never forget her running across a field to get ahead of me, take a picture, and give me a high-five. My parents, sister, and the Robertsons were wonderful encouragement also. Special props for my sister who ran about 8 miles that day due to bike failures.
On the back of the Shuffle, Katie inscribed the following:
Plan, Work, Perform, Succeed. 26.2
There is nothing more satisfying than planning, working towards that goal, performing your best, and finishing with success.