I really enjoyed this marathon. The weather was nearly perfect, the course was awesome. I don’t normally pay any attention to the sights and sounds along the course, but for some reason yesterday I did and I really liked what I saw over much of the course. The volunteers were great. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers of vocal, supportive spectators who lined the course. It all added up to produce one awesome marathon. I think I’ll run this one again next year.
At the start I lined up about 10 yards back from the front runners. Then the 3:30 pace runner came in and lined up right behind me. I was hoping to finish in 3:30 or less so I was thinking I just need to stay ahead of this guy. I did stay ahead of him until around mile 19 when I had to stop at a port-a-potty. As I stepped out and started running there he was with 4 or 5 other runners. I managed to get a little ahead of him, but then he passed me. A little later he was all alone and I passed him, not because I was getting faster, but I think he was running out of steam. I was able to stay ahead of him for the rest of the race, but unfortunately I didn’t beat 3:30 finishing at 3:37:31. Not sure when he finished. I felt really good in the first half and probably ran it a little too fast. Around mile 8 I came along a couple fellow DINO runners and chatted for awhile. One wound up finishing in 3:15. According to my watch I ran the first half in about 1:41, but the race results have me at 1:39:15. I was still on 3:30 pace through mile 23, but then the wheels fell off. My legs got really tight and I couldn’t go fast anymore. I kept running though, I never stopped running. I thought I was taking enough endurolytes, but probably could have used some more. I probably should have taken the hammer gel I was carrying, but after mile 20 I was feeling a little nauseous. I mistakenly grabbed a Gatorade cup around mile 21 and nearly gagged on it. Luckily it was a small cup and was less than half full.
I’m a little disappointed, but I knocked 23 minutes off my marathon PR so I’m pretty happy about that. I’m running another marathon in December. This time I’ll try to hold back a little more in the first half and hopefully wind up with a better finish time.