We did it again! Approximately one year prior Amber organized the first Rowe Marathon and Half Marathon. Last year was so successful due to the help from friends that our numbers grew. There were approximately 10 runners participating in the half and one, me, participating in the full on November 23rd, 2014. This race started last year for the purpose of reminding me of the difficulty of the marathon distance. My experience last year was quite different from this year.
As stated above the purpose of this race for me is to instill a respect for the marathon distance. Over time memories cloud and my belief about my ability inflates. The result is lackluster performances at races. To correct that I chose to run two marathons each year. One is to take seriously; to race; to work hard. The other is to run for the purpose of humility. The best summary for Rowe Marathon 2014 is “mission accomplished.”
I started out feeling very good. So good that I started before the “gun” and had to start over. Mile splits in the low 7 minute range came with ease. That made me nervous because I didn’t believe I was in shape to run a marathon at my current marathon PR pace. On the other hand I thought that, if I were to blow up, why not here? The night prior I had told Amber that the best outcome for the day would be if I blew up in dramatic fashion. The memory of the “failure” would remain fresh in my brain to keep me working hard for my next training cycle for a goal marathon.
At approximately mile two I came flying down a hill near the Chili Library. Ron was there snapping photos and Welden was keeping him company. I laughed out loud as I thought about how absurd this must look to passersby. What sort of egotist hires a photographer to take pictures of a weekend workout?
I saw Amber frequently. She always had kind words and a smile. I saw many of our friends. Even those that did not run came out to cheer and to help direct people at the turns and street crossings. It is amazing to me what people will do for friends.
At approximately mile 16 I told Amber that things were not going well anymore. My legs were starting to hurt and my pace was slowing but I was putting in the same effort. I was blown away by how quickly I went from feeling good to feeling lousy.
Often Amber’s words rang through my mind: “show me how to run a race.” I won’t lie. This discouraged me. I wanted to see her delight in a successful day and I was not going to pull that off. Instead I showed her how not to run a race. I know that the lessons of my failure will not help her. A successful race may have. Thinking about that while running did not help me.
After 3:28:29 I finished my second loop into Amber’s arms. By this point even more friends turned up to say hi and to cheer.
I learned from this day that the details matter. The training matters. I didn’t train properly. I greatly overestimated my ability and thus went out far too quickly. The first part of a marathon should be rather slow and I did not do that. Above all else I was under-trained. I had the speed but I could not handle the distance. To be successful I need to run more. In particular I need to run many more long tempo and marathon paced long runs.
For those that participated as runners, volunteers, and cheering crews: thank you. Without a group of people this would just be a long run like any other Sunday. People make it special, not the distance.
Half Marathon Results
- Julie D’Ovidio 2:04:23
- Jessica Morgan 2:04:20
- Chris Hobart 1:53:33
- Chris Patterson 1:26:56 (course record)
- Ryan VerColen 2:20:07
- Mark Monachino 1:42:21
- Danielle Montean
- Brian Davis (his first half marathon!)
My splits (approximate)
|Type||Distance||Duration||Total Duration||Pace||Avg HR||Max HR||Notes|