Woke up around 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Got dressed and out the door I went. Destination….Memorial Marathon. Today would be the 4th time that I have run a 1/2 marathon. Typically I like to run the full marathon but I did not feel comfortable running one this time due to a late training start because of injury. Just didn’t want to push my luck.
Made it to the church for pancakes. After eating we were shuffled out quickly because of the huge crowd inside. I lost sight of Brenda and Richard right after breakfast and never did get to see them. The race has grown so large that once you lose sight of someone, it will take a long time to find them.
Richard was decked out today in his running gear. He ran the 5K race and I think he felt good about his run via phone conversation. Brenda ran the 1/2 marathon and she struggled due to a stomach bug. Plus she’d been up the night before at the Thunder game. Congrats to her for finishing the race given the physical state she was in.
Anyway, I started the race off a little cold but it was much better than last year. I started off a little fast and was sporadic with my pace until I saw these two dudes running who seem to be going at a constant and manageable pace. I settled in behind them and ran 9 miles behind them. This strategy would end up really helping me save energy and gain time.
At the split between the marathon and 1/2 marathon, I lost those two guys. It was gonna be up to me and my running skills. I quite often do not give myself credit but I have learned things over the last year and a half. I do know that I do have the ability to run a smart race. It just doesn’t happen very often.
The final three miles was spent watching my Garmin. I know I had 30 minutes to run three miles in order to finish under 2 hours. This was very doable but would require a little faster pace towards the end. I decided to slow on the hills and pick the speed up going down the hills. This is where the training with the LandRunners came in handy. I knew the course and knew the hills would be short lived and the down hills would be plenty, especially at the very end.
Several times I felt like slowing and really wanted to coast but the ‘inner toughness” reared it’s head and i’m thankful because I refused to slow down. Side stitch, didn’t matter….I was determined not to let the 2 hour time limit get me like it did a month ago in Ardmore.
Ended up crossing the finish line at 1:58:30. A PR for fat guy like me.
What did I do differently this time?
- Didn’t Overtrain
- Intense Crosstrain
- Lost Some Weight
I have to feel that I can continue to do the last two bullets. Training for Freewheel will help with the intense crosstraining and weight control. Interestingly, I biked 32 miles the day before the race.
Later on Sunday I went to downtown Norman and listened to Leon Russell. This capped a beautiful day for me. So few days are of this magnitude. Life continues to be good.