Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surf City Marathon

I have said before that you are only as good a runner as you let yourself believe you are; to forget the arbitrary limits and go out and run your heart out and see what you are capable of.  Well as we all find out from time to time, that’s a whole lot easier to say and believe on the good days when it works in your favor.  It’s harder in those moments when you realize the hard way what you are not capable of…at least on that given day.

I ran the Surf City Marathon last Sunday and went out and tried to do it quite a bit faster than I knew for sure I could.  I mean, the US beat the Soviets, right?  Rudy played for Notre Dame, Secretariat won the Belmont by 31 lengths, Rocky beat the Russian, and the Ducks beat the Hawks!  Hey, crazy things happen…I thought just maybe a scrappy runner like me could have a great day and run a 2:26 marathon.

Well, I tried my best but unfortunately completely fell apart in the process.  I was well-trained and well-tapered.  The weather was great and I was perfectly healthy.  Absolutely no excuses…well, I guess other than not being very smart.  A large part of me feels like a fool for being that classic guy in the race who wanted to be faster than he is.  The other part of me knows that’s what makes running so great, and the marathon such a perfect challenge.  To run a marathon to the best of your ability takes a risk.  There are no guarantees in running, it’s a very fine line, and by the time I fully realized I crossed the line it was already way too late.  I had a lot of respect for the marathon before Sunday, and have a whole lot more now.

As for the race itself, I guess the good news is that I think I ran a PR for about every distance under 17-18 miles :).  I went out and ran about a 55:30 first 10 miles and a 1:13 first half, held on pretty well through 17 or so, and then finished in 2:40:23.  Here’s the Garmin data with mile splits if you want to see how not to pace a marathon.

Although I’m a little bummed that I swung and missed on probably my one crack at a marathon this year, I guess it’ll be all that much sweeter when the day comes when everything just clicks.  And any day running a marathon is a lucky day.
Here's a picture of Arley, Seaton, and I after the race!