On running a Marathon

It’s going on six weeks now since I ran my first marathon. Even with all the training, it was rough. I think I should’ve gone on runs longer than 26.2 miles. I think if one were to train on 30 miles runs, a 26 mile run would be a walk in the park.

While it was tough running 26 miles, it was a lot of fun. I was in my hometown, the race was amazingly organized, the course was awesome (and flat), the weather was perfect and it made for a really nice weekend. I drove into Houston on Saturday afternoon, checked into the Magnolia Hotel and tried to go to bed early. Top Gun was on TV and I couldn’t just turn it off. 3:30 a.m. came early. Three and half hours later I was toeing the line.

IMG_7854Elise drove in from my mom’s house to meet me at the finish line. As a nice lady sang the National Anthem, it was at that point that my bladder decided to send signals. When the National Anthem starts, that means that whenever that song is over, you’re going to hear the start gun seconds later. So I started my first marathon. And within the first half mile I knew I should just go ahead and take care of business. So, I did. And then I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran. My first mile was in 8-minutes and some change. The next 23 miles were in the low 7’s. And then the monkey jumped on my back right at mile 24. I held him off as best I could, but my pace suffered a lot. I finally saw the finish line, but it was still a long way away. I waited on my body to tell me when I could sprint. And it did. I probably sprinted the last 300 yards.

My official time was 3:14:58. Here’s the course and my stats from my Garmin Forerunner 610.

I think the best part was having Elise there after the race. She ran up to me in the “reunion area” and threw her arms around me and congratulated me. It’s always awesome to have a pretty cheerleader. Elise walked me back to our hotel and then she walked back to the convention center to watch her cousins finish the race. I stayed back at the hotel and tried to rest and sleep. I got some rest, but no sleep. A little before dark we hit the streets to find something for dinner. There were no restaurants that were open on Sunday night. After walking for a few miles, we finally went back to the hotel to ask the concierge where we should eat.

We had an awesome dinner at El Tiempo. It was the best meal that I can remember having in a very long time. I really do think it was an awesome dinner, although, I was also experiencing a 3,500 calorie deficit.

I think I fell asleep as soon as we got back to the hotel and my head hit the pillow.

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