it’s now the second day since running the green bay marathon with jim and jill. therefore i thought i would put down some thoughts concerning the experience and then move on to talk about other things. so here goes:
- 26.2 miles is a LONG WAY TO RUN. i didn’t train anywhere near as much as i should have. you can see this in my half-split for the marathon. i ran the first 13.1 miles in 2:17:01. this rate was on pace for a 4:35 finish. i ran the next 13.1 miles in a little less than 3 hours. this is a whole lot slower and shows that i had not trained for the distance. before the race the longest i had run in one continuous stretch was 21 miles and that had been 5 weeks before the marathon. i should have tapered down on my mileage in the three weeks before the race but instead of tapering slowly i cut it down way too quickly. live and learn.
- the whole thing is mental. yes it is physically draining but finishing is all about your mind.
- encouragement is everything. i was ready to quit at mile 22. no “if”s, “and”s or “but”s about it i was through. the only things that kept me going was the thought of pam and the boys screaming for me and the various people along the course who could tell i was tired and would say “you can push through this, keep going.” pam and the boys had made signs for jill, jim, and i and showed up at various stages of the race to scream for us. it was a huge thing. i’m sure they don’t think it was that big of a deal but i know that i would have collapsed without it. there were several groups that did the same thing, but not for family reasons. springlake church had hundreds of people in various places on the course dressed in “go the distance” shirts and they also manned the “wall party” at mile 20. i can not believe how long or loud they shouted. the “wall party” was rocking so much that i probably speed up too much from the energy of the area. if they is a “heartbreak hill” in the green bay marathon it’s a bridge going over the river at about mile 22. it’s not real high but it seems impossible when you hit it that late in the race. springlake people had lined the side of the bridge and where screaming encouragement the entire way. it’s one thing for them to do it for the elites, who finish the race in 2:30 hours. it’s a more impressive thing for them to continue through the slow pokes like me. i’ll write more about this later because there is some cool church stuff in this. i was so impressed by the church that i called the pastor to tell him how much the encouragement had meant. anyhow, like i said encouragement was key.
- some of the stories you hear along the way are the best parts of the run. i’ll list two here but there were many others. i ran probably a fourth of the race with grant. i started talking with him because he had written across the back of one of his calves “i lost 155 pounds.” that was enough for me to become curious. as a 20 year old he weighed 381. the thought of hitting 400 pounds scared him so much that he started a regime of exercise and diet control. in seven months he lost 155 pounds and he was running his first half marathon as a celebration and a promise to lose 50 more. his family is all overweight and he was trying to convince them to start dropping the pounds too. recently his dad and decided to join him in losing the weight and living in a healthy manner. i thought of grant a lot during the next half of the marathon. another person that was fun to meet was sarah. she decided that while she didn’t feel like she could run the marathon she could do some serious encouragement for those who were running in the middle of the pack. her plan of attack for this was to be at ten different spots along the marathon course so that she could encourage the same people over and over. i think i saw her at about eight of these spots.
- one is not enough. these things are simply too much fun. jill, jim, and i are already planning on participating within the indianapolis marathon in october. it’s on a saturday which is one of my prerequisites for the next year or so. i can’t miss sundays while we are starting the church services. in a couple of years i’ll probably feel better about missing a sunday every now and then, but for now i’m going to be very picky about missing them.
there is so much more that i could write concerning my experiences within the marathon but i’ve probably bored all of you already.