|Slick and splashy was the order of the day.|
I jogged over to the starting corrals, and fell in with the crowd, walking slowly with the herd a few hundred yards to the starting line. I ended up crossing the starting line at 8:23. Pleased with myself for a smooth arrival and start, I began running by all the slower runners. Since I was late I started several corrals back from the one I was assigned based on my projected finish time. So the first mile or two I spent a lot of time weaving in and out of the slower runners. Eventually the crowd thinned out, especially after the half marathoners split off from the full marathon course.
This was a unique element of today's race for me. Usually, especially late in a race, I'm the one getting passed. But today, from the start, all the way to the last mile, I passed virtually everyone I encountered on the course. Unless I'm mistaken, the only runners to pass me were relay racers on fresh legs. I kept thinking that it couldn't last, that I wouldn't be able to keep up my anticipated pace, but as I passed each mile marker, and remembered those places where, in prior races, my pace slowed for good, I kept pushing, determined to keep a steady pace. Somehow, I did. In fact, I ran reverse splits. My slowest mile was the first, crowded one. My fastest mile was mile 24, near the end!
At the race expo Saturday morning, I picked up a pacing arm band, which tells you what your time should be at a particular mile marker in order to have a particular finish time. I almost picked up a 3:45 band, not trusting my training, but decided that I would give 3:35 a shot and try to PR. I'm sure glad I did!
|The volunteers had a tough, cold day, but were cheerful and helpful without fail!|
Besides running my best marathon time to date, the fact that I ran consistent splits and felt great throughout made this the most satisfying race I've run. I guess I could always train harder, but I really wouldn't change a thing about my training, race day preparation, and pacing plan. The only thing I would change would have been to lose those 20 pounds I have been meaning to lose. How much faster could I have run without the extra weight to carry around! I still love the trails, but come December 2012, you just might find me pounding the pavement of Dallas once again.
Bottom line: 3:33:51
462 out of 4530 overall
401 out of 2810 all men
83 out of 537 men 40-44
and best of all: Over the final 6mi I passed 285 runners and 0 passed me!