I’ll get to that “another marathon” in the second half of this post.
Today’s run was tougher than I expected though after looking at the Garmin stats I was pleasantly surprised to note that it was only 10 seconds per mile slower than my 17 miler two weeks ago.
My legs felt heavy pretty much the entire time, which is not a pleasant thing to notice two miles into an 18 miler. I’m not sure why this run was so much harder, perhaps because I have not gotten enough sleep this past week. That’s definitely something I’m going to work on in the coming week.
This run was also mentally tough because of the slower pace. Although I purposefully avoided glancing at my Garmin, I knew that my pace was slower. I fought the frustration of the pace and rued the day I figured out that I need to maintain a 9 minute pace to snag my sub 4 hour finish. Even though I know that the long runs are supposed to be slower than the actual race, I was still frustrated.
However, the run ended on a positive note. Miles 14-16 were really tough, the kind of tough that makes you want to quit. I didn’t because I still had to get back to my car and running is faster than walking. After one last fuel break I kicked it into high gear. It was then that I dug deep. There’s this place inside, available only when you think there’s absolutely nothing left. This is the place that helps you sprint to the finish of a marathon when you thought you were dead. Case in point: I clocked my last mile at 8:25.
About that other marathon…
On Wednesday as I was getting ready to go, I happened to see a tweet from a blogger that I used to follow. It was one of those “new post” tweets. For no particular reason I clicked on the link and read the post. She mentioned that although registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opened at noon, she and her father would not be registering.
The rest of the post is irrelevant.
Immediately, I knew that MCM would be my fall marathon. Now that I know where I’m going to be in the fall (more on that in March’s goal recap post coming on Tuesday), it’s much easier to make fall race plans.
So, I added a reminder to my calendar and when 11:55 rolled around I planted myself in front of the computer in the library at school. Naively I thought it would take until 12:20 at the latest. I’d even left my piping hot pizza sitting on the table in the Snack Shop waiting for me. I laugh at my foolishness.
Immediately after registration opened, snafus mushroomed. Active.com had not eliminated the problem that plagued Chicago registration, as they had promised. (That’s where they went wrong. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.)
I wish I had counted how many different error pages I saw over the course of the next hour. (way too many) To make a long story short, I got very close (filled out all my information) before getting shut out again. The process to that point had taken an hour.
I gave up and walked back to eat my now cold, not so delicious pizza. While I searched for other fall marathons that would be a good substitute I couldn’t help feeling that none of them were quite right. I was definitely bummed that I couldn’t get something I hadn’t wanted five hours before. Funny, huh?
After I ate lunch and headed back to the library to do some writing, I open Safari on my phone to find that one of the windows was open to the registration page. Since it was refreshing itself, I kept it open. Plus, @marine_marathon kept telling people not to give out hope until they declared a sell out.
Upon arrival back at the library, I gave in and opened another window. [Insert another wasted hour here0
Two minutes before I had to leave for a meeting with my thesis advisor the registration page appeared. I didn’t want to get too excited. Next came the credit card page. Still holding my breath. Finally, I got it!
The icing on top of the cake? Somehow I got into a marathon that sold out in record time. Wow.
So, it looks like I’ll be running quite a few 18 milers this year. Plus, now I have a back up option for sub 4.