I survived it … barely.
Today I ate 26.2 miles for breakfast and finished the Denver Rock N Roll Marathon.
The result wasn’t what I was hoping for nor my finest hour. But as my friend Pam pointed out when I gave her the debriefing, marathons rarely include a finest hour unless you count just the first one you are on the course.
Today’s course started out pretty flat and easy, and I thought I kept my speed in check. A classic mistake is going out too fast and I’ve been there, done that. There is no banking time on a marathon course. It bites you in the butt.
And I never expected a PR from this race. After living in Colorado for seven years I know that the hills and altitude take no prisoners. Plus I know that I’m not part mountain billy goat.
But I honestly didn’t expect this race to be as punishing as it turned out.
As I write this I’ve got ice packs on my quads and I feel like an 80-year-old.
What I was hoping for was a reasonable effort and fair showing — nothing fancy. Even with the rolling hills in the middle of this course I was on track to do this — until Mile 20.
That’s when the “wall” came a-knocking.
I hate that four-letter word.
All I can say is thank God for Katie, my friend who was meeting me at Mile 20 to pace me. Without her I don’t know how I would have survived. She was an angel during the two classic stages of “the wall.”
The first is you think you’re going to die.
The second is you think you are not going to die and those hellish last few miles WILL NEVER END!!
It was incredibly disheartening because I thought I did all the right things.
Yes, I did get sick a few days ago and I worshipped the toilet so perhaps that was the wall’s calling card. Who knows?
But I did pump fluids and eat well once I felt better. I bumped up the fluids even more closer to race day.
At the race, I took fluids at every station and ate a PowerGel every 6 miles because this is what worked for me at my last marathon where I set my PR and got my Boston qualifier. I also did this in my training.
Still, for whatever reason the stars (and the hills and twists and turns on this course) were not aligned for me today.
That said, I must move on. Tomorrow registration for Boston opens.
Come January, when I start training for Boston, you can be darn sure I am going to do all I can to kick that nasty wall in once and for all.
Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go.
Mileage today: 26.2!!! Denver to Boston miles logged: 733.2; Miles left to go: 1,036.8