Posted by: Jack | May 21, 2007

I Don’t Like to Toot My Own Horn…

…Oh wait, yes I do. I do it all the time and I’ve come to terms with that. Today I feel I really earned some boasting rights.

In my most recent previous post I mentioned that today I would be surpassing my longest running distance which was 13.1 miles or a half marathon. What I failed to mention was that this would be manifested as the Capital City Marathon here in Olympia. After training for about 25 days and running a total of 13 times, I hesitantly registered for the full marathon just a couple days ago.

Despite almost three continuous weeks of ideal running weather, this weekend turned out to be cold and rainy. But once I got moving the rain turned to only a light drizzle and the temperature was actually quite comfortable. The first 10 miles went by surprisingly fast and I felt strong while maintaining a very quick pace. For the next 7-8 miles I held onto that pace but definitely was not enjoying myself anymore. But right around mile 21 I was uplifted a bit as I ran past my cheering section which consisted of Anna and the two kids she was babysitting, George and Anna.

While I’m bragging about personal accomplishments I will mention that the tank-top I wore–as seen above–was modified by me from an over-sized and sleeved high school ultimate jersey into the form fitting running shirt it is now.

Starting around mile 18, each mile became significantly more difficult than the last and my pace began to dwindle. I suspect that miles 20-25 were on average about 45 seconds slower than the pace I had been maintaining. The last mile was downhill and I was really eager to stop running so I pushed a bit harder and finished in good form.

Walking around gathering water, my finisher’s medal and shirt, and tons of free food I found my legs aching terribly and walking became an awkward process. However, as I looked among the other marathon finishers, I got the impression that I was doing better than most. One guy whom I had been following for the last 4 miles had actually collapsed about 50 feet short of the finish line. I believe he was helped up and through the finish but I think that technically disqualifies him which must have been devastating. Other runners were crying while violently trying to massage out cramped muscles and many had just sat down and seemed unable to get up.

After receiving a very satisfying massage, putting on some warmer clothes and eating another massive load of snacks, I wandered by the bulletin board where results were being posted as they came in. Running my finger down from the top I was shocked to come across my name as the 21st finisher overall and 1st in my age division! My final time was 3:11:49 which is a mile pace of 7:19. Not that I really care but this time is just 50 seconds shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Since the qualifying time increases with the age of the runner, I was the fastest person to not qualify.

I drove home to warm up for a bit and then returned a short while later for the awards ceremony which consisted of a list of names being read while people lined up to collect their award. Returning home again I was greeted with congratulations from Anna and promptly limped to the shower.

Things I learned from today’s race:

  • If eating breakfast and drinking coffee prior to a race, make sure to do it early enough so that the later stages of digestion can be completed before the race. The line for the bathroom’s at the race start were about ten minutes long when I arrived which was about ten minutes prior to the gun. I literally was in need of a bathroom after mile 1. However, the pressure would subside a short time before each bathroom station and I would decide that I could make it two more miles to the next. This went on for the first 15-18 miles at which point the need just seemed to dissipate. No, I did not soil myself. I finished without stopping for the bathroom or for anything at all.
  • Drinking from a cup while running is difficult.
  • Exercise extra caution when drinking Ultima Electrolyte Replenisher because if it splashes in your eyes it burns.
  • I can apparently achieve great things often with less effort than is put forth by others.

Edit: Just came across a video about the marathon on TheOlympian.com in which my name is announced just before crossing the finish line and for a couple seconds I can barely be seen in the background. If you’re looking for me, wait until you hear my name and then back the video up about 3 seconds.

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Responses

  1. For your first marathon, that’s a fantastic effort and more so considering not running further than a half previously.

    I agree with you re – the eating thing, do it early and if at all possible, bathroom stuff at home.

    By the way, not a bad pb either.

  2. OMG! That’s amazing! I’m so glad you decided to do this. Should I sign you up for Ironman Wisco 2008?

  3. J/O,

    Your sis started to mention this occurrance in your life and I had to stop her to decide whether I really wanted to hear the rest…very impressive, kid.

    In honor of this, I’m sending along the best running book ever “Ultramarathon Man” by Dean Karnazes with Jennie for you this weekend. Who knows, maybe the marathon will be just a warm-up for the PCT 50…either way, go team Jack!

  4. way to go and i love the white thighs!


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