This weekend I ran a marathon in Victoria, BC. After training for five months I was ready to get it done. There are some other fitness goals I want to work on, running was taking up a lot of time. Doing something like this is can be a selfish pursuit. A lot of time is spent trying to find the time to train, planning what will be done and analysing performance. There were times I felt like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV as I examined the charts and graphs outputted from my Garmin that tracked my pace, distance and heart rate. It was a useful tool but somewhere along the way I stopped running for enjoyment. The goal was consuming it. The day before the race I went to see Olympic gold and silver triathalon medalist Simon Whitfield speak. He spoke of his training, specifically swimming. He said they would have cameras shooting him from every angle in a mirrored pool so he could better analyze his technique during and after. He called it “analysis paralysis”. There comes a point where you can over think your training.
I really didn’t have much of a plan going into the race. In the other races I had started too fast. This time I hung way at the back and started really slow. I kept my pace in 10:00 11:00 /per mile range for the first 3 miles. Then I sped up a little. By mile 6 I was doing an 8:00 /per mile. I maintained that pace for 6 miles. Then I started to gradually fade. I was getting really bored and wanted it to be over. The last mile was probably the hardest. I shuffled across the finish line. The endorphins were making me feel kinda weird. I was completely overcome with emotion. There was a lump in my throat so big I could hardly breath. I sat down near the medical tent in case I passed out and then I cried for about five minutes. It felt really good.
I got in a cab and went back to the hotel. Got in the hot tub and drank some beer. After a nap I was ready to eat. I had just walked into the bar downstairs when the power went out. The whole island was without power for about an hour. When the power did come back on I ordered some ribs, chicken fingers and chocolate cake for desert. After eating nothing but powerbar gels all day it was pretty good.
If you had asked me that day if I was going to do it again, I would have said no. The next day in the cab on my way to the airport I started thinking about what I’ll do different next time.
In the end I finished in 4:30. Pretty dismal, but it’s the furthest and longest I’ve ever run.