"you're in 9th place...."
I went into this marathon with the idea that i'd take it easy in preparation for this weekend's North Face Challenge Endurance Challenge - 31 trail miles in Madison, WI. but as i started off, with mountains around me and the course lit by a desert sunrise, i flat took off. felt great. kept feeling good on a very hilly course and when i got to mile 18, a man at the water stop said, "I think you're in 9th place."
i am not fast. and even if 10 people were running the race, i wouldn't guess to be in 9th place. so when he told me this, i cranked up a new strategy: finish this marathon in the top 10. i figured it'd be the only chance i would have in my marathoning. so, with about 8 miles left, i kept myself safely away from two encroaching runners, paced the women's winner, and flat skipped the water stops and the urge to pee. by the time i got to the finish line, i was still in 9th. a small step for mankind, a big step in my running world. as always, i ran in Brooks shoes, supplemented my nutrition and hydration with Hammer products and wore an aerodynamic do-rag.
the race ended and the rest of the fun began: lounging in a beautiful hotel courtyard, sharing war stories with dad and Larry, celebrating with good food and some post-race-party beer...appropriately served in the race's remaining gatorade cups.
i will definitely make a plan to run this again. hoping to get a whole crew to go down and spend some additional time in Marathon, TX. big thanks to Ma-Woo and Sheri for the incredible crew vehicle support. they made this possible, as always.
today's schedule includes a massage and some light running. tomorrow i'll hop on the chiropractor's table to ensure alignment before this weekend's ultra. more soon.