|Another beautiful finish festival at LA marathon|
David and I got up at 4:00 am (bleah) and were in Baton Rouge by 6:00 so I could volunteer at gear check. Gear check was busy - the race starts at 7:00 - and somehow in the rush I didn't get time with David to tell him good luck and give him last minute advice. One thing about David: he is very good at doing as he is told. So I was hoping to give him last minute explicit instructions for race day that would stick in his mind. But after a quick kiss he disappeared and before I knew it I could hear the national anthem at the start.
It took us about an hour to organize all the bags, then I headed over to the finish to watch the half marathon winners. I went back to gear check for another hour, then got ready to watch the marathon winners. I was feeling uneasy as I watched the race. David never "hit the wall" in training, but I was worried he would today. I never gave him the "Don't go out too fast" talk and I was fretting that he was going to run out of fuel. After a little while I headed out on the course, deciding to meet him and run him in to the finish.
Running against traffic on the sidewalk was like a "This is your racing life" experience. Since I've run everything from a 4:08 to a 3:06, I've been in ALL of those shoes. I saw the faces marked with determination, the ones glazed over with fatigue, the ones clearly showing defeat. Been there, been there, been there!
When I saw David at mile 23 and change, I knew immediately that he'd hit the wall. He was still on pace - actually, ahead of pace - but his face and slow, short steps told me the story. I ran with him, encouraging him. I kept an eye on his pace and it kept creeping up, but he was still on pace overall. Somewhere in the middle of mile 25, though, I was losing him! We were on a long gradual uphill and he was running 10:30 pace. Quick math told me that if he kept this pace up he would miss his goal by just seconds. "Look," I told him, "If you want this, you have to work for it. This is where it counts. Hit the gas pedal!'
And he did. I zipped ahead to watch him finish and he sprinted across the line in 3:39:08!
Am I proud of him? You bet! That's not so shabby for a first marathon!
The splits tell the tale:
|Last fast mile. The mile before you hit the wall is always fast, as your body releases stored glycogen and you get a momentary boost.|
23 8.23 Middle of mile 23? WALL.
Yes, he started fast and hit the wall, but really I think this is a pretty well-run race for a first marathon. And the fact that he could push through for those last few miles and still make his goal is just impressive!
He says "There won't be a rematch", but I think he's got a 3:30 in there. What do you think?