Yesterday was the Big D Marathon. Weeks before the race I had a goal time of 1:50 since I didn’t meet that goal for The Cowtown half. I missed it by only 1:54 minutes. But, as it got closer to race day I wasn’t feeling confident I would make my goal pace My diet had been all out of whack, and I wasn’t training as much as I should have. I complained all week that I didn’t thinking I was going to meet my goal, but really this was just my way of having an excuse if I didn’t make my goal. It was really just a pride issue.
The night before the race I was eating dinner with several other people running the race as well as Twitter friend @agwade. Aaron wasn’t even planning on running the race, but he couldn’t resist the Tweer Pressure from fellow Twitterers. We convinced him to run the race banding, but he only agreed to on one condition… that I meet my PR. He would pace for me, and all I had to do was keep up. I agreed, but I honestly still didn’t think I would meet my goal.
The race itself was pretty much all a blur. Normally I could give a mile-by-mile update on how I was doing, but they all seemed to blend together. I do remember feeling like we were flying the entire time. We were moving past people for pretty much the entire race. It wasn’t until the last 5K that our consistent pacing of racers came to a halt. I still tried as hard as I could though, I was even determined not to get passed, but in the last .25 miles I felt several racers on my tail and about 6 of them passed me before crossing the finish line.
As I neared the finish line though I could see that the gun clock read 1:51:xx. I don’t recall the seconds, but I knew my goal was in the bag seeing as how we didn’t cross the starting mats until a couple minutes into the race. I was totally psyched, but crossed the line pretty gassed and quickly downed a small bottle of water. My finish time ended up being 1:49:37. I beat my goal time by 43 seconds.
Prior to finishing though about all I remember is feeling like we were going to fast. I had thought all I needed to meet my goal was an 8:30 minute pace, but little did I know I needed an 8:20 pace. Aaron knew this, but didn’t tell me. I’m thankful for that though because I have only run a hand full of shorter training runs at that pace. Even though I was constantly wanting to slow down my pacesetter helped me to keep it up, I was even able to pick up the pace on my own a few times.
I was pretty amazed when I looked at my stats in Run Keeper, miles three and four were really fast. I have yet to run ANY mile that fast. So, I was really surprised when I saw those stats. I do remember feeling like I was going especially fast during that part of the race. I was even amazed I managed to kick up the pace during my final mile. I felt the weakest at that point, but somehow still managed to speed up!
I am quite pleased with my finish time, but I know I couldn’t have done it without Aaron. Seeing as how I had another person running with me part of Cowtown that helped push me about I wonder if I could do this well on my own. Either way, I enjoy running with others more than I do by myself. So I will be content no matter how I race.
This was also a smaller race, so I was only competing against 217 racers in my age group and 2076 overall. In my age group I finished 20th, placing me in the top 10%. Overall I finished 213, also placing me in the top 10%. One year ago just before I started running I never would have thought in a million years I would run this fast, or even a half marathon for that matter. This is truly proof that ANYONE can become a runner. This is coming from the guy that used to eat only pizza, burgers and fries for most of his life and rarely exercised. It is possible people, so if you are thinking about it, just get out there and do it.