For the last several months, Ashley and I have been training for the Boulder Backroads Marathon. Last Sunday the training program culminated in a final run of 26.2 miles.
At the 16 mile mark, we passed Keith and Melanie cheering for us, and I remember feeling pretty good at that point. At about mile 18, I felt Ashley pulling away from me. I kept up until about mile 20 when my quads "exploded" in a very similar manner that they did during the relay race one week earlier (see previous blog post). Shortly after the quad explosion, they began to cramp. At mile 23, my hamstrings and calves joined the cramp party.
Somehow I continued running/hobbling and crossed the finish line in an official time of 3:57:51. Ashley beat me by exactly 6 minutes. Up to mile 20, our nice steady pace was somewhere around 8:40 per mile. From mile 20 the finish my pace was approximately one minute slower per mile.
In the end, I accomplished my goal of finishing under 4 hours and beating Jake's time of 3:58:xx (mind you this was at altitude and on a notoriously slow course). My third goal of beating Ashley did not and never will happen.
My muscles that nearly ruined me during the race recovered rather quickly. My joints, on the other hand, are not so happy with me. Now, almost 5 days after the race, my right ankle and the bottom of my right foot are still pissed about my decision to run a marathon. I fear I have a stress fracture on the ball of my right foot.
That night we celebrated by drinking copious amounts of beer and eating all the junk food we so diligently deprived ourselves of prior to the race. My pre-race weight of nearly 170 lbs is probably now back up to 185 or so.
I'm now working in North Dakota, drilling holes in the ground as part of a mine permitting project. From all I've seen, North Dakota might be better off as one large open-pit mine.