On Running.

I decided that I need to make some sort of an excuse for my failure to write. I decided my excuse is running. (Those of you that are real runners can disregard the times mentioned herein, or at least refrain from making fun of them.)

I have run 3 marathons. That's 26.2 miles. My first was a 3 hours, 58 minutes, and change. Considering my goal was to break 4 hours, I was happy.

My second, well, it was 4 hours and 7 minutes. But it was 85 degrees in Bozeman that year, and smoky from the fires.

My third was a 4:50. That was Portland. I liked that best. All of these times kept us right around 9 minute miles. That's a very pleasant pace.

Then I took a couple years off. I ran Hood to Coast last year, and again this year, but that is a different event than a marathon. Three fast(er) 5 milers is much different from one 26.2.

This spring I started talking to my long-time running partner. I wanted to run a marathon, but I wanted to train for and run a sub 3:40. That's about an 8 minute, 22 second mile. It's faster than it sounds when you have to do it for 26 miles.

So we started training this year. We ran 8 minute miles all over the place. It wasn't nearly as fun, because you can't chit chat at 8 minute miles (pant...pant) like you can at 9 minute miles.

Then, my partner got hurt. A long-standing achilles tendon problem reared its ugly head. He's out, he told me. We had been planning to run the Montana Marathon in a couple weeks, but clearly we would have to regroup. He told me this last Saturday, September 2. We had been planning to run our last long run, a 22 miler, on Sunday the 3rd.

After my buddy got hurt, my wife got me: "You should run your 22 anyway. You've come this far. See how you do."

So I did. Even though Saturday was a beautiful day and I would rather drink beer, I held off. I woke up at 4:30 Sunday morning, and off I went.

My goal was to run my 22 miles in 3 hours. That would put me in good stead for my goal marathon time. I felt good for 12-13 miles, but then they hit. Fatigue. Pain. Mental weakness.

As I climbed into the upper mileage, I knew I was not going to make it. As I ran past the Missouri River Diner, I wanted to beg to use the phone and call my wife for a ride. I realized that my friend's injury was a good thing; we are not ready for the marathon.

Then, rounding the corner to the home stretch, I looked down at my Garmin. 20.8 miles at 2 hours and 50 minutes. Oh no! I was going to make it. I had 10 minutes to make 1.2 miles!

I finished at 3:00:18.

So, I'll be in Billings on 9/17. That's why I'm not writing. I'm otherwise occupied mentally at the moment.


a-fire-fly said...

Well, I'm not a real runner-so I get to make fun of your times, right?

And you have your motivation all wrong. Your wife needs to drive along in front of you with a iced down bucket of beer on the tailgate, that will get you moving!

I can't give any advice on the insanity that causes a theoretically intelligent man to WANT to run 26.2 miles.

Eric said...

I was never much of a runner.

It amazes me at how much suffering a long distance runner can get used too.

a-fire-fly said...

"That's why I'm not writing. I'm otherwise occupied mentally at the moment."

That massive brain of yours can only do one thing at a time? Left foot, right foot, left foot....

You still manage to give me plenty of crap!

dona stebbins said...

Geeguy - hats off to you! The best I can manage is a brisk walk through Gibson Park while being towed by one of mt Goldens! And I never run unless someone is chasing me, which hasn't happened in far too many years:)

Treasure State Jew said...

At least you are making an excuse. I think I may have forgotten my blogger password ...

Good luck on the marathon.