Well, this morning I went up against the Outer Banks Marathon… and emerged mostly triumphant!
My plan was to break the race down into three segments; a slower 10 miles, a faster 10 miles, and then an even faster final 10k (aka 6.2 miles). And up through mile 14, things went great.
Then, two things happened in rapid succession. First, someone decided they were going to drive across the course without checking for runners first, and stopped about a foot and a half from me (and only because I screamed, “Whatareyoudoing?” really loudly and with a real edge of panic in my voice). Then, about 45 seconds later, my right calf muscle tightened up and never really let go. I stretched it out as best I could and kept going.
I finally briefly crashed and burned in the 25th mile; my knees were starting to kill me (they’d begun to ache around mile 20) and I ended up walking the majority of that mile. Once I only had 1.2 miles left to go, though, I forced myself to keep running again and finished in 4:29:06 — a new personal record. (My previous best in November 2006 was a 4:46:48.)
It was a beautiful course (or at least the first half was, the second half was primarily highways) and I’m delighted with my finishing time considering the physical pains I was going through.
Phew! It was a tough, but good day.