4 hours and 11 minutes.
There it is.
I don't know how I am suppose to feel about this.
My last marathon I finished in 4 hours 30 minutes. So I shaved 19 minutes off my PR (this is runners lingo for personal record).
But at mile 21 I was on a 3:58 pace. That means I lost 13 mintutes in the last 5 miles.
They say that there are three races in a marathon...the first ten, the second ten and then the last six. I believe them now.
Wait, wait, wait...let me tell you everything else and I will get back to the marathon.
Friday afternoon we packed up the family truckster and set off to our nations capital.
On this ride up it rained the entire time. It wasn't this rain that we are use to in Florida, it was this mist. The kind of mist that doesn't wipe away very easily. I drove the whole way to Washington with my teeth clenched.
We stopped in Georgia to eat dinner at Crackle Barrel. Then we drove until I couldn't drive anymore. We stopped in Fayetteville, NC. This was an eight hour leg of a 13 hour trip.
We stayed at a Hampton Inn from 1am to 8am. Took advantage of the free breakfast and left.
The kids tried to do their homework but it is hard to do 4th grade math when your sister has her headphones on and is humming. Or when your little brother is watching a movie on the portable DVD player.
The kids were pretty good. We try not to have TV or movies the whole time. I mean when I was a kid...oh, here it comes...we took many a trip and played many of car games.
Well, as much as I tried to recreate the golden years, it wasn't going to happen. Well at least not the way I remember.
I got alot of this, "This game is stupid!!" or "I hate this game". And I thought about it a second and come to think about it...I hated that stupid game too.
I am exaggerating but you get my drift.
They got along most of the time. We are in pretty close quarters so I tried to grant them some grace. You want to kill them when they start with the, "stop touching me!!" or "give me back my toy" or my all time favorite, "stop looking at me." This went as far as, "Mom, Luke is looking at me funny."
Remember the glory days of "no seatbelt" laws. It was like anarchy in the back of the custom van. Jumping from seat to seat, wrestling, throwing stuff. How did my parents do it?
We arrived in D.C. at about 2pm on Saturday. DC is pretty spread out and it like any major city in the US, it is hard to drive in. Luckily we brought our GPS. It saved our lives a number of times. I have two running buddies that were also coming up for the race and we planned to meet up.
We were the only one with a car. So when we got to DC we picked up one dude and his wife at their downtown hotel and headed over to the EXPO. The expo is where all the runners pick up there packet. The packet has your number, a free T-shirt and some other knick knacks. But in the expo this is where the marathon people make some money. You have 30,000 runners and there families in one place. There were about 75 booths all selling some kind of running paraphinalia. My kids loved it. They were giving away a lot of free stuff.
From the expo we made reservations at an Italian restaurant...you know CARB LOADING.
We were home by 9pm.
I put out all my stuff for the next morning. It was suppose to be 50 degrees so before we left my wife bought me a "throw away" long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt.
I took my Immonium (I took two for good measure...you don't want to run while you are running, if you know what I mean) and went to bed.
I had a wake up call at 5:45am because the race time was 8am. We met at the shuttle bus stop that took us to the start line at 6:15. Imagine 30,000 people emerging at one place. There are buses, the metro, taxis. It was organized chaos.
The wating area for the start line is this huge parking lot full of port-o-jons...I mean hundreds of them. So you have tons of people hanging out...some in line at the bathroom, some people warming up, some people rubbing vaseline on their feet and other parts of their body getting ready to go.
There is a concert going on and military planes flying over.
Well it was time to move to the start line. Wow was this crazy. You have to go to the corral of the time you desire to run. The faster times up front so you don't have to pass the slower runners.
There were 3 of us. It was great being with those guys. We trained together and now we get to run together. You know running and talking is so much easier than just running.
So the race started. Now picture this. There is a race start time and a chip time. Every runner has a chip that they put in their shoe. So you have a race time and a chip time. When the gun goes off it starts the race time and when my foot crosses the start line is when my chip time starts. It took us close to 7 minutes to get to the start line. That is a long time.
Oh, remember when I was saying how great it is to run with buddies. As soon as the race started my buddies took off. They were weaving in and out of traffic. It was like a game. I was keeping up but after about 2 miles of this game I realized I was spending a lot of energy trying to play this ridiculous game. I thought we would run together but they thought going out like a bat out of hell was more important.
So I ran the last 24.2 miles by myself. Turns out we all finished within 4 minutes of each other.
You know what...I am going to have to finish here.
I have so much more to tell you but it is getting pretty long.
Can't wait to tell you the rest on Friday.
Glad to be back, j.