To call the conditions anything less than ideal today would be a huge understatement. I noticed almost immediately that when the wind gusted to nearly 20 mph it created a dilemma that I’ve rarely had to deal with during training. But it all depended on which direction I was going, which is why I really would have liked to go do my beach route. With winds coming predominantly out of the north I would have had almost an entire 22 mile run with wind at my back. Not to be. When I was running north when the wind gusted it really provided me with a lot of resistance. Today was all about battling the conditions and finishing what I set out to do. The final long run would not be an easy one, but I did hold myself back and try to run consistent miles. And because I was on “home turf” I broke the run up into a 15-miler where I finished at the house and provided myself with an opportunity to get some Gatorade, water and gels (I took a 3:00 minute break) and then finished the final 7-miles.
Considering the conditions I would have to say mission accomplished. Although not perfect, check these splits out:
I don’t care where you’re from. That’s a good looking run. Given my finish time and yesterday’s post where I ran a “different kind of marathon” (4.2 miles on Saturday and 22 today) for charity, my “marathon” finish time was 3:49:19. Again, not bad considering the conditions, and yes, I had a long rest after the first 4.2 but I also had no crowd support, no water stations and no real incentive other than to just get my miles in, so I’ll take it. The thing that stands out for me in looking at the graph above is how much more straight it is compared to both of my previous 20-milers. As I enter the final phase of training, and the final 20 days it is very encouraging.
In addition to the encouraging times, graphs and outcome of today I am also encouraged by the soreness in my body. Although I am sore (you don’t run 22 miles without getting sore), I know it could be a lot worse. I feel like I am stronger at this point in my training than any of the previous 9 marathons. I may not be as fast. Well, I know I’m not as fast. But I’m stronger. One thought kept popping into my head today that I could not shake. Even though I was just running, it dawned upon me that at the age of 44 I am still an athlete. What I did today isn’t easy. It takes a lot of determination and intestinal fortitude. I have no problem feeling proud of myself for gutting it out in the conditions and pushing myself through to the finish. I know I don’t want to do this any more. I realize how difficult it is, but for now I’m still doing it. I have a finish line to reach in three weeks. I’ll let the future take care of itself. Today was pure guts. I’m better for having gone through it. Hated it when it was happening, but stronger for my efforts. In 20 days I’m certain it will pay off.
NOTES: Yesterday morning this site surpassed 4,000 visitors! Thank you again! It took 19 days to go from 3,000 to 4,000. It still amazes me that people are interested in what I’m doing, but I’m glad you are along for the ride. It is you who drives me. Four Seconds from Boston is ready to be released!! I will be posting the cover tomorrow night and my incredible endorsements on Tuesday night with a formal release taking place 10 days early this Wednesday at noon!!!