I did it. Four hours and 38 minutes of nearly non-stop plodding along at an average 10:37/mile pace. My main goal was to finish in 4.5 hours. My secondary goal was to finish. I finished. 690 people finished the marathon. I was 575. So hey! I was in the top 83rd percentile!
My running buddy Greg (read “the only reason I decided to actually do this thing”) and I stuck together until around mile 18. During the first 15 miles or so, we had kept pretty much the same pace with a handful of other runners. I struck up conversations with a couple ladies who run together (one had run 4 marathons, the other 11), and the only other person I saw all day wearing minimalist shoes! (I was looking, closely, all day. I saw one guy – Dave – wearing Vibram Five Fingers).
I had started to pull ahead a bit, hoping to spur him on, but at mile 20 – aka “the wall” – I stopped for about a minute so he could catch up. We continued on together for about another mile when he invoked our previous agreement and told me to go on ahead.
I reconsidered my decision several times along the way, but did indeed go on ahead. I ended up finishing only 8 minutes ahead, and was very glad to meet back up again at the finish line.
I weighed myself when I got home and was just under 150# for the first time I can remember in my adult life. I promptly addressed this in a celebration party with friends.
I was tired and my quads were sore when I got home. Going down stairs was really tough for two days. My right arch ached pretty severely on Tuesday. I addressed this with contrast heat and cold therapy. My 5k recovery run Tuesday was fun, but work. My 2 mile run on Wednesday was… just work. As of Thursday, I am nursing a very swollen right foot, but it is not painful at all.
So ends the story of my first marathon. It won’t be my last.