Yesterday morning was just beautiful and I took advantage of the nice weather while my wife was out running to do some chores around the house. Once she was home I got ready and I hit the trails. After loops in Hartley, Chester Bowl, and Rock Hill, I made my way home. The trails are nice and dry and running on them provides such a nice relief from the monotony of M-F roads. (I am a bit bummed that Hartley will undergo yet another "reroute" from the mountain bikers. Hartely managed to stay in relatively good shape until the vast number of mountain bikers started using the trail system a few years back. Don't get me wrong, they have a nice group of riders that do some excellent trail maintenance but problem is the ones that don't respect the wet trails and ride there anyway ruin it for the group we call "mountain bikers". We wouldn't have to worry about reroutes if bikes didn't use the trails. Example is Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) system. Those trails have existed for years and no reroutes are needed on that trail. It's foot traffic only. Oh well, the bridges they build are nice, I guess I should thank them for that)
Total: 1:15:00 9.5 miles
I ran the Grandma's Marathon course. Yep. The entire course. A lot of fellow runners do it every year as a ritual long run three or four weeks out. I have never done that. In years past I stopped at 24. So, when I contacted Greg last winter to develop a plan for G-ma's, I told him that I was a bit surprised my body had continued difficulty in the last 8K of the marathon out in Cali. For this build up he had me do more LONG runs and asked if I had any problems doing the full distance a try. Since I had never done that in years past, I figured I had nothing to loose but to try. That was today.
I wish we could have weather like this morning on marathon morning. Cool, 50F at start with a nice tailwind all the way to Canal Park. I took off with a bottle of Poweraide stashed at 12 miles and a water at 21.5 miles along with two gels pinned to my shorts. Keeping the pace down in the early miles was a chore. I didn't want to run under 7:00's and I kept to this very well. After a little lagging energy in miles 7-12, the Poweraide and gel number 1 took me through half way in 1:32:00. Wow, I thought. If I keep that up I will run a nice 3:04 marathon today. Miles 14-18 felt great and I was really looking forward to getting into town and running down London road. I took the second gel at mile 20 and had my water at 21.5. After a quick hello to the family, I pushed on to the finish. The only miles that made me work a bit, other than that bad patch early on, were the last two. Truly amazing. I have done 24 numerous times. There is something about 26. Those last two miles just start to beat you down. I finished well, not slowing and in fact I ran the second half in 1:30:00. What a great feeling to have run a marathon on a training day. I guess I can say I won my first marathon. Now I will take a good day or two of recovery then work into the rest of the week. I sure hope that everybody had a wonderful weekend of running.
Total: 3:02:07 26.2 miles
Weeks Total: 83 miles
Years Total: 1252.1 miles