This morning’s marathon was marathon number eight for me and my fifth consecutive Ottawa Marathon. Going into the marathon, based on the solid training cycle I had leading up to race day, I figured this represented my best opportunity to run a time good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Given the overall mileage I completed during the training cycle leading up to today and the results I had in my tune-up races I was in a positive state of mind heading into this morning’s race.
Given the fact that weather forecasts have a tendency to change often during the week I tried not to pay too much attention to the forecast for today because it was a factor I could not control. As it turns out, the weather could not have been much better than it was this morning with overcast skies and cool temperatures.
As planned I lined up with the 3:10 pace bunny thinking I would stick with him for a while then try to take off later in the race if I had enough left in the tank. I managed to line up in the race corral early enough to find a spot right behind the 3:10 pace bunny.
Right from the start the race went as planned. I stuck with the 3:10 group for nearly the first half of the race. Just before the half, feeling good and like I was ready to have a good day I pulled just ahead of the 3:10 pace bunny.
I am not sure how far ahead of him I got but it was a confidence booster at that stage of the race to be out in front of the 3:10 pace. I managed to stay in this position until about 33-34 km into the race at which point the 3:10 group pulled up alongside me again.
I started to fade around 37 km and the 3:10 pace bunny pulled away from me. At that point I simply focused on maintaining a consistent pace that would get me to the finish line as quick as possible. Passing friends and family during the last 5 km also helped give me a much needed boost of energy at that point that certainly helped maintain my pace.
In the end I crossed the line in 3:12:19, just short of my intended goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon but a personal best time in the marathon by five minutes and when I think to the fact that I have gone from someone who had no interest in running until his wife talked him into joining a 5 km clinic to someone who was two minutes away from qualifying for Boston today I am quite pleased with that.
My goal of qualifying for Boston still stands and eventually I will get around to planning my next attempt but for now I am going to recover and enjoy the new personal best.
I am also thankful that I have a wife who tolerates my obsession and daughters who tolerate me dragging them out for weekend runs in our Chariot stroller. Without that today’s result would not have been possible.