The gun when off and I reminded Bill to take it easy and save his energy for the last 10k (it was his first marathon). Sage advice, which we promptly ignored. Less than 3 miles into the race I looked down at my watch and realized I was running a sub-7 minute pace.
Bill was looking good, feeling good, and had put in the training. Knowing his pace was unsustainable I pulled back and let him slip away. It was to be his day!
As the miles clicked by my pace began to slow until fatigue and frustration got the better of me at mile 16. The remaining 10 miles went by something like this:
I'll pause at this point in the story to heap well deserved praise on the race organizers, volunteers, and the good people of Austin. The Livestrong Austin Marathon is a terrific race! There's live music and ample support along the course. Race logistics were flawless and the schwag was top notch. But perhaps best of all were the enthusiastic and humorous spectators. Among my favorites where:
- The guy with sign that read, "You're fast! That's what she said!"
- The woman with the sign that read "Supportive and single. Call me."
- The lawn party with a giant sign that read "Cocktails for Quitters."
I unceremoniously crossed the finish line in 4:35:06; more than an hour slower than my personal best and my worst marathon showing ever. I knew going into the race that I was woefully unprepared but still cannot help to be a bit disappointed.
However, there's something to be said of simply finishing one marathon and now I've completed seven.
Congratulations also to my friend, Bill, who broke 4 hours on his first marathon! Well done, dude!
"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood."
Ralph Waldo Emerson