Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Year, Another Marathon

It was already late afternoon when I remembered where I was this time a year ago - running my 2nd marathon in Washington DC at the MCM. In about a month, I'll be running my 4th, and then hopefully 5th marathon next January, if all goes well. My training has finally hit the 20-mile mark, and I hit the road at 7:08 am this morning to begin that long, lonely, painful journey, while the rest of suburbia slept on.

It was comfortable enough that I wore shorts, but cool enough that I needed two layers up top. After my run, a shower, a half bagel, and a cup of hot chocolate, I crawled back in bed and pulled the covers over in order to warm up my core body temperature, something I had read about somewhere. I'm pretty sure I also fell asleep instantly.

This time last year was also my first RBF meetup, and what a fine group of distinguished runners it turned out to be, with (ladies first)
Bex, NBTR, Susie, Michelle, and bringing up the rear (but never in a race!) Peter and David. Peter ran NYC last year, and David will be running it next week!

Speaking of next week, while
Susan and David are traipsing around the 5 boroughs, I'll be doing my cut-back long run in the Dallas Running Club Half (previously simply known as "The Half", until half marathons started popping up all over the place, and you couldn't tell anyone you were running "The Half" without them asking you "yeah, but which one?"). After that, it's one more 20-miler and then the long awaited taper. I can't wait!


jeanne said...

well, that's funny, because bex is here visiting and we happened to pop by the MCM yesterday, and we were talking about YOU and that same meeetup! one of the finest meetups yet... ah, those were the days.

that 20 sounds like it flew by.

susie said...

Gosh, I can't believe it has been year. I miss the gang.

peter said...

Sounds like your M. training is going well-always good to put those 20s behind you.

I just re-read your Dueling Titles post-The Elusive 4:00 or You'll take what Mary gives you, and that was a great description of a marathon, concise, incisive and evocative of the personal nature of the back half of any marathon. My own PR was in large part inspired when I was fading in the 24th mile of a M. earlier this year and I saw the 3:50 pace group run past. It wasn't very large, nobody was talking, but they were all focused somewhere on the roadway 10 to 20 feet ahead, all except the leader who was giving commands and making adjustments still. (I met her at another race and introduced myself, it was a great meetup). I rmembered your post then of your subsequent lonely despair at letting the 4:00 group go at 2006 MCM and I hung with that pace group, right on the leader's heels, desperately, for a mile and a half before I let them go. It was the tonic I needed and got me over the hump. The last half hour of a M. is so long yet so fleeting, your six months goal can elude you just like that. We all learn from others, and sound observations and good advice pop into our heads from elsewhere just when we need it most.

Then you went out and wiped 17 minutes off in your next Mary, and just like that your goal was behind you. Wow. So take aim at 3:55 or 3:50 and good luck.

That was a nice dinner Bex arranged at Zola's back then. Another year has gone by, the leaves are falling again, she's moved on, NBTR has turned to triathlons (she says), Susie & David are married, H has done her first M., David is about at the starting line for NYC, nothing is the same. What MP in life does it put each of us on? Will the rest go by fleetingly, or will we reach for our opportunities. Sounds like everyone at that table has reached out in the last year.

Bex said...

Wow - a 20-miler already! You're way, way ahead of me. I actually missed my long run this past week b/c of my trip to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. I hope we can all meet up again for a race soon - perhaps next year!

GandaMan said...

The endurance bug starts slow and then picks up steam. Before you know it, you'll be running marathons as training runs. Trust me.

Jess said...

It's always good to reflect on where you've been and where you're heading!