Okay 8th time wasn't the charm either for a Boston Qualifier. I should've known that a hilly course wasn't the course to try it on. Well I will try to make this short, unlike most of my posts. This was the first Gettysburg Marathon (which should have been another indicator that is wasn't a good course to qualify for Boston). But I said what the hell lets give it a go. Well Lisa and I went down to Gettysburg to pick up my packet and stuff (which was a shirt, and a few Gettysburg ads) on Saturday, and have lunch with her friends that live down there. We had lunch at some American Grill down there I had some wings and she had a burger, nothing great there. We drove the course down there, and that is when it really hit me on how hilly this course really was going to be. The first quater or half mile of the course looked flat, but then there was one hill, and the another, the road didn't look like they were in good condition either, but they weren't that bad. There were plenty of hills in the course, but they were not very steep, so I thought I would be ok. Well Lisa, Bex, and I went home, and had some dinner and went to bed early.
I got up, had everything packed and drove back down to Gettysburg. I parked at the Gettysburg Area High School, where I took a bus to the starting line. When I got to the starting line, I warmed up a little bit ran about half mile or so, and decided to go to the bathroom. The line was long, but I eventually got through it, while in the bathroom the race started. However no big deal the race was timed by chip so I didn't really have to be anywhere anytime soon. I waited tell everyone cross the start line and I eventually got across I started my watch and I took off.
A few minutes into the race I looked down to see what pace I was doing, and no watch. For the people that don't know I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 which has a quick release band, so I can put my watch on my bike when I ride it, and it can come off the bike quickly and onto my wrist. I looked behind me and didn't see it, so I said forget it (well not exactly, but use your imagination). I kept telling my self don't worry about it we will do fine, and we did for the first half of the race. The race was hillier than I excepted, but it was what it was. I had no idea what pace I was keeping but it felt ok, maybe a little fast, but not to fast. The water stations were about every two miles a part, and I had GU chomps on me for fuel. I planned to eat one chomp every two miles after mile 8, and every one mile after mile 20. This went all as planned, the only unknown in the equation was how fast was I going. I was hoping to see a clock or hear someone telling me my time half way through the race but no luck.
Around mile 15 or so I caught to someone, and asked what pace we were keeping and he told me 7:05 or so. Which to me was to fast. I tried to keep with the pace till about mile 18 or so, and that is when things really started hurting. I did see one runner on the side of the road cramping like a mad man. I was sort of thankful I wasn't him at the time. I kept running and I hit the wall hard around mile 22 and had to walk some. I was hoping to run walk for a set number of minutes or seconds, but I didn't have a watch to keep track of the time. So I went by steps, and counted out 100 running steps and 60 walking steps did this for about three or four times. Every step hurt, but every step was a step closer to the finish line. I eventually got there with a time that was 3:21:37, not bad for walking some of it, or what felt like a lot of it. I guess Boston will have to wait since the triathlon season is starting up now, and I got Eagle Man, and Musselman half iron mans and I am fund raising for Team in Training Nations Triathlon in September, if anyone would like to donate. I plan to do one or two fall mathons, and maybe I will be able to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon where there will be new qualifying time 3:05 for me instead of the old 3:10.
On a side note, as many people know I ran the Shamrock Virginia Beach Marathon last year in March, I had a time of 3:40 there which was a PR, but the race was terrible for me, I feel completely apart at mile 18, and had to walk a majority of the rest of the race. However I told myself if I can have a terrible race and do a 3:40 it is possible I have a great race and do a 3:10. Well this one taught me if I can have a bad race and do a 3:22, I can have a great race and do a 3:10. Well the 3:10 still eludes me, it still is in my reach, I just have to try harder. As Randy Pausch (a professor from CMU, which passed away a few years ago, he also wrote a book called the Last Lecture) said "walls are only there to see how bad you want in." Well Boston I want in, and you may have won this battle, but you haven't won the war yet.
Is anyone still wondering about my watch? Someone picked it up and turned it into the lost and found. Were I went to claim it. I knew there were still good people in the world. Thank you to whoever you were, I greatly appreciate it.