This past weekend On September 26th, 2009 I ran my first marathon. The 2009 Akron Marathon to be exact. Let me tell you a little bit bout it.
I didn’t get serious about training until about two months before the actual race. And by serious I mean only half serious. I didn’t do a lot of runs during the week, I was lucky to maybe get 10 miles in. However, in the last two months I did hit the pavement consistently, mainly using Hal Higdon’s Training Guide. Regardless, by the time I hit my 20 mile run, I did not feel ready and was very nervous about this race.
I didn’t sleep very much the night before and got to the site about 1 hour before the race. First thing I did was hit the port-a-john. I went and stretched for a bit and go for a very light run to get my blood flowing. Afterwards, I stretched out some more. Proceeded to hit the port-a-john again. At 15 minutes before the race I positioned myself between the 4:00 and 4:30 race pacers and figured this would be a good spot for me. My goal was to break the 4 hour mark, but ultimately was to finished. Then the urge to hit the port-a-john hit me again. However, it was so close to the beginning I didn’t know if I would have time. I decided to suck it up and figured I would forget about it once I started running… bad idea!
The first 5K were great. The weather was great (~60 F) and the rain was no where in site.
David Macias, 00:31:19 (NET) @ 5.2K Pace 8:56 , Predicted 03:54:13.00. powered by Road Runner Akron Marathon
At the 15K mark, I’m still feeling pretty good, but I have a nagging sensation that I need to hit the john, but I figure I can still tough it out.
David Macias, 01:23:11 (NET) @ 15K Pace 8:55 , Predicted 03:53:47.00. powered by Road Runner Akron Marathon
At the 25K mark I still feel pretty good even though I can tell I’ve slowed down some, but not enough to be a concern.
David Macias, 02:19:19 (NET) @ 25K Pace 8:58 , Predicted 03:55:05.00. powered by Road Runner Akron Marathon
At the 30K mark is where all hell breaks loose! First, there were multiple warnings about this race that talked about doing hill repeats in order to be adequately prepared for this race. I ignored them.
At Mile 16, I hit a wall and started what I called my shuffle of death. I was in dire need of a port-a-john and I could tell my feet were dragging. I finally hit the john around mile 18 and had a renewed sense of freedom, but it didn’t last long. I can honestly say that the last 6 miles were the most painful miles in my life. There were multiple times I thought to myself, “Just fall, fall and curl up in a ball, and someone will pick you up and carry you to the finish line.” Alas, I didn’t fall and I didn’t stop. I muscled through the nature stop on mile 18, the rain which began around mile 15, and the cramp on mile 22. Ultimately, it was an amazing experience and can’t wait to do it again!
David Macias, 04:32:49 (NET) @ Finish Pace 10:24 . powered by Road Runner Akron Marathon
PS: A few pictures from the race.
Crossing the finish line:
Left shoe destroyed: