Well, the time is almost here. Only a couple more days till I run in the Columbus Marathon. When I signed up for this one I was planning on it being my first marathon. I turn 40 in February and wanted to complete a marathon before turning 40. Well 3 full marathons and 2 ultra marathons later I find myself here. I have a goal to one day qualify and run in the Boston Marathon. That's my ultimate goal. I'll tell you a little about my marathon experience and then we will get back to my goal in Columbus.
My first marathon was at the Go! St. Louis. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I had this vision that I would qualify for Boston in this one. Ha ha, very funny now that I look back at that. My fastest 1/2 marathon to that point had been a 1:38 so in order to run a 3:15 marathon I would have to PR my half marathon time in the marathon. Ha ha, inexperience at its finest. I started out with the 3:15 pace group(big mistake). I held strong for the first 7 miles then it was a struggle every mile after that. I was not near ready to try to maintain that pace for a full marathon. I finished it in 4:18. Hey, but at least I finished. I finished a marathon before I turned 40. It didn't help that I had near 90 degree temps, 20+ mph winds and a very hilly course. In fact almost 2400 ft of elevation.
My second marathon I was out to prove a point. I signed up for this one right after St. Louis. I knew I could do better. My goal was to go under 4 hours in this one. Well, the temperatures once again spoiled my efforts because another 90 degree marathon another time over 4 hours. Ran this one in 4:08 but hey, I'll take it, after all it was a new PR by 10 minutes. Still went out way too fast and struggled at the end.
In between time I managed to run a 55.5 mile ultra PR'd my marathon time in 4:04) but it was another 90 degree day. Also ran the Howl at the Moon 8 hour ultra in which I ran a little over 43 miles in 8 hours.
My 3rd marathon I finally got to run one in less than 90 degree heat. This one however wasn't about time. It was about leading a pace group. I was a pacer for the 4:40 pace group.
Which brings us to my 4th marathon. It will be at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday. I shouldn't have to deal with 90 degree heat in this one. Race temp's are calling for at the start of the race to be in mid 40's. I'm on a mission to knock off my next goal. Run it in under 4 hours. Realistically I believe I can take 30 minutes off my PR and run a 3:38. I'm not shooting for a Boston Qualifying time in this one. I have learned from my mistakes in the past in trying to go out too fast and I'm not quite ready to run a time like that yet. I'll save the 3:15 time for next year when I focus on one or 2 races and do more speed work. I don't do speed work but I know if I want to qualify for Boston I will have to make it a part of my weekly routine. Wish me luck and I'll give you a detailed race report when I get back.