Friday, July 13, 2012

Two ways to tell it

HBO has a new series, The Newsroom, that despite not having HBO (Watched the first show on a Blockbuster promo and the second in a hotel.  Still haven't watched the third episode) I am quickly falling in love with.  Aaron Sorkin, writer of The West Wing and A Few Good Men, among other messages is trying to tell us that there aren't two sides to every story.  He claims, and I agree, that some stories have three sides or five or one.  He is calling upon the news to report the truth and call out idiots, not just report on the idiots trying to grab headlines.  For example if a democrat makes a big deal and claims the world is flat, Sorkin says the news should say he is wrong not post a headline (as they often do) "Democrats and Republicans can't agree on shape of world."

My last post was the week before I ran Grandma's Marathon.  Tonight's post, despite getting off topic as early as the first paragraph, is a recap of my race.  The Newsroom intro was used for three reasons.  First, to profess my love for the show.  Second, to recommend you check it out.  Third, to say despite Sorkins message my marathon story can be told in two ways.

The positive version (the one I am hoping to remember in the long run):
Grandma's Marathon, run on June 16th, was my second marathon. My first was the Twin Cities Marathon last fall. I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in three hours and fifty one minutes. I ran Grandma's in 3:42. Finishing any marathon is an accomplishment, so I am first proud to have now completed two. I am also proud to have improved my time by nine minutes.

The other true more painful version:
My goal was to run Grandma's Marathon in 3:30.  A 3:30 marathon is running a 8 minute per mile pace for the whole race.  Through 15 miles all my splits were between 7:29 and 7:55.  I was flying along and feeling good.  I crossed the half marathon mark four minutes ahead of pace (one hour forty one minutes versus goal pace of 1:45).  Miles 16-19 were 8 to 8:20, slower but I will still ahead of pace.

At mile 20 I hit the wall.  Hitting the wall as hard as I did was something I had never experienced before.  My tank went to empty and all I wanted to do was lay down.  6.2 miles seemed like an impossible distance to travel to cross the finish line.  It took me 20 minutes to complete my next two miles.  The things that go through your mind are amazing.  From hating yourself for ever trying to do a marathon, to swearing off running for the rest of your life, to moment of determination where you talk yourself into just picking up the pace until the next water station.

As I mentioned in the first version I finished in 3:42.  The second half of my marathon took two hours, 18 minutes longer then my first half.  Not ideal splits.

Duluth got cold during the race, so in addition to a slow last six miles my left nipple was bleeding.  From all the exertion I just laid around and napped the rest of the day.  Part of my training for future races will be to learn how to better manage my stomach post race!?!?!  Here is a link to pics of the struggle:

Lessons learned from the race:
1) Each race in an opportunity.  With all the preparation and time (for you and your family) that goes into running a marathon it is easy for race day to be a forgone conclusion.  It is a huge day, of course, but I found myself thinking about race day so much that when it was time to race I felt I had been through it before.  No matter how much I run in the future, I will never take a race day for granted.

2) Begin with the end in mind.  I have read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but this second habit didn't sink in to my running habits until after Grandma's.  In an attempt to run a 3:30 I became very obsessed with my 10k split and my 13.1 mile split.  I ran a hard first half to bank some extra minutes for the second half, but I never ran with mile 26 in mind.  Knowing how hard those last miles are I would love to trade in all those 7:30 and 7:45 minute miles for 8 minute miles and feel stronger at the end

This recap certainly wasn't very "news worthy" but I wanted to tie a bow around the marathon post.  I will be going for the 3:30 again at the Twins Cities Marathon.  I have learned from this experience and I hope the TC Marathon story has only one side...a sub-3:30 time!


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