Chair Force Engineer

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Running Against the Wind

This morning I realized a goal I set five years ago: I finally completed a marathon. The day was beautiful from the perspective of temperature, but the notorious Albuquerque winds definitely acted up. The run took place from downtown along the Bosque, paralelling the Rio Grande River before turning east on Paseo Del Norte.

I went into the race with three goals, representing fairly low expectations. I wanted to finish at or under the target time I expected based on my training, I wanted to finish the race without walking, and I wanted to complete the race without using any port-a-johns. In that regard, I was successful in meeting all of those goals.

The most disappointing development was how I prematurely hit my performance wall. Most marathoners hit it around the 20 mile mark; mine occurred around the 12 mile mark. The story is told in my times for the two halves of the race. The first half was run around 8:24 per mile; the second half was run at 11:45 per mile. I would describe myself as trotting, rather than running, during the second half.

My only explanation for my poor second-half performance is that I didn't eat very much during the days leading up to the race. I was too afraid of having to stop and use the port-a-john during the race, as distance runs make my stomach upset. Still, I can be proud that my only walking was done while drinking at the water stations (which I used at every mile starting at Mile 17.)

All-in-all, I'm pretty happy about the way I did. With this race behind me and the goal accomplished, I'm going to preserve my joints and take up bicycling as my preferred form of exercise.