For those of you wondering about the wisdom of my decision to run 13.1 miles all at one time, I am proud to report that my body is still in one piece and I'm able to sit behind my desk and get work done today. Not once did I have to stop and walk and I was even able to encourage other runners to finish the route. The route is posted here...again, assuming I'm smart enough to figure it out.
The day almost started off with a disaster, and did in fact start illegally. Trying to get into downtown an hour before the race should have seemed like a bad idea to Justin and I. Unfortunately, it never crossed our minds that real runners would show up far in advance in order to park and get a little warm up going. Unfortunately for us, there were at least a couple thousand other non-real runners who were all trying to enter via the same 4 lanes at the same time we were. So what's the logical option? Take the first street out of town, even if that means going the wrong way on a one way street for 200 yards. Fortunately, no one was coming out of downtown Fort Worth, so we were okay. Our next bit of misery was trying to survive the travel to the start line in sub freezing temperatures (or at least sub-freezing wind chills). I'm fairly certain that the reason I didn't have the standard soreness in my knees to start the run is because I was numb from the waist down.
One would think these would be the only problems we would face before the race started. Unfortunately this is not the case. Who knew it would be so difficult for 2 guys that have known each other for almost 20 years to find each other if one went to the bathroom. Our grand intentions of running together were dashed before we even crossed the starting line. In spite of that, I actually had a pretty good run. I almost ate pavement because a teenager that hadn't trained for a 13 mile run (obvious because he was walking before the 4 mile marker) kept weaving back and forth as I tried to pass him but that was really the only problem along the way. I was really nervous coming into the race because my long runs had been cut short or non-existent for the last couple weeks because of travel and a hip injury. Turns out those nerves were unfounded. Not only was I able to run the entire route, but I was able to power through the hills, encourage others that were fading to keep going (it's incredible how important the support of the other runners is...this tight community of people that have never met each other really is amazing and likely the topic of another post), and somehow found the strength to kick through the last quarter mile at a significantly faster pace in order to finish strong and beat my goal time. That's right ladies and gentlemen, this kid beat his realistic goal of a sub 2 hour race by 5 minutes and beat his challenge goal of 1:55 by 7 seconds. And I'm not going to lie, knowing Carmen was somewhere in that last quarter mile ready to take pictures and cheer me on was entirely responsible for my sudden burst of energy...turns out she was right at the finish line so she got to see me cross ahead of my goal!
Now, I'm not going to lie...not getting up to run this morning felt amazing. My body definitely needed the extra recovery, but I can't wait to get out and hit the road tomorrow. If all goes well I'll be able to keep up my 25-30 mile a week base and be in a position to challenge myself for a sub 1:30 on the half this fall and go after a full marathon at the Cowtown next February. So for all those in the metroplex, mark your calendar to come hold signs and scream for me next February 27th, and Justin, check your inbox...there are more race registration dates and training plans waiting for you.