So, marathon number six is in the books. I ran Columbus, OH on October 19th.
I went in knowing that my Boston Qualifier of 3:40 would be a stretch. I missed some training late in the cycle and had a flight out after the race to a work conference in Nashville, so I was on the fence about how hard I wanted to push things.
Weather was perfect to start: high 40s/lo 50s F with cloud cover. My pacer options were 3:35 or 3:45. I decided to line up with the 3:45 pacer and see how things felt. Songs sung, fireworks and then the starting gun.
I started out easy and linked up with a friend from my running club (we had about 75 travel to the race). We had run the first 2/3 of the Pittsburgh full together in May. We hit a comfortable rhythm and started clicking off the miles. I decided to go all out for Boston Qualification. By mile 13 we were in the groove, averaging about 8 minute miles. We commented that the pace was too fast, laughed, then continued to run that pace.
We worked our way up High Street towards "The Shoe", the football stadium on the Ohio State campus. My running buddy had to use the facilities, so I was on my own. We headed downhill to the Shoe, onto the field, then out the other side.
For every downhill there is an uphill, and the early pace had an impact; I gradually slowed as the miles continued but I was still on pace to BQ, an 8:20 min/mile pace.
Until mile 23. Leading up to the race, we had heard over and over about how "flat" the Columbus course was. At mile 23, we took a turn and there it was in front of me: a hill. I had nothing left and started to walk. My pace for the mile was over a 12 minute mile. Boston Qualifying disappeared. At the top, I pulled things and focused on the final miles.
Even though I missed my BQ, I finished strong, with a time of 3:45;56. I PRed by over 8 minutes and got to bang the PR Gong!
Carb loading, a work conference, an extended 54th birthday weekend and general lack of nutritional accountability have taken their toll. I am the highest weight I have been since I started on SP.
This stops now. Time to keep the exercise up, refocus on nutrition tracking, drop some pounds and up my game. The London Marathon is next in April. Who knows what losing 15 lbs may do...