|Morgan Hill Marathon|
"So what we'll be calling on is good ol' fashion blunt force trauma." Yeah, I stole that line from a Rocky movie :)
In order to assess exactly where I am, and just how slow I am, I decided to run the local Morgan Hill Marathon last weekend. It's a hilly course, with somewhere between 900 and 1200 feet of elevation gain, so it's much more hilly that what I will encounter at Boston. But I figured if I could run a respectable time of 3:05 - 3:10 on this course, then it should set me up well for a shot at sub 3 at Boston. At least that was the plan.
But, spoiler alert, things don't always go as planned.
|Free tickets to the gun show :)|
Sure enough, I suddenly found myself at the front of the line. After quickly taking care of business I jogged over to the starting line, discarded my shirt, and elbowed my way to the front of the pack with twenty seconds to spare.
I went out conservatively, or as conservatively as I could stand, which meant that I tucked in behind the 1:30 half-marathon pace group leader for the first mile. But when he turned off (the marathon and half marathon courses diverged) I slowed own a bit more and settled into about 7:00 pace.
I found myself basically running all alone for the first 13 miles in about 5th place overall with no one directly insight either in front or behind me.
I hit the half marathon mark in about 1:33 and was still feeling pretty good. I was already thinking of clever titles for my blog and Strava upload. Things like, "Get ready Boston, I'm coming for yo' ass". There was no way I was going to fail. A top 10 placement and sub 3:10 finish were mine. Nothing could stop me.
Well, almost nothing. Except a calf cramp. Ugh.
|John and Hermann|
Things were looking bad. And then I heard footsteps behind me. It was my co-worked and good friend, Hermann Lueckhoff! Hermann was running strong and would go on to finish 7th overall with a 3:06 finish.
The last 7 miles were pretty miserable for me. I desperately wanted to drop out. But having already DNF'd twice at this race, I knew I had to at least grind it out and get the finish this time -- no matter how slow.
Eventually I finally made it back to the start finish line with a time of 3:11:30. Several people had passed me in the last 3 miles and I ended up finishing 12th overall. But somehow I still managed to win my age group (thankfully my buddy Hermann was in the 45 - 49 age group).
|Will run for booze!|
Obviously I have a little more training to do before Boston if I want to achieve my goal. But I've still got plenty of time. And first things first, I have a bottle of champagne to pound!