So after an epic injury in August 9 days before ironman Mont Tremblant, bi weekly ART appointments and trips to western massachusetts to see a special physical therapist to work on my limitations and weaknesses I have begun my journey back to health and getting back on my bike. I still haven't gotten on my bike since 9 days before ironman and in just a few short days I'll be riding him again ( all be it easy and probably for short periods, but I'll be riding again.).
Since my injury I was able to slowly get back to running and swimming was never an issue so coach Pat decided to ramp up the swimming for awhile and once I started feeling better to ramp up the running and hope to get in a fall marathon. Based on my current fitness he wanted me to aim for a race mid november so after some researching and chatting via facebook with some other Qt2 teammates they mentioned a local marathon that was being held in Plymouth mass on Novemeber 18th for the first time. There wasn't much mentioned on the website about the race, no course profile at the time, minimal knowledge about the course but none the less I signed up. Over the following few months more information came out and it mentioned the course would be hilly with some descent climbs splattered throughout, some off trail/ dirt/sand, rock for a bit ( and did I mention hills).
Water stations every 2 miles with powerade at miles 5/10/15 and 20, Gel at mile 17. Sounded ok to me but even better I got to travel less than an hour to a race and pay only $50, couldn't beat that.
Training went well, no real issues to be had with training, I lost about 5lbs in training and I stopped drinking diet coke over the last 2 months. I've kept up with my physical therapy and I continue to get ART to my left hip and lower back twice a week. Based on my training numbers I knew I could possibly have a good race but since I've only run one marathon back in 1999 ( Chicago), in just under 5hrs, I had no real knowledge on how one would feel. Now I have done ironman Lake Placid twice but I can't say what I did after the bike was anything about running so this was going to be interesting.
I drove down to the race with my new friend John Young who is just an amazing person and a true inspiration when it comes to how to live life to the fullest. He is a challenged athlete who has taken himself from 193lbs a few years ago to a svelte ( i think he said 160) and he is the first short statured person to ever do an olympic/ 70.3 triathlon and I think marathon. Just amazing. We left real early in the morning so John could start in the early group at 7am. I felt honored to be apart of John's first marathon, it was a special moment in the morning we he set off.
Anyhoo, the morning was no biggie, there was no big hupla, just a group of runners getting off a bus, sitting around on the ground waiting to get started. It was about 500-600 runners and relay runners ready to go by 8am. The timer yelled go at 8am and we were off. Before setting off I did bump into some Qt2 peeps, Jessie, Rich and Russert and we all wished each other luck. Of course none of us knew what lied ahead of us.
Quick and to the point: The course was up and down, up and down, up and down. My calves, quads and hamstrings felt the burn towards the end, it was a brutal course. I wish I could say there was some flat areas but since there wasn't much I won't. The course besides being hard was nice, minimal traffic throughout the majority of the course since it was inside miles standish state park, cranberry bogs, little ponds, trees, volunteers were out and with the really runners we definitely had packets of areas were there were lots of people cheering for us and for such a small marathon that was nice.
If I had one thing negative to say about the race it would be that where we had to park to take the shuttle buses to the race start was about 1/2 mile away from the finish and after completing a marathon in the cold and having to have to walk all the way back to my car really sucked, and I was alone, at times I didn't think I was going to make it my legs hurt so bad. Other than that the race was very nice and if your interested in doing a very hilly, low maintenance marathon, local and cheap this would be a good one.
Anyway, 3:55:40, 8:55 pace via my Garmin, a 53 minute PR from my Chicago marathon in 1999. I am very happy with the performance, I don't have any negative things about how I performed, my nutrition was spot on, heart rate was spot on and I was able to get my HR up the last mile ( not hard to do when your going uphill again.). Anyway, it was great to end the year on a positive note and looking forward to the next season. Thanks coach Pat for believing in me and knowing that I could be a runner, it means a lot.