well it was a 4.45 am alarm setting this morning to get me prepared for today's 7.30 am start. the temp was 3 degrees when i walked outside. freezing weather. eventually the sun arrived and it was a lovely morning, albeit still quite cool.
i didn't sleep well last night and felt a little sluggish at the start. i never really know how i feel until after i run the first km, this will usually broadcast how the rest of the run will go. i feel out a pace that i feel i can keep up for the entire run. i was around 5.30 in 1k, and quickly did the math in my head, thinking i was looking at a 3.52.00, IF it was on a flat course. knowing what lied ahead, i figured there was no way that i could break 4 hours, but i decided to stay on 4 hour pace. i crossed over 10.55k at 59 minutes, then the next 10.55k in 61 minutes, literally getting me to the half at 2 hours.
i was feeling a little better by then but i could feel some tenderness in the knees. i slowed down a little bit and put it on cruise control. 63 minutes for the third quarter. amazingly, i started feeling fresher than i had all morning. but the last quarter is the hilliest, and the windiest, so i slowed down even more to ensure that i didn't do any damage to the knees with the hills. i hit the 40k mark at almost exactly 4 hours, and finished up strong at 4.13.43.
that's 6.10 better than my last marathon, which was run on a much flatter course.
overall, i am a little disappointed given how much better my 42.2k dress rehearsal run went 3 weeks ago, but ultimately, i knew coming into this run that i was not in peak condition.
i guess what matters most is that i ran a very consistent race and was able to stick to the game plan as it had unfolded. the knees, the lungs, and everything else handled the run fine. i ran strong all the way thru and never hit the wall. my attitude remained fairly positive throughout the entire run, which is a first for this marathon. the last two runs on this course were classified as disasters. it was nice to cross the finish line and not throw a tempertantrum.
i really don't know where i will go from here. i'd love to run a 3.45.59 somewhere soon, but i won't likely run another marathon until Boston 2010 unless i am extremely confident that i can do that.
well, time to go to the post-race reception and have lunch and mingle with other runners..