well, i saved the best for last today as i ran my 5th of 5 marathons in 34 days, which was also my 3rd in 14 days. even on a very tough Halifax course in 22 degree heat, i managed to sneak in at 4.35.54, which was 39 seconds faster than Fredericton - for my fastest of the 5.
i am in complete shock that my strength and endurance levels managed to survive; i am equally as amazed that the legs and knees held out strong. i actually ran the final 2.2k faster than any other 2k split in the entire race. my splits were 64, 68, 70 74. the second half is much hillier though, so this can be considered an equivalent to an even split. as i hit the 3/4 mark, i felt strong and realized i had a shot at a PB for the year, so that became the goal. after walking most of the hill on Maple Drive on the 39th km, i started to pick it up again and sprinted down the hill that lead to the bridge back to Halifax (the run started in Halifax and crossed over to Dartmouth for most of the 2nd half). at the 40k mark, i realized i had exactly 13 minutes to break 4.36, so i bolted it as hard as i could.
i actually collapsed after crossing the finish line out of exhaustion from the big push, but made it back to my feet after a brief rest on the ground. there were over 50 newfoundland runners there today, most of whom ran the half marathon. many said hello to me.
the other highlights of the weekend included an excellent visit with a group of LGBT youth, whom i had spoken to via video conference earlier in the week. To be a guest speaker at a high school is another nice feather in my cap, which shows that the education system has confidence in my ability to teach the facts about transsexualism, and to do so in a manner that is understandable and suitable for a teen audience. i spoke to 400 students last week, and then met up with about 15 of the core LGBT student group yesterday in person at a restaurant. Also present was an english teacher and the school health coordinator, who is also a 2 time boston marathoner and who initially got in touch with me to set up the events.
I also had a long visit with my father yesterday, and had a chance to discuss some important family business. the weather was nice so i had a lovely walk around Halifax harbourfront and the famous Halifax public gardens., where there is a massive tree that was planted in 1939 as a spud by King George the VI. Ahh, Halifax. my original home town. it's been 27 years since i lived there, and i am starting to think that it might be time for me to try to find a way to get work there, and get back home. i love it there.
well, hard to believe that 2 months ago, i was doubting whether i could even finish 1 marathon this year, let alone 5 in 34 days. it's definitely exciting that i managed to repeat what i did last year (when i ran 5 in 30 days). my times were much slower this year, but at least i can still do it. it's bitter sweet though to see my health and fitness levels so low. i really hope that i am able to find a way to get back into good shape. it's sucks finishing at the back of the pack after being at the front just 2 years ago. oh well, i am going to work my butt off and plan to take a serious shot at a BQ late this summer or early in the fall.
for those keeping score:
04/19/10 Boston Marathon 5.16.55
04/25/10 Big Sur Marathon 4.49.49
05/09/10 Fredericton Marathon 4.36.33
05/16/10 Mississauga Marathon 4.56.03
05/23/10 Halifax Marathon 4.35.54
last year's 5 in a month challenge:
04/18/09 Charlottesville Marathon 4.59.33
04/20/09 Boston Marathon 4.28.29
04/26/09 Waterloo Marathon 4.30.33
05/10/09 Mississauga Marathon 4.08.53
05/17/09 Halifax Marathon 4.08.33