Well, after only logging 184.2k in 11 weeks, i lined up to run my 25th career marathon today, here at home in St. John's, Newfoundland. this was my 4th consecutive Newfoundland Provincial Marathon. i really was not in marathon shape, but i didn't want to pass up the chance to keep the streak alive, and run my 25th here at home.
running a marathon untrained and at 222 pounds really taught me to respect the distance today. this really isn't the type of thing one should do on a whim without proper prep work. but sadly, this was not my first time showing up at a starting line unprepared, so i have some experience to build upon. no matter whether you are an elite, or a back of the packer, one of the most critical success factors in having a good run is being aware of your level of health and fitness. knowing your limits is the key, and that's something i seemed to have analyzed well today.
the weather was about 7 degrees, cloudy, foggy, and drizzle... a typical Newfoundland day.. lol
the run went pretty much as expected. slow but steady. a personal worst time by more than 10 minutes, but at least it was a finish in good health, which was really the only goal i could expect to have.
my goal was to run about 7 minute kms from start to finish, at least on the flat portions of the run. there were several tough hills on this course, which slowed me down a bit. i was also marred by the requirement to take an unprecedented 5 bathroom breaks on the first half! this was not totally surprising as i have noticed some big changes in that regard as of late as my body continues to get used to estrogen therapy.
i was actually quite sluggish for most of the first half, but actually felt better from km 21 - 28. then fatigue and back pain started to set in.
my split times were 75, 84, 81, 87. the second half was much more hilly though, so this could actually be considered a quasi-negative split if you bell curved it.. lol
overall, it was humbling to run for over 5 hours knowing from start to finish that today would be a new personal worst, but at the same time, it was probably the most satisfying and enjoyable marathon i have ever run. no pressure at all today, just a gentle long run in the lovely countryside.
this was only my 4th road race in Newfoundland this year so far, so it was nice to be out there running among so many familiar faces. although i can only assume that most of the local runners are still extremely puzzled by my transsexualism, i can also tell that they respect all of the running accomplishments i have had over the past 4 years. Many folks said hello as they either lapped me or passed by on the out and back.
another highlight was seeing and meeting 4 members of the infamous Marathon Maniacs group, including 1 runner from North Carolina and 1 from Saskatchewan. there was also 2 ladies from Manitoba who were finishing up a tour of Canada in terms of marathons, having run a marathon in every province!
well, the road ahead is not likely to get easier. i need to find a way to drop 15 pounds in order to be deemed healthy enough for my surgery in January. i may have to make a tough decision to come off estrogen, at least for a while, as i just have absolutely no energy, yet i am always hungry, and have attained poor metabolism. oh well, it's not like i haven't overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges before. i relish the opportunity to attempt to do the impossible.. and this will be no different.