I ran my first marathon 3 years ago, and decided I would run one marathon a year at different locations. I ran a 50K this past May and that was going to be my big race for the year, but the Hartford Marathon was calling me.
My training for the Hartford Marathon wasn’t even close to your standard marathon training program. My weekly mileage was extremely low, in fact I have no clue what my weekly mileage was because I stopped running with a garmin in May. I just know it was on the low side because I was only running 3 days a week, and only got in one good long run of 3 hours three weeks out before the marathon. My goal was to have fun and try to get a sub 4. My official time was 3:59:34, so I meet my goal. But something inside of me wished I did better. For my next marathon I would like to knock my time down to 3:40, MAYBE 3:30. I just know that next time I am going to take my training more seriously and definitely increase the weekly mileage.
I woke up at 5:00am, got my stuff together and drove to Hartford solo. Race time was 8:00am, it was 32F, but it was going to be a beautiful day with lots of sun warming up to 55F. I parked the car about a block away from the starting line and walked there with a pair of socks on. I do the sock thing when I run a race in cold conditions. Of course I get the normal stares like what the heck is this dude doing with socks on? I pick my spot in the corral and whip off the socks once the race starts. It took about 40 minutes for my feet to warm up, I knew the sun would help out, and once the blood started to flow.
I was very tired at the start, and felt very tired throughout the race until mile 15, then finally started to shake out of the tiredness. I had no idea what my pace was and it felt great, I am really enjoying running races garmin free. Around mile 18 there is a horse shoe turn in which heads you back to the finish line, so you have runners on both sides of the road for 4 miles or so. The really cool part of this is i got to see the “elites”, and extremely fast marathon runners. I really enjoyed this part, I was amazed how relaxed these runners looked, it has a lot to say about how conditioned they are. The winner of the Hartford marathon averaged a 5:11 pace! I can’t even imagine. Seeing this just put the fire in me to perform better at my next marathon. I have to say the marathon is my favorite distance to run now and really want to improve my time for the next one. For me, these marathons are like a tattoo you get one and you want more. For my next marathon in 2013, I am looking to run the Newport RI Marathon which is the first week in Oct. Not sure I can wait that long though, I just might have to kick it up with 2 marathons a year now, we will see.