Another BayState Marathon has come and gone. Luckily this year the weather was significantly more pleasant than the cold rain we experienced last year. I wasn't completely sure I was going to be able to run this time being that I had been out for so long. Once I began training again it was a short 8 weeks until the marathon. This was an aggressive training by any standard but especially so coming from considering that I would be starting with no base mileage at all. Hell, even the Couch to 5K program takes 9 weeks. The week before the race I finished my first and only 20-miler and it felt good so I was determined to run the full marathon.
And I'm glad I did because I had fun doing it. Once again the lines at the bathrooms were crazy before the race so I spent a long time waiting there until I had to abandon that venture and rush to the start. Because of the delay I had lost the rest of the group and I was on my own. I tucked into the start somewhere in the middle and waited for the start. Finally we were off and I figured I would run a bit faster than planned and try to catch up with everyone, assuming that they were actually in front of me.
The miles ticked off until around mile 5 I caught up with Michael and Tricia G. I said hi to them but honestly, that pace was way to slow for me so I left them and was determined to catch Melissa and Tricia whom I was told were ahead. Off I went, feeling great and having a good time until 6 miles later I found Melissa. We ran together for a bit with me doing most of the talking until the bridge where I left her to catch up to Tricia who had been about 100 yards ahead of us. Again, we ran together for a couple of miles but I could tell that she was struggling to keep pace so I did what any good teammate would do, I took off at a faster pace and left her behind. Hey, it's a race!
From then forward there isn't much to report. I set my pace and I maintained the pace. Besides a couple of minor cramps at 19 and 25.7 (so close to the finish!) I had no difficulty finishing. Sure I was tired but I kept expecting to hit the wall and it never came. Besides the cramp, I felt as strong the last 5 miles as I did the middle 5 miles. Furthermore, my foot was never an issue (although it has ached since) so this was a good test of how it was healing. I used this marathon as an indicator of where I stand and what needs work and I am pleased with the results. I still need to keep an eye on the foot for it is still clearly not 100% and I definitely need to work on strengthening my legs more but that will come in time. Overall I am very happy with my 3:42:28 time, even though it is my slowest marathon, and was happy that I decided to run.