Okay, no PR. And, goal not obtained. But, I finished!
And, I feel I did the best I could. I was sick for a week and a half and still have a sore throat and congested. I had so much stuff coming out of my nose during the marathon I ran out of tissue (and I had a lot with me).
Before I get to my performance, I want to state that Oakland did a great job. There were about 1,100 full marathon runners. There also was a half and 5K. Overall it not a large race. Yet, the community came out in full support as if 25K people were running it. We went through various types of neighborhoods (some very nice and others struggling). But, every neighborhood we ran through there were people out of their house, on street corners, looking out apartment windows cheering us and supporting us. Many people had their own water/food stations. A man gave me a water bottle. The support made me feel great. It was a major lift running “The Hill.” Oakland – you did a great job. Thank you! Based on the community support I would recommend this race to anyone. You feel the pride in the community. There were many “thank you for running Oakland” comments. There were streets (in all types of neighborhoods) were every house had people in front of it supporting us. First class community support.
As for me, I stayed the night in Oakland to avoid the drive across the bay. Which overall I think was good. I had loud people next to me . . . well the TV. But, the front desk gave me ear plugs and it worked. I was able to fall a sleep about midnight and got an okay night sleep.
I brought two of everything with me, shorts, shirts, shoes, soaks. I tried them all on and determined what felt right or best. I left my hotel room at 7:10am and was at the start line a few minutes later.
The race started at 7:30am. We would meet up with the half runners about mile 17.
The first ten miles were all hills. Up and down. It was tough. Miles 5 had a very large incline. Unfortunately, I passed someone who passed out, not moving much, in the middle of the street. The ambulance came while I still near and the ambulance left and past me on the way. I hope she is okay. It did get me to think that no matter what my goal is the main thing is to finish the race. It’s tough because you want to do your best, but when you have a wife and baby – those things are far more important.
I slowed down just a little (I was doing about 8:45 pace) on “The Hill” which generally were a number of hills (long ones) from miles 5-10. At mile 10 after the last hill, I was about 9:05 pace. Mile 11 was a down hill and I was able to drop my avg pace. Miles 12-14 had a lot of down hills, but a number of up hills. It was tough. It was not “hot” but it was in the 60s and very sunny so I was feeling exhausted.
I pushed on and made it without stopping until mile 19.5. I wanted to keep running, but I was exhausted and felt very light headed. I needed to regroup so I walked for about .25. Then ran. Then walked some time later. Basically, the last 6.7 miles were tough. I was at a 9:09 pace at 19.5 but ended up falling into the 9:40s. Mostly about four walk breaks hurt my time. When I ran, I was also running slower than normal. I was fatigued. Was it being sick? Was it The Hill? Maybe a combo.
But, I did it. I ran that last mile plus and came in at 4:17:58. Not a PR and a big falloff the last 6.7 miles. Overall, I feel good about the race. I gave it the best I could coming off being sick that caused me to be in bed for two days (missing work – which I never do). After finishing, I felt very light headed and thought about going to an Aid Station. I found a good shade area and sat down for a good 10-15 minutes a felt better. So I feel I did what I could. I just did not have my normal energy.