Just got a call from my friend Kathy. She and several of my other running buddies tackled the Columbus Marathon today. I have been living my running life vicariously through them for the last 8 months while I trudge through my (ever so) slow recovery as they built miles and carried the focus through those long summer months of training. I got excited for them as they cautiously rounded out their training and began to taper. I ran in front of them and kicked walnuts and big rocks off the trail so they wouldn’t hit them… They all kicked ass today and I’m proud of them.
Last year we were all newbies to marathons. We listened, wide eyed, to the grisled old veterans as they told us what to do and not to do. We hung on every word uttered by the sub-3 club, trying things as useful as learning the best spots to cache food and water on the trails to as silly as eating PB&J sandwiches during your long runs.
But this year, from the outside anyway, was different. There was a cool confidence to the group. Everybody knew what was coming and what they had to do (and they did it anyway!). They set challenging but achievable goals and came up with good plans to complete them. Then they stuck with it through the injuries, douldrums, cold, hot, rain, rain (did I mention rain?) and more rain. When others would have given in to the call of the bed on a stormy morning, they were out, putting in the miles, dodging hail and falling trees!
As the months went along, they let slip their goals. Two wanted to get Boston qualifying times. Two were first time marathoners, two were using this as a training run to set time goals for Boston. Then they started talking about times. One first timer said it would be a dream if he could beat 3:30 and get his BQ in his first marathon. One wanted to beat 4 hours. One is aiming for a sub 3 at Boston.
So What happened?
Kathy- 3:55 (Boston Qualifier)(Personal record by over 15 minutes)
Dan (First timer)- 3:28 (Boston Qualifier)
John – 4:35 (62 year old first timer, I think… don’t quote me though.) Mind you, I am 20 years younger and he beat my only marathon time by 5 minutes. Rock on John!!
Robin- 3:57 Gearing up for Boston. Already qualified and ready to rock.
Tom- 3:07 Gearing up for Boston. Sub 3 in easy reach!!
…I’m going for a run. Gotta lot of catching up to do.