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NJ Marathon Recap, May 5, 2013–Glen Freyer

If Marathons were only 18 miles I SO would have PR’d.

I ran the NJ marathon yesterday just 3 weeks after Boston. It was supposed to be a secret – a personal bonus marathon where I could attempt a PR or drop out and not care. No one had to know. But Gigs saw me at the track one morning and the cat was out of the bag.

First, let me say, I’ve always bristled at the idea of training for months only to run one marathon. I think, take two, they’re small. Again 18 miles, maybe, but 26.2 – not small. It’s a humbling distance under any circumstances as my recap will attest.

I started off sluggishly, but on pace. I warmed up by mile 6 and ran too fast for a while. I thought I could sustain it. I was wrong.

I got to mile 18 ahead of schedule and suddenly felt crazy tired. Nothing hurt, per se – I was just wiped. I realize no one is surprised. Was this because I just ran Boston (probably), hardly ran between events (possibly) or didn’t sleep well all week (definitely a factor)? Can’t say, but more than any physical limitation, I just didn’t have the mental toughness.

Having nearly PR’d Boston, I didn’t have enough incentive to fight through the pain. I knew I couldn’t hold pace and I’d miss a PR which was truly the only goal of the day. If I had made it to mile 20 or 21, I would have rallied, but 8 miles was more than I was willing to hurt. I made peace with my decision and officially called it quits.

I started walking and looked for a place to get a ride back to the finish. Eventually, I realized no one was offering rides and I’d have to jog in. I began a very scientific run/walk program. I walked until I saw an old guy who might be in my age group, then I ran ahead enough to walk again until he caught up. Must have annoyed a few people, but what can you do?

I finished with a 3:12, humbled, but not too bummed. Compared to how torn up I felt after Boston, I wasn’t even all that sore. Again, I think the real damage is done pushing through those last 6-8 miles, so it was good to take it not feel destroyed. Incredibly, my time proved enough for a third place award for my new slower age group. Yay!

But here’s where it gets funny/embarrassing. I walked to the shuttle back to Monmoth park and felt a bit queasy. I have to come up with a better plan than those GUs – they wreak havoc on my stomach after a race. The bus made it all the way to the parking lot before I realized that, like my pace earlier, I couldn’t hold it any longer. I threw up into my lunch bag. Incredibly, no one really noticed or they were all crazy polite.

I felt better and got back to my car. I was ready to leave when I felt another wave of nausea. I leaned out of the car and threw up again. I’m thinking how pathetic this must look when, because of how I’m leaning, my quad gets a Charley Horse! I say out loud, “Are you *$#@ing me?” Then I laugh. I actually laughed. I found the whole moment too hilarious for words. I’m trying to rub out the cramp with my right hand and stay balanced out of the car with my left, throwing up all the while. Ah, running. Always good times.

Anyway, except for the persistent nausea yesterday, I felt good about my personal experiment. Despite the clear empirical evidence, I still believe on another day I could have pulled it off. Guess I’ll have to wait for another double to do more research.

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Verona Labor Day Classic

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NYC Marathon Bus

NYC Marathon Bus

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