St. Louis PR

marathontime_dan.jpgThree months of training for one 26.2 .mile run. 

We got down to St. Louis about 4:30 and checked into the Hyatt Union Station.  This is the best hotel for the marathon, seeing it is located on the starting line.  We walked about a mile down to the old Adams Mark, were the packed pick-up was.   We got our numbers, t-shirts and bags.  Toured the expo and caught a cab back to the Hyatt.

 We had stopped by Jimmy Johns before leaving Springfield and picked up a sandwich and chips for dinner that night.  I wanted to stick to what I usually ate, and didn’t want any surprises with the local restaurants.  We ate our dinner on our beds and watched tv until 8:30 or 9:00.

I woke up about 4:45 AM and got in the shower.  Fixed oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.  I was well rested; actually surprised I was able to sleep. I set all my clothes out the night before and had my timing chip and number already attached.  We got ready and headed down to the start at 6:30.  It was a beautiful day in downtown St. Louis.  The temperature was 42 degrees. 

They didn’t have the starting area gated off this year.  This made it very easy to walk up to our posted pace area.  The gun went off and we crossed the starting line in 1 minute. 

I was very skeptical at this point, It always seems to be a crap shoot on the long runs, to how you are going to feel.  The first small loop heads south to the brewery, it was about a 6 miles, and then you head past the starting line again.  There were a ton of people cheering us on. 

I felt ok at this point, but not great.  We were headed to Forest Park.  Jason pulled me through, he did a great job of staying on pace.  We did our split at 1:43:57 that was a 7:56 pace.  We were ahead of schedule.

I finally came around at mile 16, I fell into the zone.  My watch said we did 7:45s for the next 3 miles.  We got through some pretty tough hills.

By mile 20 I could only think that we had a 10k to go.  I started feeling a cramp or two coming on in my legs.

The next 5 miles peeled away pretty quickly.  They were painful, but I think my mind had crawled into a hole, and I really wasn’t paying attention.  When we hit mile 25, I look at my watch and we were at 3:23.  It had looked like we had lost the chance of going under 3:30.  At this point I decided to give it everything I had left, cramps and all.  I picked up the pace with the finish line in site.  It was all down hill.

I rounded the last corner, and I felt the emotions come over me.  I tried to put my arms up at the finish.  I was very proud of myself (if that is possible?).  Looking at the time 3:32:47, I never imagined that was possible just a few weeks earlier.

I had taken off over 30 minutes from my time of 4:04 last year.

And now 3 days later the pain still lingers in my thighs.

It would have been nice to break that 3:30 mark but that will give me something to shoot for next year!