Sunday, January 25, 2004

RR Tampa Marathon

Race report:
Hops Marathon
Tampa, FL
Jan 25/04

As expected the race was very ugly and painful. After running a total of 49 miles (including the Mumbai marathon) in the past 3 weeks what else could I expect?
I did not have much confidence that I could finish the race without hitting 'the wall'. I started out a bit too fast at an 8:30 pace. After crossing the Half in 1:52 I already knew that it was going to get ugly - my legs were tired and trashed. I slowed the pace down to 9 min but by mile 16 I was struggling to run a 9:15 pace. By mile 18 I was hurting and struggling to hold a 9:45 pace. I crossed mile 20 at 2:58 and momentarily had some silly notion that I could hold a 10 min pace for the last 10K and finish under 4 hrs? But that was all it was - a silly notion/illusion! By mile 23 I was running a 10:30 pace and my legs hurt like Hell and my right foot was sending lightning bolts of pain up my leg with every foot plant. I decided to go into 'survival' mode and try to avoid or at least delay the enevitable crash. It did not help much as I ran smack-dab into 'The WALL' at mile 24. After I picked my sorry and sore ass up I had to walk and jog the next mile. I fully intended to walk the last mile too until a pretty young lass ran by me at mile 25. She must know the Maddog because she shouted at me "C'mon you can hurt and do anything for one mile"! She was right unfortunately so I started running and caught up to her. I ran the last mile with her as she encouraged me and dragged my sorry, tired, hurtin old ass across the finish line in 4:08:35.
Without her I would never have finished under 4:10! It was a painful and humbling experience/race but I was not embarassed as I got what I deserved and expected. It is very clear that all the rest during the past 6 weeks due to the foot injury and the trip to India has seriously and negativley affected my marathon conditioning.There is only one solution and about 75 days to get my old, out-of-shape ass back into shape if I want to be competitive at Boston in April. Thus I have asked Maddog to prepare another 'Kick ass and take no names boot camp' to beat my sorry old ass back into shape.It starts tomorrow! I believe it is possible if my foot will hold up to the stress and speedwork? Only time will tell.

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