Today's San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon was my fifth marathon, and now I can finally say that I've run a marathon like it's supposed to be run. In every marathon that I've done up to this point, I've started too fast and found myself miserable from mile 20 onward. Not today.
One key to my success today was that I rested this week. I learned from my Wildflower race a few weeks ago just how important it is to not overexert in the days before the race.
My friend Ray, an ultramarathoner, who was doing the marathon as a "training run", agreed to pace me to a 4:20 finish. That was my goal for the day. We started at a 10 minute mile pace. I stayed consistent at that pace for several miles. I felt great.
Around mile 19, I still felt good. I gradually picked up the pace. For miles 22-24, I was hitting a 9:30-9:40 pace. I was passing just about everyone; it felt great!!! At mile 25, Ray turns to me and says, "Here's where you're going to give it everything you've got." I picked up the pace to 8:30/mile, and for the last two tenths of a mile, I hauled it in to the finish line.
My finishing time: 4:18:32. A minute and a half faster than my goal. And, I did it in negative splits, meaning that the second half of the race was faster than the first. Overall, a great day!