It’s been a couple weeks since completing one of the biggest challenges of my life. NYC was both thrilling and humbling, but most of all it was something that I’ll always be proud of.
I’m a tough critic of myself. Running has never been a strength for me. Carrying 165lbs of weight on top of pretty brutalized six foot frame, I’m not really built like many of the runners you’ll see out leading races. However, this marathon journey has really reshaped the way I think about running and confirmed a very simple truth: the harder you work, the better you get.
When I registered in September for the race, I put down a target finish time of 4:10. For my first marathon, I felt like that was pretty solid considering my pace and newness to long distance runs. Following my wife’s prompting, I took up a virtual training plan for the race, adhering to a grueling run schedule that scared the daylights out of me when I set out (5 half marathon runs in September!!!).
Slowly but steadily my pace came down, and for the benefit of this post, here is my final report pre-NYC from the virtual trainer:
Your expected finish would place you between 3588th and 5175th place and in approximately 702nd place in your age group (Men 30-34).
My official finish stats are as follows:
So you can see why I’m so pleased. I finished in the 88th percentile for my age group and 94th percentile overall. Not too shabby! I’m also very pleased that I was able to beat the “computer” by 7-14 minutes!
My race wasn’t perfect though. We all know I’m a strong start, slow fade runner (something to work on). The last 10k is really where you see a slight fade begin. I’m proud that it didn’t slip more considering rain and nutrition started to play heavy factors. A mile 23 hug from the wife and dozens of texts and messages at mile 25 staved off a really tough finish for me.
When I look at the chart above, I’m actually really pleased. It tells me that there is 100% a BQ run possible on these legs. Shaving another 15 minutes is no small feat, I know that. Considering I started at the tail end of wave 2 (approx 27,000th) and passed about 20,000 people, this was my first, and one of the few times I’ve ever gone beyond 20 miles, it’s definitely possible.
After a couple weeks of introspection, rest and reconnecting with the rest of my training, I’m ok with letting that goal sit for awhile. The rest of the year will really be just soaking in the joy of training and rebuilding. 2018 will be an amazing year, even if I don’t know 100% what it has in store for me yet!