(1) This marathon had excellent prep. (I followed Hal Higdon's Advanced 1 marathon training program to the letter. I also got 8 hours sleep every night over the last week. I carbo-loaded the last couple days. And Cathy & I drove the course the day before.)
(2) This marathon had serious prayer. (There were a bunch of people praying for me. Thanks!)
(3) This marathon had cool weather. (I need it to be under 50 degrees at the start so my body doesn't waste energy or water in cooling itself.)
(4) This marathon started out slow. (Most people lose marathons in miles 1-3…running on adrenaline…running too fast…wasting energy before their body warms up. We ran mile 1 at a 9-minute/mile pace & spent the next 19-miles slowly catching up to race pace.)
(5) This marathon I took in enough calories. (I ate 300 calories the morning of the race. Also, I took the risk and gagged down "plain GU gels" every 45 minutes. And yes, I literally gagged. The aid station staff got bug-eyed every time.) 🙂
(6) This marathon was a team-effort:
- My Wife Cathy = Encouraged me to run at strange times (6a or 10:30p). Drove around the course (which is very difficult & frustrating) to give me encouragement along the race.
- My Kids = Prayed for me & let their Daddy do training runs, again & again.
- My Friend Eric = Sent me the link to Hal Higdon's Advanced 1 training program. (I never would have done it without him.)
- My Parents Pat & Roger = Watched the kids last night so Cathy & I could get up early & head to the race.
- My Grace Friends = Whether it's my small group, or blog-readers, or the team of 10 who gathered at 6:45a to pray before the race, they prayed! (And prayer WORKS!)
- My Friend Kevin = Bought & brought my Plain GUs, and ran 20 of the 26.2 miles with me on our 7:38/mile pace. He was a trooper & didn't let on that he was really scuffling. (He'd already qualified for Boston & ran it…he's quick to point out to me!) 🙂
- P.S. Check out his website enduranceplanet.com!
- My Parents Bill & Gail = Waited for me at the finish line & said how proud they were of me
- My Cousin Doug = Spoke at Grace this morning, knowing my body would be trashed! (Check out the kickoff of our 2-week "Who is God?" series!)
If you're curious, here are the cold hard facts on the marathon yesterday:
- 1 = How many Poor Russ sandwiches I ate post-race
- 2 = How many ran my 7:38 pace for 20 miles (thanks Kev!)
- 3 = How many plain GU gels I gagged down in the race
- 7 = How many parts of my body are very sore today
- 10 = How many Gracers gathered to pray at 6:45a
- 26.2 = How many miles I ran
- 300 = How many pre-race calories I had (bagel w/jam + 1 fruit leather)
- 515 = What time I woke up
- 3500 = How many calories I burned in the race