If I were to draw up a race plan for today’s Twin Cities Marathon, then go about executing it to near precision, I wouldn’t have guessed it would have turned out like it did.
For all the ups and downs, and the problems through training the past 6 weeks, I honestly wasn’t sure that I would have finished. Worse-case scenario, I figured to push through the struggles and draw on my experience, and finish around 3:38.
But here lies the important lesson: Persistence and preparation can carry you a long way, and a positive attitude can take you the rest of the distance. Today I dropped my personal record by 5 minutes, running a 3:26 and 983rd overall among the 8428 finishers. That also put me in the top 12 percent, 113 out of 737 in my age division, and 795th out of 4921 men. It all figures out to a 7:53-minute=per-mile pace.
The huge personal record comes as a major surprise, which I only thought possible if the stars aligned. Considering this was my third marathon this year, it represents an 8-minute improvement over last year’s Twin Cities Marathon (which also was a personal record at the time).
In hindsight, the decision to dial it down over the past 4 to 6 weeks made a big difference for me, helping in part to offset the lack of recovery that I gave myself after the May and June marathons. The weather, which was nearly perfect for a marathon, played a big role.
The number of spectators out on the course was simply amazing, in the hundreds of thousands, and a huge lift to runners. And I need to give a special thanks to my friend Dan and his family for opening their home to me, and coming out to cheer. I also saw a few other friends before and during the race, which again provided a mental lift. Thanks again!
There’s plenty more to say in future posts, but I’d like to end this one by congratulating my buddy Jason, who finished his first marathon and still had his signature smile at the finish. And congrats to all the other finishers from Fargo (50 besides Jason and me), Moorhead (22), Dilworth (1) and West Fargo (15).