I ran the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club Mid-Winter marathon yesterday. This was my 6th time running this marathon in the last 10 years, but my first since 2004, when I ran 4:09:30. Yesterday, I ran 4:06:32. My finish yesterday made 2008 the 23rd consecutive year in which I've finished at least one marathon or ultra. My first marathon was run in August of 1986 in the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine. I'm very happy with this streak, simply because it shows that I've managed to persist in my running for fully half of my life right now.
In my six times running this race, I've run as fast as 3:52 in 2001 and as slowly as 4:49 in 2002. Yesterday was my second fastest of my six runs at this race. Fifteen years ago, I would have been embarrassed to run over 4 hours in the marathon, but I'm quite happy with yesterday's result. I have been running at 10mpm pace or slower on the treadmill most of the time, and I've only done two longs runs since October - a pair of slow 20 milers in January. I felt really strong for the whole race and ran a very negative split. Here are my 5 mile splits:
5 : 47:59 - nice easy start
10: 49:35 - still easy, but an extended Port-a-Potty stop
15: 46:30 - feeling good, started to push a bit
20: 48:02 - felt like I was running faster than this
25: 44:02 - still felt strong at 20 and started to work more
1.2: 10:24 - strong finish.
My 1/2 marathon splits were approximately 2:06:30 and 2:00:00.
Considering that I lifted twice last week, did speedwork on Tuesday night, and skied on Saturday, I'm very happy with this marathon result.
My 4:09:30 in 2004 was done the year I finished Hardrock. My 3:52 came the year I finished my first 100 miler. I use this race as a long training run and a mid-winter fitness check, and I'm happy with where I am right now.