WOD: "Fiddy Cent"
50 Push Ups
50 Wall Balls (20/14)
50 SDHP (75/55)
The Seattle Marathon was this past weekend and some of our members did the full and half marathon. I got some great feedback from you. I'd like to share an email I received from Tom B. Very cool and inspirational, nice to see all the extra work really paid off and had fun while doing it. Congrats!!!!
Hey Erin and Ron,
I wanted to update you on the crazy race from Sunday, because it was crazy!
I was incredibly prepared, my goal was a 3:40 to 3:43 time. To give a little reference, my best marathon time is 3:23 at the Portland 6 years ago, but that one is flat and the conditions were perfect. My best Seattle marathon (which is pretty hilly) was a 3:43 8 years ago. But as the Marathon approached, it became evident the conditions on Sunday were going to consist of rain and up to 20mph winds during the race.
As the race began, it was slightly raining and the winds were pretty low. But 5 miles into it we begin running on the I-90 bridge to Mercer Island and back. That's when the wind and rain began. By mile 8 when I got off the bridge, I had maintained my goal pace at 8:24 per mile, but I was pushing hard up the hills and against the headwinds to do so. BIG MISTAKE!!!! I could feel my legs, not in a bad way, but it was a feeling I should be experiencing at mile 16-20, not 8. The rain got heavier, the winds were un-obstructed and my shoes were soaked and probably weighed a good half pound more. But I still maintained my goal pace thru the half mark and even til mile 15. Then "the wheels began to fall off", my legs were cold, tight, and incredibly sore. Because of the headwinds, I was leaning forward to maintain momentum, so my hamstrings and calfs were simply over-taxed way too early in the race. With my other Marathons with better conditions, it was my quads that were more sore, not the ham-strings. My body was cold as my shirts were soaked through and I just wanted to start walking. I had to slow down. BUT EVERYONE around me was slowing down, very few people were passing us at that point because we were all in the same boat. and I was passing a bunch of people that also went out too fast. In order to even keep running, I had to take small 20-30 second walk breaks every 5 or so minutes, that was killing me.
All in all, those last 11 miles were the most brutal miles I've ever run in my life. It was by far the biggest mental and physical challenge to just keep running. Had my legs not been in shape because of CrossFit and all the strength training, I'm positive a DNF would have been posted next to my name. To pour salt on the wound, the last 4 miles were going south back toward Memorial Stadium, in the direct headwinds, and it was dumping rain. There was even a downhill stretch, but with the headwinds, it was still hard to move forward. It was funny, I've never seen so many people during a marathon on the side of the road stretching, everyone was cold and their legs were not prepared for the wind and rain. I never stretched, it wouldn't have helped and would have slowed me down.
Anyway, even though I finished at 3 hours and 56 minutes, I WAS STOKED. If you look at the percentiles, I still finished at 32% in my division and 29% overall (that would have put me in the 3:40-3:45 range any other year with decent weather. But I was just excited as hell that I persevered through in those awful conditions, when my legs, body and mind just wanted to quit. I could barely walk afterwards, but it's truly an awesome feeling, because of the high that I'm even still on.
I've got some more work to do. Not sure when my next marathon will be, maybe 2 years. In the meantime, I'll work on getting faster at shorter races, continue hitting the track and CrossFit to get my legs in even better shape. I wanted to Thank the both of you for helping me achieve my ultimate goal, and that was to simply complete the marathon. And Thank YOU even more, because all the CrossFit work allowed me to preserver through the biggest physical and mental challenge I've experienced! IT WAS AWESOME.