Final time – 3:57:00
Heat: At the start of the race the temperature was 79 degrees (27 C for you international fans). That was at 7:30 am and the sun was barely up! It only got hotter after that. About a half hour into the race it was nearly 90 and I was burning up. The humidity was thick making it difficult to breath. I knew it was trouble when I started to feel tired at mile 5. If you’re ever running a marathon and you get tired at mile 5, look out. It’s going to be a long marathon.
Hills: The website for this marathon said it was a “flat” course. Maybe it was flat when compared to a place like Utah or Colorado but compared to most courses, there’s no way anyone could say it was flat. Flat is Chicago. Flat is Phoenix. There is nothing flat about Madison. I suppose if you averaged out the elevation it would come out as pretty even. But that is only because you spend as much time going up hills as you do going down. Make no mistake about it, there are lots of hills on this course. A thing you should note if you’re ever going to run (or joggle) this one.
Hubris: All that pre-marathon talk was very disrespectful to the race. 26.2 miles is a long distance. To think you can just train hard and shatter your own personal best by 10 or 15 minutes is just plain hubris. The course and conditions let me know that yesterday. I finished ok but the marathon beat me back down in my place. How could I ever think of not giving the marathon it’s due? No matter how many you do, it’s a tough race. You can never take the thing lightly. Be happy to finish.
A couple other factors that made the marathon challenging were the wind (a warm steady headwind most of the way) and the small crowds (it was a small marathon). As a joggler, it helps to have crowds to cheer you on. You will find when you are juggling the crowds give extra loud cheers and it really pumps you up. When there is no one around to cheer you get a moment to look at the bean bags in front of you and realize just how ridiculous the whole thing is.
Overall, the Madison Marathon was a very nice, small marathon. It would be tough to get a personal best because of the numerous hills but it’s a pretty well run spring marathon.
I did get interviewed by their local paper.Â That is the one nice thing about smaller marathons. The local press is a bit more interested in you.Â Not that I joggle for attention, but it’s always nice to see your name in the paper.
Perhaps the nicest thing about the marathon was coming in to the finish and seeing my wife waiting for me with a bottle of water and a melon flavored Gatorade that she bought in a shop along the way. The finish of a marathon is so much better when you have someone who cares about you there to meet you. When you are done you generally feel pretty awful. I certainly did yesterday. But having someone who cares about you speeds up the recovery process a whole bunch.
Now, I take a little time off to recover and create a plan for the next marathon. I believe it will be up in Toronto in September. Zach and Michal are planning a joggling rematch. I’ve gotta figure out a way that I can become as fast as them. Perhaps I’ll need a coach. Anyone got any other ideas?