I busted my tail like I always do to finish the B&A Trail Marathon with my best effort, but I must admit that I left a little on the race course. Once again, I fell pray to the race day miracle even when I told myself not to. 3:56:40 is my third best marathon out of seven. I improved some from my Baltimore time, but (supposedly) the course was easier. This course is not as easy as you might think. The elevation is moderate, but it is flat and relentless especially when the wind was as strong as it was this past Sunday.
Stupid me, I overheard the Severna Park High School girls thank me for blocking the wind for them and decided to chivalrous and continue to deliberately do so. The only thing is that they were running the half-marathon, I should’ve been running 8:40s but was running 8:15s for miles 6 to 13. I maintained 8:30s from 13 to 19 by latching on to some masters runners who were comfortably pulling me along with their banter about still being athletes. I couldn’t hold on though possibly because I decide to not hang tough when the going got tough.
Miles 23 to finish left me thinking that I don’t like marathons anymore. My diaphragm cramped again and legs felt like they were shorting out (feeling like if I tried to push they’d cramp/seize on me). I am over that now and am resolved to really work hard on short stuff for the Summer and am going to sign up for Baltimore again. I will do much more long tempos to hold marathon paces longer without the drop off. I want to be sure to run a hard half-marathon to give me confidence, because I know I can average 7:30 for a half given that I have average 7:17 for 10 miles.
I will probably do the B&A Trail Marathon again and try to master the course. It was enjoyable, but really cold and windy. It was nice to start in the school and stay warm up to the start. People were friendly and course support was really good throughout. I’ll be back.