It's done! The KC Marathon was yesterday morning at 7:00 AM. It was cold and rainy at the start... and just cold at the finish. It's good to be done.
I met Kris and Steve, both friends from college, before the start. Steve and I lined up with the 1:35 pace group, and Kris lined up with 1:40. Steve and I stayed with the 1:35 pacers until close to mile nine when we realized their pace was a bit too slow. We ended up speeding up slightly, and we finished with times of 1:33:11 (Steve) and 1:33:21 (me). Kris finished just behind the 1:40 pacers with a time of 1:41:36. The times were PRs by multiple minutes for each of us, and I think we're all pretty happy about that.
Before the run, I was afraid my goal time was too fast and I wouldn't be able to hold the pace for 13.1 miles. In preparing for previous "big" runs, I've followed training plans very closely. That's given me a pretty good idea of how fast I could go, and it's made me confident that I could hit my goal times. In this case, however, I substituted cycling for many of the harder training runs and I didn't know what the result would ultimately be. I knew I was faster than I'd been before, but I didn't know how much.
When I started preparing for this run in July, I set a goal of 1:30. During training, I realized that I'd likely have problems holding the 6:52 per mile average pace. I ended up shooting for a 1:35 instead, and I'm glad I did. It's nice to know how fast I can go and that I had a reasonably accurate idea of my fitness.
So, what's next? Less blogging, probably. I'll post updates, but I still don't think this is very interesting for anyone else. As for running, I plan to do the Gobbler Grind half marathon on November 22 mostly as motivation to stay in half marathon shape. I like the idea of not trying for a PR and running at a slightly more relaxed pace. I also plan to do the Olathe half or possibly full marathon next spring, and I'll probably train more seriously for that.
It's been interesting thinking and writing about this stuff. Thanks for reading.