Road 2 Hope- Hamilton Marathon
A funny thing happened during the race today as I was reunited with a runner I first met at last spring's Around the Bay road race. He kept me going that day at a painful but successful pace. I was hurting and he knew it. His encouragement helped me get to the finish with my best time ever at that race. After the race, I happened to meet him in the stands. I shook his hand and thanked him for his help which he brushed off as no big deal.
It was around km 18-19 of today's race when a figure not unlike most of the others strode up beside me with a big smile on his face. There he was, my compadre from the spring! We finished this race together and chatted quite a bit along the way. I learned that his name is Seybou and our recent running experiences are very similar. He was aiming for 3:15 and convinced me we could make it there together. This was a truly awesome way to share the achievement and give it a much deeper meaning. Cheers to my friend Seybou. You have helped me more than you know!
|Two happy runners! Seybou and I after the race|
I had some doubts going into the race today with the sudden onset of freezing temperatures, second guessing my training and the usual pre-race nervousness. But the planets aligned for me today.
I ran a personal record AND Boston qualifying time of 3:13:26. 3:15 was my target time, but I realistically thought 3:20 was more likely. I was able to stick with the 3:15 pace bunny (who was awesome!) to the end and give a little kick at the finish (at the pace bunnys' urging). This was a first for me as I usually fall apart in the last 10k.
For the last couple of months I altered my training a bit (after running consecutive 3:25 marathons), running LESS mileage with more focus on intense intervals, hills and overall body fitness. I replaced some mid-distance leisurely runs (10-15k), with cycling (3-4 times a week to work), stair workouts (weekly) and swimming (twice a week). It appears that this cross training approach paid dividends with a little more energy in the final stages of the race.
It also provides further proof that plant based nutrition can be utilized to achieve great(er) athletic accomplishment.