The Story Must Be Told, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Many hours were spent training, Many miles of road covered. They say the
marathon can break your heart just as long as it doesn’t break your
spirit. That’s the exact truth and applies to me today unconditionally.

Many factors were at play here, the stars needed to align to reach my
original goal of 3:10. And many stars did in fact align. My Achilles was
feeling good; I slept well last night and the previous few nights, I
rested well, ate well and remained fairly relaxed in the lead-up to the
race. The weather behaved as far as temperatures go but the headwinds
going west were brutal.

I felt pretty good and decided I would stay with my plan and stick to a
4:30/KM pace. I choose to run alone and just focused on my goal and got to
10k on pace, maybe a bit fast, in 44:30. I continued on, past the
Windemere turnaround at 12KM and headed back happy to be out of the wind.
The eastbound portion of the run that took us back into downtown along
Queens Quay went well, I passed the halfway mark a little over 1:34 and
was still feeling good. then the lights went out.

At 22KM I felt a twinge of fatigue that reminded me I was overdue to
consume some nutrition. I was coming up to a water stop where I could wash
down a gel pack so I stopped momentarily so I wouldn’t choke on it and
when I went to start running again a pain, an older injury that hasn’t
bothered me lately flared up. No warning signs at all, just sharp pain
from deep in my left butt muscle that streamed all the way down my
hamstring. I couldn’t even come close to the pace I had been running. I
was a bit shocked to be honest and continued on hoping it would pass. It
didn’t.

I continued along, suffering and slowing, and demotivated by the hoards of
runners passing me by. At this point I started wondering if I could, or
should continue. I decided I’d run the the eastern most part in the Beach
where my kids were and shack up with them where I would wait for my wife
to come by and then finish with her.

In the Beach, my home turf, the support was amazing and I felt bad and a
bit embarrassed that I had fallen behind where they were expecting me. My
kids and a few mates were sure to tell me afterward that I did not look great. I decided to continue on and tough it out, hoping to maybe still
get in around 3:20. At the turn around to head back west downtown, 9KM to
go, I made a surge that actually felt good but didn’t last long. The
headwinds were nasty and the pain flared back up and I made the decision
to take it easy from 35KM to the finish. I ran easy, walked a bit, chatted
up the spectators and volunteers and tried, best I could, to enjoy the
finish.

I passed through downtown with my head down just wanting to finish and get this
done. The last turn and the view 200m from the finish was a welcome sight.
As always, the last kilometre of the marathon is somewhat enjoyable no matter how you tired and depleted you feel. It
may not have been a personal best but it was a feat of endurance and
perseverance and I felt pretty good about not quitting. I can rest now,
regroup and look to the future. I am not done with this craziness.

My finish time was 3:32:23 a good 22 minutes shy of my goal. Not too bad
all things considered. Fear not, the burger and beer after the race tasted
Great. Looking back, I know I trained well. Maybe hard enough on
the runs but not well enough in the non run disciplines. It is was it is, I know where I cam improve
and there is nothing I can do about this race now. I am disappointed and heartbroken
but as the title of this report says, my spirit is not broken.

Thanks for following along with me. My next goal marathon is Boston in April, where I plan to attack it the
same way I did for this one. There’s work to be done, but not before a couple
weeks of rest of course!

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Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

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