|This face says it all and sums up how this race went for me.|
I had volunteered to be a pacer for the 3:35 pace group, which is 33 minutes slower than my finish time at the same marathon last year. You'd think that was a safe bet, and you' be wrong, just like me. While the weather has been below freezing at the race start for the last 5 or 6 years, this year, it was unseasonably hot and humid. Once more, I also learned that I am clearly not a hot weather runner. I had a pretty decent run for the first 20 miles. At that point, I started to struggle with the heat, unable to stay hydrated properly, even while chugging entire bottles of Gatorade and water. 3 miles later, I was literally overheating, tingly scalp, chills, the works. (Un)fortulately, we had already lost our entire group of runners 10 miles earlier as everyone was struggling with the unseasonably high temps and since my pacer partner Brett Addington was still running strong, I didn't feel too bad about dropping back. I had no intentions of not finishing, but I had to take a walk break to cool down.
I walked for a mile and then picked up a slow 9 min pace for the remaining 2.2 miles. My face in the picture above as I am finally crossing the finish line is a reflection of how the day went for me. However, the silverlining of the day was the fact that my wife passed me at mile 23 to finish strong for her very own first BQ in only her second marathon ever.