Saturday I set to accomplish something that I have done five times before, finish a marathon. The day started at 5:28 AM. I woke up two minutes before my alarm was set to go off. As I do before every marathon I took a shower to help wake me up. My racing attire consisted of black Nike dri-fit shorts, my lucky blue Nike dri-fit shirt , my most comfortable pair of running socks, a pair of size 13 Nike Structure Triax 12 running shoes and a Timex Ironman watch. After getting dressed and putting my black Oregon Duck pullover on, I sat down to enjoy my tradional pre-race breakfast. The breakfast consisted of oatmeal with brown sugar, vanilla yogurt, black coffee and water. After a quick bathroom break it was time to head to start line.
Near the start Carrie and I met with our parents and walked the rest of the way to the start line. After some pictures and a quick goodbye kiss from Carrie it was go time. At 7:07 AM the start gun sounded. As usual the first mile was slow due to it being crowded and slower runners not starting towards the back. At the mile one marker there was an annoying guy yelling "looking good only 25 miles left". Every Marathon that I've run there has been someone doing that and every time I've wanted to punch that person in the face. At mile two I was finally able to settle into to my pace.
Everything was going great until my stomach started growling at about mile four. I knew that I was going to eventually need a bathroom break. The first port-a-potty was still two miles away. At this time I happened to be running right by my hotel. Instead of waiting until the port-a-potty I made the decesision to run off the course and up to my hotel room to use the bathroom. The whole ordeal cost me about me about three minutes but I considered it well worth it.
After the bathroom break I settled back into to my stride. I made small talk with several runners along the way. As I passed the halfway point I was feeling great. My time at 13.1 miles was about 1:56 which if I maintained that I would finish safely under my goal of 4 hours. Everything was great until mile 18 when I realized I couldn't hold my pace. Instead of trying to push myself I settled into a slower pace. By mile 20 my buffer was gone and I knew 4 hours was out of the question.
For the last 6 miles I adjusted my goal. I wanted to finish under my last marathon time of 4:12. I started counting down the miles as I always do. At mile 22 I knew that I would easily finish under 4:12. The last 4 miles were painful but it was a good pain. As I passed the 26 mile sign a big smile crossed my face. I sprinted the last .2 miles and as I crossed the finish line I through my arms up in the air. My time was 4:06:45, not my best time but certainly not my worst.
After making my way through the recovery area I met up with my wife and enjoyed a few quality minutes with her. Then it was time to sit down and enjoy a couple adult beverages courtesy of one the fine sponsors of the event, Rogue Ales. As I sat down and drank my cold beer a smile crossed my faced as I had just done something for the sixth time that only .1% of the world's population have ever done once, run a marathon.