What a day. I could not have asked for better weather. Maybe just a wee bit of cloud cover, but whatever. 39 degrees at the start for me. My training plan worked. I managed to crush my previous 5h18m personal record with a 4h33m finish. That’s a gain, I’m thoroughly satisfied with, considering I was running only twice a week on average. I made up the training difference with 3-4 days a week of 11 mile bike commutes and two days of weight training. With a strong September half marathon best of just under two hours, I had hoped to finish in under 4h15m but the weather got the best of me because it was just too perfect. In 2010, I ran my first marathon in 5h22m, suffering through temperatures over 85 degrees. My 2011 run was 5h18m with a mildly sprained ankle and 40 mph gusting headwinds.

So, when I saw the forecast Saturday, I decided I was going to go for it and try to stick with the 3h55m pace group. Lesson learned. Stick with the plan. I went out too fast and paid for it later on with a couple 11 minute splits. But still, my walking breaks were limited to taking just enough time to pour a cup of liquid into my mouth without getting all sticky and my legs didn’t bother me much at all. Compared to 2010 and 2011, my recovery is going much faster.

Thanks be to GU, nuun, REI, Camelbak and my trusty Nike Air Triax Structure 16s for helping me get to the finish line.

I’m looking forward to training for the Disney Goofy Challenge where I hope to set a new half PR and a new marathon PR both in the same weekend. After that I’m gonna spend 2013 working on my half marathon speed and hopefully will run some extra speedy Ragnar Relay legs in Chicago and Minneapolis.