I wish I could express what it is like to be in the marathon zone. Whenever it happens, it makes all marathoning so worth while.
I don't have a family, so I'm happy that I got to spend Thanksgiving running marathons with my marathon family. It is so cool to see a small crowd of marathoners get together for multiple days of races. Some of these people are Texans and I see them at Texas marathons; but some are from out of town and I see them when I go out of town. Angela, Clyde, Robert, Ila, Maggie, Kevin, the guy from Mumbai...
I ran 2 marathons. The first day, I played it safe as usual. I set my Garmin for 3x2; then easy jogged for 3 minutes and fast walked for 2 minutes. I finished day 1 in good shape in 5:42 (not counting pit stops). Then chilled in my hotel room.
Day 2, I felt good. I was surprised that my big toes seemed pain free. The usual blisters were not there. At the start I took off running easy. No walk breaks for 8.7 miles at 11:20/mile pace. Then my head did some math and figured that even if I did the 3x2s, I'd only lose about 3 minutes per lap so I might as well take the walk breaks.
But as soon as I started the walk breaks, my running speed took a quantum leap. I mean, I was flying whenever I was running. I became free. I thought, "well I don't have to do another marathon tomorrow so I might as well let my body go." And I did. I began to run just for the pleasure of running. I had one line of a Christmas tune going in my head. Otherwise, I had no presence of mind. I was sheer movement without ego. Man, I loved it. Even with the walk breaks, I still managed an average pace of 11:20/mile. I finished in 5:05 (including pit stops).
What was also cool is I somehow got it in my mind as I came in sight of the course clock, that I could beat 5:05. I actually sprinted the last 0.2 of a mile or so. I haven't sprinted in a long time. I haven't just ran full out in forever. It felt awesome to just let go and go. Are 57 almost 58 year olds allowed to do that? For no reason! I mean, there were no awards for this and I wasn't passing anyone. It was only for myself.
I'm pleased to say that nothing got injured either. I'm going to run tomorrow. I'm going to consider running fast in my next marathon in 3 weeks.