Harrisburg Marathon - Random Thoughts As They Come to Me...

1. Results have been posted. I came in 71st out of 687. 68th out of the men. 17th out of 70 in my age group, with a final chip time of 3:18:56.
2. There was 1 other runner faster than me in my age group who didn't qualify for Boston.
3. There were 2 guys behind me at the 10k mark in my age group who passed me later in the race and made it to Boston. Awesome job.
4. Bill Hathaway also ran his first and had a very very strong finish. Awesome job, Bill.
5. There are many ways to screw up a marathon. Here's how I screwed up mine: I didn't take the course into account during my long runs. All of my long runs - 15 miles and more - took place on very flat terrain. I wasn't ready to shift gears when the rolling trails came along at mile 18. Next year, I either train differently for the long runs or do a different course.
6. Nate screamed for me at the 15 mile mark. That was nice.
7. My father-in-law "crewed" for me and I highly recommend this. He was there at the start to take my sweats and was at three pre-planned places on the course. He had water bottles with him. Knowing that I could grab a bottle and take a nice long drink meant I didn't need to worry about the water stops as much. He was awesome.
8. I drank water and took e-Gel, a carb gel w/ electrolytes included. This way, I didn't have to confuse my blood sugar with half finished cups of juice. E-gel packets are big, but I still think this is a good strategy.
9. My kids high-fived me at the end and my wife planted a big kiss on my smelly, salty cheek. Awesome to have them there. Because I'm mostly a lunch-time runner, running doesn't get in the way around the house too much (I hope), but there's a certain amount of worrying that goes into watching your spouse do stupid things. I'm grateful my wife's tolerance for that is sufficiently high.
10. Never discount genetics. There have been a fair number of people surprised by my 3:18 debut, but before I took more than a decade off, I had a decent high school and college career. My mile PR back then was 4:57 which translates to a 2:43 marathon. While I can't even begin to consider a 2:43, that's the approximate ceiling my genes have given me. That's just the way the genetic lottery works. In the same way, you would never want me on your soccer team and I've spent months on a bicycle and still rarely get above 17 mph in training.
11. The same genes that would let me run a 2:43 marathon gave me diabetes. It was a fair trade at best.
12. "Muscle has memory." When I bumped into a former school-mate several months ago (who's done some amazing things on the roads) and told her I was getting back into running, that's what she told me, and she was right. So while comebacks are hard, the genetic material is still there, waiting to be used.
13. I'm pretty sure I'll never run a 2:43. :) Next year I'm going for a 3:10 and hoping to go sub 3 maybe a year later. That's enough of a goal for now.
14. I don't really have a #14 - I'm just superstitious and didn't want to have 13 things on the list.


  1. This is awesome--congrats! Thanks for your comment--it was fun reading your blog...an inspirtaiton, thanks! Send a cheer towards the east come Sunday--I think I may need it! :-)

  2. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Skriv in de tecken du ser i bilden ovan. Hello from Sweden, since I'm here it put the comments page in Swedish so I had to copy and paste it for your viewing pleasure. Great job, you did and hopefully you're not on crutches. see you in a few weeks.


  3. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Congratulations on running such a great race! It's hard to believe that you've been back to running for such a short time. Sounds like if you add in some hill training you'll get that Boston qualifying time in pretty short order.


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