MAUI MARATHON PART II
At the split, a mere 13.1 miles, I had run 1:38, a fast time for me and one that ought to allow good finish. At this point I was not feeling even a trace of fatigue, but that would soon change…
Around mile 15 the thought definitely had crept into my mind that I was no longer feeling so wonderful. The tailwind that I had enjoyed for a number of miles was definitely no longer blowing in the same direction I was running. And the scenery had changed a bit as well. We were now navigating along a coastal road that offered a number of rolling hills. I’ll be the first to admit I am no great fan of hills, mainly because of the pain that I experience in my knees when running up and down them. I have studiously avoided hills in all of my training runs despite the purported helpfulness to the training cause. I find that the need for ice packs and ibuprofen afterwards diminish some of my enjoyment, which is the whole point of running after all.
The race also took a decided turn for the worse on a section of road that no longer offered a nice secluded area for running, but instead had about a ten foot wide path demarcated by orange cones that ran right next to the highway. Since the hour was getting later, commute traffic was in full swing so cars and trucks zoomed past at high speed with lots of buffeting wind shear and noise. By mile 17 my walk breaks at the aid stations were, by necessity becoming much longer. It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly was the nature of the misery I was experiencing. It was not pain per say. I tried to take inventory of all my body parts. My feet were a little sore, sure. Ankles and knees were feeling it, but not too bad. I really was having trouble breathing, my chest didn’t hurt. I really couldn’t point to any one single thing except that globally in the entirety of my being, I knew that was beginning to suffer. I knew in my heart I had not trained for this race and, in fact I was supposed to be viewing the race itself as a “training run”. Yet the competitor within me who wants to beat my last times had to go out fast and run the first half at a good pace and it wasn’t until around mile 15 that I gave up the idea of running this race in 3:30. By mile 18 though I was seriously considering the idea I would not finish in under four hours.