Athletic Defeat

Marathon #2 ended in disappointment.
After training for 18+ weeks and running over 350 miles in that time span, I had high hopes for myself. I had set my sights on qualifying for Boston or getting damn close.
The event was the IMS marathon on February 15 and the 26.2 miles spanned 6 suburbs of the Phoenix metro area. I made my way out to Westgate at 5:15AM, arriving in time to catch the 6AM bus to the starting line in Buckeye.
IMS Marathon 2015
Smaller than the one I had run in Des Moines, the IMS had under 1,000 participants doing the full 26.2. While still warmer than the 40 or so degrees of October in Iowa, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. I stretched my cold muscles in the twilight of pre-dawn and looked at the sky full of clouds thinking “This is the day!” As we lined up, I made my way to the pacer holding the 3:00 sign, representing a finish of 3 hours. Thegun went off and our feet hit the pavement in unison. Over the course of the first two miles, the jitters/nerves and excitement of the start wore away and I fell into a routine. The pace we were running at seemed to be about normal, maybe a little fast, but certainly nothing I hadn’t run before. After all, when I had done shorter runs of 5 miles or less I had routinely run at a pace of 6:40 or faster. I had looked into it the day
IMS Marathon 2015

The look of Defeat!

before and a 3 hour finish required a pace of 6:52 the entire time. That seemed doable to me, right? Over the next couple miles the pacer and I started talking a bit. This isn’t something I normally do when I run, but he was a cool guy and it seemed to make the miles go by faster. As we passed the 11 mile marker I noticed the pace seemed to be harder to keep. I mentally decided I would slow it down a bit at the halfway point and try and keep him in sight. Between miles 13 and 15 I watched as he slowly crept away, but definitely still within sight. At mile 16 my muscles seemed to be tightening up and I knew I was in for trouble. My pace continued to slow until I reached mile 20 where I could no longer hold a jog. I was beat! The pace in the beginning had completely wiped me out. The next 6 miles were some of the hardest I had ever done.Even walking wasn’t much of a relief. Somehow, I jogged and walked my way to a disappointing finish of 4:07. After doing a 3:24 my first go around, this was pretty shitty. I was pretty upset. But, I think any athlete would tell you no achievement is without defeat. I’ve had my successes and I’ve had my failures and although this one is tough to swallow, I’ll come back with a vengeance. Marathon, I’m not done with you yet!

IMS Marathon 2015

Written by Jake G

I'm a 26 year old who loves to hike, bike, backpack, and explore the outdoors. I'm a Midwesterner who currently resides in sunny Arizona. I hope to inspire others with my adventures and maybe give some advice for your future vacations. Follow me as I travel around the country and...
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