The race was rough, it shouldn't have been, but it was. All the conditions were a perfect setting for an amazing race: temps in 40's at start, up to mid-50's in morning, flat course, tons of people on every inch of course cheering on the runners. If properly trained with no injuries this would have been the perfect race. Yet nothing in life is truly perfect.
About 6 weeks out both Irvin and I were struck by injuries. Him with an IT band and shin splits, me with a hamstring. Both injuries kept us off our feet for a while during a pretty critical time in our training.
I got through most of the race fine, around mile 20 or so pain started to kick in and I started walking a bit more, although I ran quite a bit. Came in around 5:33, 10 minutes slower than my hilly Marine Corps Marathon last year. But I finished, I accomplished something not a lot go out and do. I wasn't just someone who's done one marathon, I was now a marathoner and that feels pretty darn good.
Poor Irvin started out strong, with the 3:05 pace group but started dropping back around mile 9...and walked from 13 on. He finished, perhaps not in the time he wanted but he refused to give up and made it to that finish line. I am so proud of him for that, through all the pain and suffering and thoughts of quitting he powered through. He had a goal, he aimed for it and even though he was rough he finished. What a strong willed man I have!
We both have said we'll stick to shorter races for a while. I think it's a good decision, but I still wouldn't change the outcome of the race for anything because it shows if you have enough determination to complete something you will, and that's all that matters.