I miss the way marathon running used to be because…

I did my first three marathons in 1980 (Maryland 3:33), 1981 (San Antonio, 3:48), and 1983 (East Lyme 4:24).

I still have the finish book for the Maryland.

Though I had several 50 mile weeks, I did no run over 15 miles. So the marathon was a bit of a rude shock. I hit mile 10 in 1:15, half way in 1:37 and slowed to 2:38 at mile 20. The finish: 3:33. Boy, was that last 10K a death march! It wasn’t just for me though; I managed to keep something like a shuffle (and flipped off a kid who said “here is a fat one”) and people were walking at this point; not everyone of course.

My buddies (who went to the race with me) ran 2:38 and 2:59. I ran 3:33 for 1054 out of 2229 men; the median time for the men was 3:36. There were 201 female finishers; two friends of mine finished in 3:30. The median female finisher was 4:05.

You had to finish in the top 50 to get a finisher’s medal but there was a nice finisher’s jacket (bright sunflower gold) that many of us wore to races. It felt “special”.

San Antonio: strict 5 hour time limit; I remember because I still have the newspaper clipping which had a list of the finishers. And my 3:48 put me well in the second half of the list of finishers.

East Lyme: I showed up fat and out of shape and had to walk 3 miles into it (foot cramps); for much of the race, I was by myself and I was frequently asked if I wanted to drop out. The finish line announcer said “that is a winner right there” as I came around the track..and I was embarrassed beyond belief. Time was 4:24 ….and when I told my friends the response was “what in the hell happened to you?”

BUT, when you get down to it…what I miss the most was being able to see an 8 minute mile as “easy”.

If things were like those days, I’d get timed out and be unable to participate in organized marathons.

Workout notes: weights only; 5 sets of 10 pull ups, 10 x 135, 6 x 170 bench, 10 x 135 incline, 10 x 155 decline, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows, plank, side plank, etc.

October 8, 2018 - Posted by | running, walking |

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