Another subtitle could have been "the good, the bad, and the ouchy", though I'm sure someone's thought of that one before. This marathon (my second) for me was overall a success, however it does leave unfinished business, but I will start at the beginning.
The Calgary Marathon was moved this time to the Stampede grounds, had a new course, and certainly had a "bigger" feel. I'd set myself a "dream goal" of 3 hours 10 minutes, doable I thought given my time at other distances. My PB from my till now only marathon was 3:29:56, so a "minimum goal" was to beat that.
I had been careful not to have as much fibre given my experience at my first marathon. Between waking up and startline I had also gone for a CC (confidence c**p) 5 times. Though I'd forgotten to bring tylenol with me, I knew it probably wouldn't help prevent a muscle pull or anything like that.
Kudos isn't a strong enough word for Neil Zeller and this shot he took of me. It's a true "what I think I look like" photo. For my wife, there were 2 spots between the start/ finish where she would be to take my photo.
As usual I had the headcam on. I knew it would help capture the atmosphere, always great at this race. Just seconds after the horn, I felt a bump to my left, one runner's shoe having come loose.
No sooner was I past the Saddledome when a voice to my right said "Peter - a touch of the runs?" I didn't catch his name, but he said he'd heard of me through Neil.
I knew Km1 would be quick, and my plan was to dial down the pace after passing the sign. I did, but not enough, I realized, when I saw the half marathon 1:30 pace bunny just edging past me halfway through Inglewood at about km3.
It was a touch irritating to be chopped by a couple of people who didn't think I was on the inside of them on a couple of the early 90 degree bends, though kind of expected perhaps. What I didn't expect was another runner to unclog his nose in front of me twice. The first one was in the bushes to the left, then loosing his bearings he did it again a few seconds later to his right and into the middle of the road. As a precaution I jumped, then loudly said "nearly!" which he pretended not to hear. Below is the least flattering freeze frame I could come up with, this is the "ugly" I refer to at the beginning of this write up.
His shirt was white at the start of the race.
On through Bridgeland, I remember quite a few of the lady runners spitting, though safely. Still a novelty to me perhaps. I don't think I spat once in this race, which is unusual, the need usually arises at some point.
Crossing the Bow River for the second time, I caught the eye of an official photographer, who then said "come on Great Britain" in an English accent as I passed him.
Just like my first full marathon in Calgary, I knew it would get quiet after the half marathon turn-off. It was just after this that A-Chang was stationed for the first photo op. I was by this time following the guy in the hula-skirt
who was getting all my press and lens time.
The second quarter of the course was the slightly uphill section, and just when I was contemplating taking my gloves off, it clouded up and stayed that way. I was about a minute and a half ahead of schedule and managed to give up a little time.
Two things that did go right are that my feet felt comfortable throughout as I had adjusted my shoes perfectly according to my different-sized feet. The other was avoiding having to stop for a bio-break, not even needing to hold it during the race. The same can't be said for this guy, who took off from this porta-potty like he'd left a hand grenade in there. Have headcam, will capture evidence.
Just 2km later on the 14th street bridge, my right leg which had given me a little trouble in the build-up to the marathon, tightened considerably, so I stopped for a brief stretch.
A nice moment right at the end with a father carrying his son on his shoulders.
There were 3 stairs to negociate to get in under the grandstand where the food was. "Negociate" is an interesting word. Tougher than that was the "staircase to hell" in the c-train station afterwards. Anyone who has had to walk down a flight of stairs right after a marathon will know what I'm talking about. Imagine singing "ow" to the tune of the 1812 overture.
When I got out of bed the next morning, while I could stand, I had to bend at the waist to get myself going. "And we're walking.." I said to myself like some sort of aerobics dvd.
Overall then, I can't complain about slicing 9:09 off my PB. The course was quite good and fun, wouldn't have minded sharing the road with less traffic in places. A 3:10 marathon is unfinished business though. I actually registered for the California International Marathon in Sacramento on December 2 the week before this race. I have a few things to work on for that mission.
Now for the video. I should give the headcam some trial runs to steady the picture for the next races, won't bore readers with those details. Enjoy, and don't sit too close to the screen!