Yesterday's Dallas White Rock Marathon was my 6th marathon. Around mile 24 I remembered why I hadn't run one of these things in five years. Yet, only my fellow runners would understand why I missed my time away.
My 4:30 finishing time is far from a PR, but I had no expectations...no disappointments. I just wanted to make this as comfortable as a marathon could be. Happily, I felt amazingly well and only started the dead leg shuffle around mile 24 or so. It was that last marathon five years ago when leg cramps had me at that state around mile 17. I swore then I'd never do it again. Nine miles with a pair of stilts as legs will do that to a person.
This was my 3rd White Rock and I want to applaud the city for turning out to cheer on these lunatics in running shoes. My first marathon in Dallas, back in 1997, pales in comparison to yesterday. Tons of people. Not just cheering for their designated runner...cheering for strangers like me. It's no New York City Marathon, but it was simply impressive.
One observation. You'd think the American Airlines Center and numerous port-a-potties would be ample for 20,000 runners. Yet, lines were nuts before the start and throughout the race on the course. I feel sorry for those who had to wait in line during the race for a chance to "go".
I guess my only complaint can only be directed at most (likely all) large marathons. It is nearly impossible to get in a rhythm. You know, zone out and before you know it you've knocked off a couple of miles. Just too many people. This is my own doing for signing up for large races. After I finished yesterday, I was thinking that I actually enjoy my long training runs as much as the race itself if not more. If I mentioned that to my non-running friends they'd have me locked up.
Now, I can focus on this wonderful time of year. No more distractions. For those of us that celebrate Christmas with the main focus being Christ, it is time to dig in. Fill your heart with the gift that was so generously given.
And...maybe get back out of the road for some solitude.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace