The Duke City Marathon was today. I've been training for a few months. I'd been hoping for a pace around 9 min per mile, but I'd been able to keep a bit faster pace during my runs without trouble. So, I went out a bit faster, around 8:45 - 8:50. Even at 15 miles, I felt great. I kept going at that pace until I started to fade a little because I thought I'd be able to back off some and keep going if needed.
Boy was I wrong.
Check out my Garmin splits from the marathon. As you can see, I'm cruising up through mile 19, at which point I start to slide. And like an avalanche gaining speed, I quickly slide all the way down and am doing nothing more than just moving forward. I was lucky to be doing that.
I made the classic mistake of going out too fast, overestimating my abilities. I won't say I would have gone under 4 hours if I hadn't done that (because who knows?), but through 18 miles I was on pace for a 3:51. Apparently, that's way out of my league.
I would also say that it wasn't a mental breakdown. My body was done. I was nauseous, dizzy, and running for even a minute left me out of breath with my head spinning. When I finally finished, I couldn't stand up straight without getting out of breath for half an hour, and I was nauseous for twice that time. It wouldn't have surprised me if I had passed out just standing around afterward.
It was a good race overall though. My time was decent, and I learned a lot about running a marathon. I think I could have gone faster with better pacing, and I was hopeful to be able to hold the pace I tried based on runs like this one. But ultimately that's not what God decided to have happen. C'est la vie!