Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have completed my first marathon with a time of 5:40:21 and have the big coaster sized medal around my neck (they actually put little foam thingies on the back so it could actually be used as a coaster should you be so crass as to wish that…)  It was about the perfect day for it – foggy and cool, with the sun peeking out sometime while I was in the shower.  The bridge and view of city from Marin were awesome – everything all streaked with foggy light.  Melissa and I set off together and finished about half until we hit a hill where I couldn’t stop running and her legs weren’t up to it, so we split up.  I was too brain-dead to wait at the end, but it looks like she ended up just 1 minute behind me.  GO MELISSA!  Another fun part of the course was 90% of the course control volunteers were a gang of a few hundred motorcyclists, all with lots of medals and charms and big fat hogs.  Great bunch.

I do have a few comments, BTW, if you ever volunteer at a marathon…  “you’re almost there”  – please don’t start saying this at mile 20 when we’re all struggling to keep moving and there’s a good hour plus of running left to do!  Keep it up, you look great, going strong, all there are welcome.  But you’re almost there…  for 5 miles we heard this.  oddly enough, when were WERE almost there…  it shifted to “just 2 more miles” and the “keep going to the finish” and such.  Also I wanted to note for people odd stuff in my mile splits.  I look shockingly consistent  😛  We so weren’t…  the first half was all 12-12:30 min miles, with one mile (5) that was walked uphill, and a 3 min pit stop at mile 8.  I gather I stuck CLOSE to 12/12:30 for the 3rd quarter, but that last 6 miles….  those were 14-15 minute miles, WITH me running per schedule.  I let myself drop back to a 3:2 ratio somewhere, I really can’t remember where, and stopped listening to the watch and just running after the VERY WELCOME 26 mile marker.  I managed to find somewhere (I really don’t know where, half a mile back I wasn’t sure I could run after a walk break) enough energy stolen blatantly from the crowd to put on an extra burst of speed for most of that last .2 and crossed the line in style, too oblivious to even know Peter was right there…  😛  took me several minutes to find him and he saw me the whole time.  I was totally brain-dead and still moving forwards (toward the medals, then towards the bananas).

All in all it was a good race.  not really sure I’m addicted to them, tho.  The first half was genuinely fun.  The last half was really mostly just work and finishing what I set out to do.  I’ve got 2 half marathons schedules (SJ rock and roll Oct 5, Big Sur half Nov 9) and am looking forward to them, and think I’ll stick to halfs and 10K’s for a while.