We left off with me barely escaping with my life in Maui.
I started to ramp up my training for the marathon in April 2019 with a lot of treadmill work during lunchtime at the office. I even tried playing the Switch while running for the first time and managed to drop it and then hop back on a full-speed treadmill.
I was focused on trying to make this my best marathon yet. I loosely followed Hal Higdon’s training plan, except of course running at least 7 miles every day and no rest days. I would usually run 10+ miles on Tuesday and then 20+ mile runs on Saturday. I was feeling healthy and strong, but still had no sense of how fast I could go. I wanted to see if I could even run close to Boston Qualification. A week before the marathon I tried to run 8 miles under 60 minutes.
This run gave me the hope I needed. I was still a bit away from the qualifying pace, but I knew that I had some speed in me.
When I got to the start line, the weather was absolutely perfect and I knew I needed to shoot my shot.
I would run 7-minute miles until I couldn’t anymore.
I was slightly under a 7-minute pace and felt strong up to mile 10, I realized I might have a chance.
I ran the first half marathon at 6:56 pace.
When the half marathoners broke away to their own glory road, I realized it was gut-check time. I felt strong, but there was still half a race ahead. The next 7 miles I tried my best to keep my cadence and pace. I drifted into the low 7s but knew that if I could have that, I had a shot.
Unfortunately, around mile 20 my quads told me that they had used all their speed. I could grind out another mile or two, but I couldn’t keep the pace for the last 6. I backed off.
Unfortunately, even when you’re not going your top speed you have to fight your body from shutting things down. The next five miles were still grueling, but I cranked it back up the last mile and finished strong.
I ran a marathon under 3 hours and 10 minutes. I was very proud of myself. If I was a couple of years older, I would have actually qualified for Boston.
How do you celebrate a great marathon? With beer!
The Beer Mile
I like challenges and I like food. I’ve never been a huge beer fan, but once I heard about “The Beer Mile” I knew I had to give it a shot.
I tried to get a friend to do it with me once and instead I just did it by myself. Then I finally convinced him to do it with me and we suffered together.
But in May 2019, I got four other co-workers to do it with me on an actual track at an undisclosed (unless you look at Strava) location in the greater-Denver area. I will let you read all the official rules, but basically you have to drink a full can of beer before running four quarter-miles.
My first priority is getting my seven or more miles. So before the beer mile, I ran 7.2 miles, just in case of absolute failure.
Since this was not my first attempt at a beer mile, I felt I would perform well.
I did not.
I struggle at being able to hold a significant volume of quickly drank carbonated beverages. I can slam one beer at a fairly good speed. But my stomach quickly becomes bloated and after the second beer I was already contemplating why I was doing this.
It took more over 11 minutes to actually complete the mile, including the additional quarter mile for punishment for puking.
It’s hard to describe what your body feels during a beer mile, it’s mostly confusion. I just had a constant bloated feeling and trying to get my legs to overcome my brain saying, “You need to lay down,” is incredibly difficult. The rest of the day was completely shot as well after eating a massive “brunch.” I laid on my friend’s couch watching Netflix for the following 4 hours.
I don’t want to necessarily do another beer mile, but I would like to redeem myself and try to do one in under 8 minutes without puking.