Ghosts of Marathons past..


Ok first the present: 3 mile walk this morning…that was it (W. Peoria)

Next: the post. These photos were from my first 3 marathons.

First Marathon: Maryland, December, 1980.

During my senior year in college, I decided to run the Maryland Marathon. That was me at about mile 18 or so; note the cotton shorts, cotton shirt and the New Balance 730s. Those were state of the art shoes back then.

Though I had several 50 mile weeks, I did no run over 15 miles. So the marathon was a bit of a rude shock. I hit mile 10 in 1:15, half way in 1:37 and slowed to 2:38 at mile 20. The finish: 3:33. Boy, was that last 10K a death march! It wasn’t just for me though; I managed to keep something like a shuffle (and flipped off a kid who said “here is a fat one”) and people were walking at this point; not everyone of course.

My buddies (who went to the race with me) ran 2:38 and 2:59. I ran 3:33 for 1054 out of 2229 men; the median time for the men was 3:36. There were 201 female finishers; two friends of mine finished in 3:30. The median female finisher was 4:05.

How do I know this? I still have the program!

Second Marathon: San Antonio, November 1981.
I was about 10 lb. heavier (roughly 210) but I did have a nice 22.5 mile run 3 weeks earlier: 3:00:xx. It was the “Double Decker” challenge ..I so wish THAT had been the marathon. I had gone out right at 8 minute miles and maintained it, reasonably easily.

So what did I do on this hotter day? I took it out at a 7:30 pace which I held for 10 miles; I slowed to a 8 minute pace for the next 5 miles (about 1:40 at the half way point); slowed to 2:41 at mile 20 (some walking) and then did a 1:07 walk/jog death march to finish in 3:48. That was a dreadful time in those days; I still have the newspaper and they had a strict 5 hour cut-off.

Of note: a woman that blew me off when I hit on her during a training run gave me a long, emotional hug when I went to shake her hand to congratulate her on her finish. A buddy fixed me steak for lunch. And then I had a GREAT date with a young woman I was to date a few more times …a Baptist, if you can believe that.

Third Marathon East Lyme, CT: October 1983
I was to deploy to my submarine later that month, and yes, I had gained even more weight. My running was a disaster; my long was a 16 miler 2 weeks prior (had some earlier 20s) I did NOT feel good physically.

The result: I was walking (unintentionally) THREE MILES into the race..I had severe foot cramps. An older guy tried to encourage me to stick with it and slapped me on the ass as he ran past….told me “anyone can quit.” And yes, I stayed with it; I was something like 1:28 at mile 10. The rest was “walk/jog” and several times, the sag wagon asked me if I wanted a ride.

I stuck with it…though the roads were open to traffic..and limped in at 4:24…I felt I was dead last but really wasn’t. The announcer said “I was a winner” and I wanted to die of shame. I was fat and out of shape and knew it.

Ok, those were all runs or attempted runs.

But now…let’s just say that my next marathon will, more than likely take me over 6 hours. LOL…