When I didn’t have a race on the first weekend of August, I felt lazy. I finished the month with four marathons, but only because there were five weekends. By contrast, July had only four weekends, but I ran six marathons.
I didn’t have any weekends with more than one race, and none of the races had unusually difficult courses, so I had high hopes that I could run fast times in all four of them. Here’s how I did.
On August 9th, I ran the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in 3:39:32. Last year, I ran it in 3:28:58, so I knew 3:30 was doable. This year, it was hotter. I didn’t drink enough in the early miles and the combination of heat and dehydration wore me down. Still, I was disappointed with my time.
On August 17th, I ran the Rockies Marathon in 3:08:46. This was a very fast course, descending 4,500 feet. I took advantage to run my fastest time in two years. I also won my age group.
On August 23rd, I ran the Wausau Marathon in 3:54:50. It was 69 degrees with 100% humidity, and I completely fell apart in the second half. Still, I took second in my age group, which says something about how tough the conditions were.
On August 30th, I ran the Marquette Marathon in 3:26:16. This was another fast course. It was raining, and I was feeling tired, but I pushed myself hard and took third in my age group.
As I mentioned in another post, I often view 3:30 as the dividing line between good races and disappointing ones. I recognize that that’s not always a realistic goal. Some courses are unusually difficult and sometimes I do races on consecutive days. This month, I went into every race with hopes of breaking 3:30. Two were faster, and two were slower.
It’s worth noting that I struggled with hot and/or humid conditions in the two races that were slower. It’s also worth noting that my two faster races were on downhill courses. I placed in my age group in three of the four races, but I don’t like to use age as an excuse for slowing down.
The tiebreaker was the Rockies Marathon. I was especially happy with that race, because my time not only qualified me for corral B at the Comrades Marathon, but will probably also put me in the first wave at the Boston Marathon. I also showed improvement running downhill, which used to be one of my weaknesses.