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Saturday, March 28, 2009

LUCKY - SATISFIED - DISAPPOINTED in Detail... Shamrock Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA

It is been a week or so since the event and the recovery is going well. My legs are still experiencing some fatigue but that is to be expected. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things but I am taking my time as I don't want to extend the fatigue in my body by jumping back in the routine too fast.

Doing this marathon was a fun experience for many different reasons. I am very lucky to have the support of Mrs. Clot Buster and Junior on everything that I do. Even when I am decked out with polka-dots from my head all the way to my socks. I also appreciate how easily people can see me and that comes in handy the most when people is out there looking to cheer me on. I need to give a HUGE THANKS to the Fenton family for their support during the race. It was incredible to be out on the course and see the Clot Buster STOP THE CLOT shirt on the side waved by Jim and his little girl, while Liz (Jim's wife) was on course doing the Half-Marathon. Look for Mr. Jim Fenton to be featured on an upcoming issue of Athlete of the Month. Once again guys, it was a pleasure to meet you in person and THANK YOU for spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
I am also, lucky to have the chance to finish the race running. There were times after mile 22 where I was thinking that I could walk all the way to the finish but I never did more than getting through an aid station. So, I am thrilled with the notion that I am maturing on my marathoning experience and I was able to keep it at far better than in 2008. Ironically however, this time around I was slower than last year by more than a minute... see RESULTS HERE.3:30.57 is the main reason behind my disappointment. I am both very lucky and satisfied but the disappointment lingers with me simply because I was not able to improve on my performance on last year. It is strange to feel this way but the competitor in me is driving this feeling and it is not easy to walk away from it. I trained hard put in the miles and speed work through, cold, rain, ankle deep snow and driving winds but I don't have a PR to show. And that is what makes me feel disappointed.

On the other hand, I realize that it was a HUGE challenge to go under 3:10 and I came to terms with that as I saw the 3:10 pace group speed away from me half way through Mile 16. First it was just a few feet as I was hanging on the back of the group. I was focusing on following this one guy in a blue shirt that was holding on to 2 gels on each hand (don't ask me why I remember that...). Then, Mile 17 came by and I was still on the back of the pack feeling the pain in the legs and mind screaming "let them go!". I held on all the way to Mile 18 when I finally I had to slow down and take care of my needs... get the get, drink the coke, water and gatorade... by the time I was ready to resume the 3:10 pace the pack was long gone and I was left alone to keep at it. I guess, that I am capabale of keeping the 3:10 pace for 18 Miles so I need to work on keeping that pace for another 8.2... or I just have to wait until I am 45 year old and qualify for Boston when I can use the 3:30 as my qualifying time...
Because I was alone naturally my pace dropped from what it was but I did not feel that it was too dramatic. Miles 19, 20, 21, and 22 went by and I was enjoying the sand dunes around me, the signs with jokes and trivia along the course... Did you know the new light house is 264 Feet tall? Did you know the old light house was only 90 Feet tall? How about this one "Why do we wash bath towels? After all we are clean when we use them?"... So, as you can see my mind focused on something else other than the running. But half way through Mile 22 I came face to face with "the wall" and once again the wall won slowing me down to a shuffle... I was at 3:07.45 at this point with less than four miles to go and no matter what I tried the legs did not want to go any faster. Strange sport this is... simply hard to predict how your body can react to the pounding and the exposure of such high intensity effort. I made it to the finish once again with the polka-dots on and my green shorts in honor of the irish spirit of the race. No luck of the irish for me this time but all things considered an experience that I will remember for ever.

THANKS TO ALL of you out there who once again helped in the fundraising effort. Your contribution will help in helping NATT continue spreading the word to STOP THE CLOT.
So, now it is time to concentrate on the summer and what events I will do. I am thinking about doing a half-marathon on the first part of May and see how I would do after all of these miles on my legs for trainig... is there a PR for me in the Half-Marathon distance? I will let you know if that is the case... But during the rest of the summer Ohio for sure will see its fair share of the polka-dots. I hope the Buckeye state is ready for that...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

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My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!