The DC Marathon, my 26th marathon, was a tremendous success. A PR of 3:05:38 bested my previous PR by 4 minutes and 21 seconds. All of this just one week shy of my 48th birthday! The marathon was chock-full of hills, the most difficult being in the latter stages. The first 15 miles were mostly rolling ups and downs with one short steep climb at mile 7. The group of 4 or so of other runners I was with on the first half hit the downhills hard and came thru the half at 1:31:02, right where I wanted to be. Now all I needed to do was to replicate that. However, an approximately half mile hill at 17 and a three-quarter mile hill at 23 were, well, quite brutal in their timing. Other than those hills, I was able to generally hold pace and ran the second half in 1:34:36. I basically gave back a minute on each of those hills. The day was a great success overall, averaging 7:04/mile and seeing my wife and kids screaming for me coming down the finishing stretch. I was able to endure all of the usual suffering and use my mottos of Focus, Form, Suffer, Finish and Sisu to get though it!
Winter training went well and I had a great fall season and fitness level to use as a stepping stone for my training, seamlessly transitioning into marathon training. As always, Roger kept it interesting and challenging and was able to strike the perfect balance with hard training and easy days. I generally kept the weekly mileage in the mid 50s, peaking one week at 62. The last few weeks we zeroed in on race pace in a variety of different runs. Weather-wise, the winter was relatively tame so there was no lost training due to any snow or ice. Training in the cold and dark is always an adventure and the early morning runs with Josh made it less of a task. Time to now regroup and figure out how to take 5:39 off my PR!