I ran the Frank Maier Marathon this morning.
I am not a big fan of racing on roads, but I had no reason not to run. I was planning a 25-30 mile run today anyway, and the race start was about 200 feet from my front door. The race started at 7am and I rolled out of bed at 6:40. I wasn't even registered for the race yet so I only had time to throw a waffle in the toaster and head out the door.
At about 6:50 I walked up to the registration table chewing on my burnt waffle (why does a toaster set on #3 cook bread just right and burn the hell out of a waffle?) and asked to sign up. The conversation that unfolded was amusing:
registration lady #1: are you pre-registered?
registration lady #2: have you run this race before?
lady #1: have you run a marathon before?
lady #2: are you ok, you look cold?
me: sorry I'm fine, I just woke up 5 minutes ago.
lady #1: did you train for this race?
me: a little bit.
lady #2 (in a half whisper to lady #1): make sure he signs the waiver.
I ran most of the first half really slow. Not much faster than long slow training pace. I think my first 8 or 9 miles were at about 7:20 pace. I got kind of bored with that and decided at about mile 12 that I would run the rest of the race as a tempo run rather than a long slow distance run. I went through the halfway point in 1:32 and finished in 2:49:59. I've got a little more speed than I suspected right now. I was surprised to bust out a 1:18 second half as comfortably as I was able to. I never felt like I pushed beyond a comfortable level and I have no fatigue beyond any standard 3 hour run. I doubt I will ever run a marathon as a focus race (at least not anytime soon), but today did make me a little more curious than I've ever been to see how fast I could do a marathon. With marathon specific training and a 100% race effort I think 2:30 would be pretty definite for me. How much faster I could go than that though is hard to say just based on this one "training" marathon.