Sunday was a good day to race.
Wayne has always been a cold weather runner, so when he heard the forecast for Sunday, the day of the Twin Cities marathon, he was thrilled.
Coming in to this, his seventh marathon, his PR (personal record) had been at the New York City marathon. Condition were similar to the forecast for Minnesota, and he completed in 3:22, faster than the marathon which qualified him for Boston.
Sunday's forecast: High of 40, low of 29 at the start. A cold weather runner's dream.
So unbeknownst to me, he adjusted his goals.
I had thought he would be running with the 3:20 pace group, but at mile 6 we found him in the group with the 3:15 pace group.
|Lindsey and friends at mile 6, bundled up and ready to cheer.|
We tried to see him again at mile 9. We got there just in time to see the 3:15 pace group go by, but no Wayne. We waited, thinking that perhaps he had fallen behind the group, which would be about right for where he had finished his best marathon.
So off we went again, driving to the next place we could possibly catch him, which was mile 16. We got there in time to see the lead runners go by, so we knew we wouldn't miss him.
|Lindsey and Marissa, cheering on the runners as they wait to see Daddy.|
And there he was, well ahead of the 3:15 pace group.
He finished the marathon in 3:13:12, or around a 7:23 pace. He finished 19th in his division and beat his previous best time by a whole 9 minutes.
Most people beat their best time by a couple of minutes, not nine.
What else is pretty amazing about this is that he's only been running for a little over 3 years. His first full marathon was October of 2009 and he finished it in 3:39. That's an amazing first marathon time for anyone, but especially for someone knocking on 50's door. And as he's gotten older he's only gotten faster.
I can tell you this doesn't happen by accident. He is living proof of what happens when someone passionately dedicates himself to something, focuses on a goal and works toward it unceasingly.
He logged at least 50 miles a week for months leading up to this -- tempo runs, internval runs, long runs. He would tell you that the most difficult runs were his interval runs, when you run at a slow pace for 800m, then go as fast as you can for a mile. Do that four or five times and you're exhausted, but you've increased your speed. There's research behind this, and his dedication to this type of run -- at least once a week -- is what he will tell you makes him faster.
We didn't brave the traffic or the crowds to see him finish, but we tracked him online and knew he'd done well. When he came home he was elated.
"I think I can now finally consider myself a marathoner," he said. This after finishing seven of them and running this last one at a 7:20 pace.
"Honey, you always were," I said.
I feel like I'm the one who accomplished this one, I'm so proud of him.