Monday, February 18, 2008

Sea, sand, sun... and a marathon!

A belated race report this is. On February 9th the whole Kulak clan got outta Philly just as the 15F, snow, ice and rain descending upon the Northeast. A few hours later we had our t-shirts and shorts on enjoying the balmy Gulf Coast weather on sleepy little Anna Maria Island. A few hours later I woke at 3:45 am and drove 60 miles north to run the Tampa Marathon. With a 6am starting time, this is the first time I've ever started a marathon in the dark. It actually stayed cool and dark until almost 7 am. Any early season race and kickoff to a week vacation. A real treat.

From the start the pace was just right to meet my pre-race goal of 3:10. I hit the half in 1:30 on the nose and felt comfortable. At mile 20 I started feeling confident I could finish in 3:05 - 3:07. I"M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!! NOTHING CAN STOP ME!!! Then reality hits. I should have known! Mile 24 I cramped... hamstrings, calves, arms, brain... everywhere. Dismantled. I hobbled through the next 2 miles to finish in 3:11:26. Ouch! I took my twitching body through he food line for some home-style cajun rice and seafood, grabbed a water and headed for the car. An hour later I was in the backyard playing with the kids in the pool. The 2008 running season has begun!

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