3 hours 19 minutes 55 seconds, which is a personal record marathon time—by about ten minutes! I attribute this to (1) spectacular autumnal weather—clear, cool, and perfect for running; (2) some half-arsed attempts at speed training I did over the winter; and (3) actually paying attention to my pacing, instead of my usual marathon strategy of just running as fast as I can until I end up barely able to walk the last mile.
I didn't do much tweeting from the course, but I did take a bunch of photos—the camera on my new iPhone is a lot better than my old one. So here they are, with a reconstructed transcript of my internal dialogue:
"The best thing about a marathon in my hometown is, I can walk to the starting line. It was near the Metrodome. And the weather's nice and clear! But, eek, I only have about 25 minutes to stand in the porta-potty line ..."
"Whew. All set. Time to head to the start line."
"And we're off! Next stop, Saint Paul."
"Yay, marathons! Here's Hennepin Avenue. I'm going to see Wicked in a couple weeks!"
"And here's the Basilica."
"I'm a sucker for Baroque architecture."
"Ooh, the Walker Art Museum."
"And now we're at the lakes! This is just like my usual Sunday runs."
"There's the skyline across Lake Calhoun."
"And now the trails around Lake Harriet."
"Is this Minnehaha Parkway? I've never run here before."
"Almost to the halfway mark. Whew."
"Oof. Sixteen miles in two hours. I'm right on pace."
"Crossing the Franklin Avenue Bridge. I've done this hundreds of times before ... but it hurts a lot more this time."
"Gee, thanks for the reminder, sponsor I've never heard of. Six miles to go, mostly uphill."
[Five and a half miles of incoherence and pain. Otherwise known as Summit Avenue.]
"Finally, the cathedral. All downhill from here. Ow."
"I can see the State Capitol!"
"Getting closer ..."
"The finish line! Does that clock really say 3:20?"
"Ow. Owowowowow. Now where's the chicken broth table?"
"Of course they make me climb a staircase to get to the bus back to Minneapolis. Ow."
And that's the lot. Next year, I'm going to have to do a marathon out of state for a change. Maybe Chicago?◼