On Saturday, March 2, 2019, I lined up for another marathon. This time, I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for my 11th road marathon and my second running of the Myrtle Beach Marathon. Way back in 2011, Myrtle Beach was my second attempt at 26.2 miles. Just like in 2011, I was there with my friend Craig.
Unlike 2011, I did not set a PR, even though I felt I had trained for, and thought had could pull off, a new personal best. I was healthy, and training had gone well. In the end, however, it was not my day. I could give you a bunch of excuses and Monday morning quarterbacking (to mix sports metaphors), but I won’t go into them here.
As I reflected on what went right (very little) and wrong (way too much) the old phrase came to mind: “Somedays you’re the windshield, and some days you’re the bug.” (A phrase, I feel, most likely coined by a Florida driver). Saturday, I was definitely the bug. And the windshield wasn’t a Mini Cooper, but a great big ‘ol B.J. and the Bear Kenworth semi truck.
Every marathon I’ve done has had a certain level of pain and discomfort, but nothing like this. Even last year in Boston, when my training wasn’t enough due to injury, I didn’t hit the wall until about mile 16. At Myrtle Beach, the first 10 miles went exactly to plan. Then, B.J.’s truck hit me during mile 12 and a whole convoy followed, pounding me for 14.2 more miles.
I shuffled across the finish in 3:45:18. Certainly not terrible, but quite a bit short of my lofty personal goal. As I thought about the bug/windshield phrase and my past marathon experiences, I realized that rarely am I the windshield. Of my 11 marathons, I’d say in only two was I the windshield. That’s a measly 18% but still much better than my call back rate on job applications.
For the next couple of weeks, I’ll work on repairing my exoskeleton and my “egoskeleton.” Maybe by end of March, my coach and I will have some new strategies to enable me to drive the truck more often.
Thanks for reading,