I still don't have a good reason for my dismal marathon performance. Possible factors include not enough carb loading, which I eased up on in hopes of having my stomach behave this time around (I think I was a bit over-filled for NYC), or perhaps taking too long of a taper, which could lead to some de-conditioning of the quads for all of the pounding on the rolling course. Whatever the reasons are, I'm trying to put this one behind me.
Conditions seemed perfect at the start with overcast skies and a temperature of 35 degrees, and I had a very good feeling about how the race would go. The first hour went by quickly with steady miles of 5:52-5:58, but soon after the wind kicked up and became a factor. The halfway mark found me at 1:17:38 (the only accurate split for the online tracking), but around mile 14 I found myself struggling a bit to stay on pace the cross-wind turned into a strong headwind. Mile splits started to fade to 6:00, then 6:10, and by 19 I knew that even 2:40 would be almost impossible. The lungs were fine, but the legs were aching. It hurt to pick them up, and I could feel all the power going out of my stride. The last four miles were grim and slow, and I hit the line in a disappointing 2:49.
On a more positive note, the three friends who also did the race had great days. My training buddy Lucas ran a 2:38, and he looked great when he passed me around the 18 mile mark.
Since the race I've been running sparingly, and the legs really held on to the soreness a bit longer than usual. I'll be back for the spring races, but I'm in no hurry at the moment.
Thanks for reading. I'll be going on extended hiatus for the holidays, but I wish you all good health and good running.