Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Mayor is a Freakin Animal!

Well, as a lot of you know I am coming off my 5th marathon in 6 months and am just under two weeks away from my 50 miler on April 12th. This last marathon was great in all aspects; the weather turned out to be pretty much perfect, the course was challenging but fun, constantly changing and lined with support, it marked the start to a great weekend of sports (go Nationals!) and, I ran the whole thing (well, almost the whole thing) with our great Mayor, Adrien Fenty.

I've been training with him and his training group off and on since before my first marathon last October and have really enjoyed the group and been inspired by everyone in it. So it was exciting to be headed down with them to another race, especially since it is technically the only marathon in DC. Alot of the group was running the half, even Fenty was considering it seeing how he was feeling under the weather; but there were a few of us there planning on getting the whole thing in. I needed to because it would be my last long run before the real long one. Either way, it was great to ride down there with everyone and to share in the freezing cold excitement of the start of a race.

We started from the front line and began running towards the capitol. I ran next to the Mayor as he was pushing a perfect pace for me and I wanted to be able to feed off someone for a while, even if he did break off at 13.1, I would make decent time having been by him that long. We passed the half way point and kept on trucking, never slowing down at all. I stopped looking at my watch around mile 3 and just enjoyed the fact that my body didn't hurt as bad as my last four (and the fact that after the half way point, it was me all alone, running with the Mayor (another one of the group was with us through the half)). At about mile 20 Fenty started to pull away, or, a better way to look at it is, I started slowing down. I felt my legs starting to get heavy and we were entereing a long, straight and very windy portion of the course. This kept up for about 3 miles until I realized something: I wasn't really as fatigued as I thought. My legs didn't hurt, they just felt tired, I wasn't out of breath, nothing like my other runs. Fenty was out of reach at this point, on a great pace I assumed, so, I would just pick it up and go as hard as I could if I felt fine enough to do so... so that's what I did.

The last 3 miles I ran in under 8:45 per mile and I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:50:22, a PR (personal record) by around 7 minutes. The best part, I felt totally fine. My legs were tored of course, but I could walk fine, I could bend over, I could move around; it was great. And then, to add to the craziness of the day, I got to our meet up point and found out that Fenty had finished in just over 3 hours and 40 minutes, a PR by about 16 minutes (a record he held from the age of 16 he told me). We both had a pretty good run is what I'm getting at here people. Granted, his was a bit better than mine, but, I am so happy with my finishing time and hope to work on improving that over the years; maybe even besting him at some point.

(The Mayor has the Fleet Feet shirt on, I am to his left)

But this isn't why I call him an animal. If you haven't read my article on him by the way, please go to my website and check it out in the articles section. I call him an animal because today I went out with the group, two days after 26.2 and figured we'd go on a nice easy 4 miler or something. Well, with Fenty at the front, we blazed through 55 minutes of street and trail probably covering a bit over 6 miles. I was not planning on running today at all, and then, when he asked me to come out, I figured "come on, he's got to be about as sore as me, it'll be a nice jog"; but noooo... good ol' work horse himself, a guy who has got to be 20 times busier than me, sleeps 2 or more hours less than me, has a wife a two kids more than me (I have neither for those who are wondering) and beats my best marathon time has the toughness to push on through 6 more tough miles...and you know he'll hot the pool and the bike tomorrow.

What a great leader.

I am proud to know him and to be able to run next to him.

Thank you Mayor Fenty!

Josh Courage

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