I finished the Myrtle Beach Marathon on February 17 in 3:58:15 (gun time)/3:57:10 (chip time) - finally broke four hours!
Here are my pace splits according to my GPS:
According to my GPS, I covered 26.47 miles. It took a minute to cross the start line, I did weave in and out of traffic quite a bit, and I took a short detour to pee in the woods once.
I got into a groove after mile 6, listening to the playlist I had created for my iPod, allowing the music to help me focus on my form and my breathing. As the splits show, a headwind and some distractions slowed me down on mile 19, but I got back into swing fairly quickly. I started to tire around 22, but I just relaxed and kept leading with my core. At mile 24, I started to feel a twinge in my left hamstring. I remember exclaiming out loud, "no, no cramp this time." Passing folks who were walking, stretching, or hobbling after that, I just doubled down and kept focused on form, listening to my music. When I saw the split at mile 26, I was ecstatic!
As my last post showed, I was running very well in December, covering 15 miles with relative ease. I had time to train properly for Myrtle Beach, so I scheduled longer runs to test my legs. I finished strong on my 17, 18, 20, and 22 mile runs and I recovered from them more quickly than ever before. So after my 20 mile run, I talked things over with my wife and registered for the marathon. We made it into a beach trip for the family.
I went into this event more confident in my ability to go the distance than for all previous marathons. It took six years, but I met my goal.
Now, should I even think of trying to qualify for Boston?