On Sunday, November 12 was the day to run my training run at the Ft. Worth Marathon. Initially, I was aiming for a 3:00 hr. finishing time. Thankfully an acquaintance of mine reached out to me to pace him to go fast. I know I have not been training to go faster than 6:00 minutes per mile. The good thing is that he wanted to keep the pace at around 6:29 per mile. I agreed to pace him as long as I could, I knew the weather was going to be on the warm and humid side of things, but I didn’t want to get him to think about it and I knew I was not going to be able to hold the pace that long. I have a hard time cooling down my body when it is humid! 🙁
Here is the recap of how it went.
I arrived to signup for the event at a good time. I had a chance to talk to another running friend of mine ( Froylan Franco ), he was telling me he had some work done in his mouth and didn’t train all week. I didn’t say anything about how I was doing. Instead, I told him about the guy who will be running this marathon to win it. Gabriel Zambrano is a great 1/2 marathoner who was to debut at the full marathon at the FT.Worth Marathon. I don’t remember where I heard about him running it, but I know we were not going to be running alone.
We lined up at the start about 2 minutes before, Ben who is the acquaintance I previously mentioned seem very nervous, but ready to take on the challenge. We paid respects to the flag and right after it was time to get it done. We counted down to start the race, I was pretty relaxed since it was going to be a training run. It is funny how different it feels when you are going to leave everything out there and when you are just there!
The gun went off and there we went! we started and Gabriel Z. took off at an incredible pace. We were holding off since it was the beginning of the race, I was looking at my watch to see my pace but my watch was having issues giving me real readings. 1st mile went by then 2nd mile and immediately 3rd mile. By that time, I was breathing very hard, I had been telling Ben that my watch was not working, so we were going by what his watch was reading, it rained for a little bit during this time and humidity picked up. Mile 4 my watch was reading at 5:40 – 5:59 and I was breathing pretty hard! Mile 5, came and went, we were trying to talk but I was breathing hard still! I couldn’t control it. at mile 6 I told him I was fading and I will catch up with him. He continued running strong as I was staying back to catch my breath. I started breathing better and continued to catch up to Ben. At mile 7 he’s wife had cold bottles of water one for him and one for myself. yess! I pour that cold water all over to cool down my body and felt great. I continued with Ben for another mile and then he was on his own. I could still see him, but I was not going to go that fast, I still needed to complete my goal.
At mile 10, a group of 4 runners passed me running strong and controlled. I started counting the people who were in front of me. Gabriel who had a huge lead from the rest, another guy, and one other, Ben, the 4 other guys and I believe one more. So I told myself, well it looks like I can make it to the top ten if I stay here. So, I continued to climb towards Benbrook park. I was about halfway up the trail when I saw Gabriel and I told him “Vamos con todo campeon, duro!” he looked at me and he didn’t look good! he looked tired. Then, about half a mile I see the 2nd place runner, he look good! I didn’t think much about that. So, I reach the top where the return was and see a bunch of runners including my friend Froylan. So, I picked up the pace, I made it all the way out of the park with nobody behind me. Then, I hear someone behind me and I recognize the way he was breathing. It was Froylan, I was happy he was going to run it strong and win the Masters. I was about 1 block away from him, then I was reeling him in and caught up with him at the water station. At this point, we were about to cross the Trinity River and on to the last 7 miles.
We started on the last stretch and I was so hot and couldn’t cool down, my breathing was starting to be more of a gasp and We were not even at mile 20! Finally, we reached a water station where I stopped to drink water and take 3 salt tabs, I had placed them in the side of my mouth ( by the way, don’t try it! I burned my mouth ) and so, I saw other runners pass me. We finally started to get into the crowd with the 1/2, 20 and the marathon runners. I didn’t know where the full marathoners were and if I had passed any! so I continued. I passed a guy who had a great haircut, the cut had 26.2 shaved on his head. Then I passed another guy who seemed familiar. Then I saw Froylan, but I was running on the sandy side of the trail, so I couldn’t say anything. I continued, then I passed one of the guys who I recognized from the group of 4 people running up the park. There was the turn to the finish, I saw another acquaintance of mine and he started running next to me. He gave me the updates of the people who were in front of me and I don’t know why I pushed the pace!
I made the turn to the bridge and I had about 3/4 of a mile to the finish line. I passed 2 more marathoners and another, I started pushing even more my breathing was so weird, I turned to the finish line and I crossed the line almost to the point of falling over. I got a big surprise when a woman came over to me and held me with two hands one on my chest and the other on my back. I couldn’t breathe! she was pressing so hard on both ends.. oh! it’s my mother!!! I finally was able to make some gestures to my wife and she asked my mom to take her hands off of me…. ah! I was able to breathe! It was an awesome surprise, Mom, Dad and My Sister Ana came to see me. yay!
my wife was there as well! she stood back as she knows the routine! Then, after I was able to breathe and I talked to Ben who came in at 3:01 hrs for the marathon and I made it in 3:04 we had a great laugh. It was a beating.
Great work to all who ran this great marathon and hopefully next year, I get to race it!
Back to Gabriel Zambrano, as I said before this is was his first attempt at a full marathon and it showed! He started super fast, I mean 5:00 minute per mile fast. When I saw him coming back from the park he was about to be done. I saw him before mile 20, he was cramping and could not continue. Good luck to him on his next try!