Well, my friend, I'll save you another Internet search. I ran 3:52. Not as fast as I'd hoped, or promised, but it was a hilly, windy course (the winning time was 2:45) and frankly, I ran a little conservatively, to avoid a repeat of the meltdown in my first marathon. I went to the line thinking I could do 3:40. With some experience at the distance, I think I'll feel more confident about pushing myself next time.Thanks for writing, Ted. I'm glad to see you've got bitten by the marathoning bug again.
On the plus side, my 41-year-old self beat my 29-year-old self by 24 minutes -- on a tougher course -- and I never stopped to walk, so I feel I competed honorably. This really was the first marathon I've "run," since I had to walk in 1996. Also, as opposed to last time, I'm eager to run another, and set another PR. I'm already looking at the Detroit Free Press International Marathon in October. (Detroit is a flat city, like Chicago.) Considering I couldn't run more than 3 miles at a time from 1998 to 2001, I was amazed to be out there. I guess time heals all knees.
One thing I'm not going to do is write an article about it! One of the worst articles I've ever written, and it got the most attention. I was asked to appear on NPR's Talk of the Nation to discuss marathoning, and I said, "Uh, I'd rather not revisit that topic." I've written a lot of articles for Salon since then, and fortunately, no one has mentioned it.
If I hadn't written that article, though, I wouldn't have challenged myself to run the Rockford Marathon. The months of training, and this morning's race, were a wonderful journey.
"Let us run with perseverance the race set out for us." -- Hebrews 12:1.
I think as you know runners, while being defensive of our sport, are also supportive of all who embrace it. So welcome back. And as for journalistic regret, I can identify...