Would you like to improve as a marathoner?  Run more marathons!  At least that's what I told my wife.  Truth be told, in order to be a better FILL IN THE BLANK, you need to do it more often and continue to do it for a number of years.

So when we sat down and we discussed what she could do to help her 2015 Ironman season, I suggested an offseason marathon.  After a quick search, we found the Hoover Dam Marathon in Las Vegas which aligned well with her offseason.

I signed up as well because I felt like I would have been recovered enough from running the hundred.  But after Javelina, recovery was slow, real slow.  Slow to the point that I felt like I'd make the decision to race on race day.

Recovery was moving along, my muscles were fine but I had some aches and pains in various places that prompted me to be a little more cautious with my return to a regular routine.

Slowly but surely, things were coming back together but over the five weeks between Javelina and Hoover Dam, my runs were few and short.

When race week rolled around, I had a couple of hour long runs earlier in the week and a couple of off days due to the never-ending rain in California which is crushing my will to live. 

With the race hanging over my head, I wasn't super happy but I figured I'd survive.

On Friday, we went to the airport for a 1:15 departing flight out of Oakland but due to high winds, the flight was cancelled.  Instead of trying to get on a flight as a standby passenger, we decided to call the airline and switch to the 7:30 flight.

To make a long story short, all of the flights were getting pushed back and our 7:30 flight turned into a 10:00 flight.

Nearly losing our minds, we discovered the wine bar and spent mad cash on wine flights which seemed to ease the pain of being stuck in the airport for an entire day.

Arriving in Vegas around midnight, at the hotel room no long after, and then heading to bed at 1am, we set the alarm for 5am in order to catch the bus to the marathon start.

When the alarm went off, we jumped out of bed.  I was tired but I didn't feel as awful as I thought I would.  Neither of us wasted much time, and after drinking cups of coffee, we made our way down to the bus which took us to the start of the race.

When we arrived, it was cold.  We brought along some garbage bags for warmth but I ended up putting on the free tech shirt over the trash bag and that seemed to do the trick.

Bang!  Not really but the race started and we were off.

My role for the day was pacer.  I had no interest in racing and I'm quite certain there wasn't much 'race' in my body but I did notice a few of the faster looking dudes eyeballing me.  No worries friends, today is your lucky day.

I just followed @go_sheracer for 26.something miles (the course was long) and I did my best to avoid being murdered.  And more importantly, keeping my wife out of prison for my murder.  Maybe my priorities are out of order but I digress.

As the husband and the coach, there are times when I find it challenging to sit in both roles.  When an athlete starts melting down, I channel my inner Lee Emery and pull out the drill sergeant's hat.  When my wife is struggling, I am sympathetic.

Not ideal as the coach and the husband but in the end, I learned a few things which we shared after the race and I feel like what we learned will make her a better runner and a better athlete.  It was enlightening to say the least.

As we neared the end of race, I glanced down at the clock and I knew we were coming in around the 4:30 mark.  I really, really wanted to drive her in under 4:30 but I could see she was going hard and doing a lot of damage control. 

When we signed up for this race, neither of us realized the course was 60% trail.  In addition, it also had some decent elevation gain.  Nothing to cry about but definitely something she's not accustomed to dealing with during a race.

At our current time, she was at a new high watermark for running a marathon.  She was definitely near the end of her rope and rather than push her and possibly break her, I just crowded her a bit to see if I could herd her into the finish a little faster.

Alas, we did not make it in time and she crossed in 4:30:11 and I was two seconds behind her at 4:30:13.  Technically, she beat me.  ;)  So there's that!

Thanks for reading!