TITLE: On the whole... AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 01, 2006 7:54 PM DESC: ----- BODY: W.C. Fields, who is attributed with this sentiment ... I'd rather be in Philadelphia. -- W. C. Fields My race today effectively ended today at the 21-mile mark, when my legs cramped badly enough that I could no longer run. My training partner, who was running ahead of me by a few minutes, suffered the same fate. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say, I relived much of this experience and ended with a time slower than Chicago 2003. At least I was wise enough to back off when the truth made itself know, which I had hoped to be yesterday. As a result, I enjoyed the back half of the Twin Cities course more this year. I saw many beautiful churches as we moved down St. Paul's Summit Avenue. I made a little guy who was watching the runners with his daddy smile by making a little face for him. And, when we came upon a couple of elderly ladies dressed nicely and giving their time this morning to cheer us on, I connected with one of the ladies, and the smile that lighted up her face lifted my spirits. When you end up walking as much as I did today, you have a lot of time to reflect on what the world has served up. What did I do wrong? Peak to soon in training? Taper poorly? Eat poorly in the last week, last days? Hydrate insufficiently on the course -- or too much? (I drank steadily throughout, and more than ever before.) Was the day out of my control, with soaring temperatures that caught even the meteorologists off guard? Am I just not equipped physically to run 8:00 miles for a full 26.2? Is it only Minneapolis? I have no answers yet. But I do have more doubts about myself after this race than last year's. I may need to walk a lot more more miles to work through the questions and doubts. -----