Yesterday evening I started getting a head cold and despite my best efforts to feel better this morning, I still did not feel well. I was totally angry about that, but it did serve as a nice distraction from the weather. Thankfully the nasty storms passed in the night, but it was breezy and raining lightly for most of the race.
When I signed up for this marathon I knew it was a four loop course. I did not realize at the time how hard it would be to run the same thing four times. It was awful. I don't recommend it at all.
Finally, my last complaint was the slippery course. We rain on paved trails, under bridges, and across wooden bridges. The bridges were very slippery. There were at least four areas of serious mud. I refused to run through the mud because my feet were already wet. I would never have been able to tolerate muddy wet feet for 26 miles. This was really the worst thing...the course conditions. I walked past the muddy areas and had to slow my pace on the bridges that went around curves.
I went to the race by myself. Drew left me a little present on my GU. What a wonderful surprise and loving words of encouragement! Love him!!
Drew and the kids came later. They stayed at the turn around spot which was also the start/finish line. I saw them at the half, at mile 20 and at the finish. It was encouraging to see their faces.
Despite all the things not in my favor I still planned to do my best. There is no point in training and getting up early for the race to quit mentally. The first 15 miles were actually pretty good. My legs felt tired and I think that was because I was not feeling well. I was not as cold as I thought I would be. I was encouraged that I was approximately the 7 or 8th female....a benefit of a small race! My mile splits up to this point were under 9 minutes and I was really pleased about that.
After mile 15 I started to struggle. It rained pretty consistently and harder from mile 14-20. I was getting colder and obviously tired. I was also pretty sick of seeing the same things again and again. My head was starting to fall apart and my body was not far behind! My times slowed and it was a struggle to stay around 9:30 splits.
The last 6.2 miles pretty much sucked. I took some short walking breaks to rest my legs. I think this served me well because it allowed me to keep running longer and an overall faster pace. I just focused on getting from one bridge to the next or from one water station to the next. There was no one mile at a time anymore. That was too long. The last 2 miles seemed like the longest miles EVER! I have never been so happy to see the 26 mile marker. I knew I only had to run for 2 minutes or less and I could do that.
|Barely alive and barely running and almost finished! Praise the Lord!|
Marathon finishers receive a 3.3lb medal. I was handed it almost after crossing the finish line. I was so seriously tired that I could not hold it. I immediately gave it to Samuel. It was taking too much energy just to walk upright and adding 3.3lbs more to that process was asking too much. Isn't that nuts?
Drew being totally awesome brought a beach towel which he wrapped on me almost immediately. I was freezing and shivering like a fool so it was such a blessing. This race was the year of the rat race. I don't know why. Also, each finisher is awarded a finishing place number. There are no age group winners. I finished 40th overall so I was given a squeezy rat with 40 on it. Pretty cool I guess. Drew hates rats so he was appalled. Elena took it because she thought it was a cool toy!
|Almost frozen solid!|
After some post race pizza, I changed my clothes. I was dry, but still not warm. It took me until about 3pm to feel warm. I was able to have a lovely restful afternoon. Drew and I celebrated my small victory with a mimosa toast!
We capped off our New Year's Day with dinner at our friends house and some fireworks.
I cannot think of a better way to start my year. I ran a marathon PR in tough conditions. I watched football. I napped. I ate a yummy dinner that I did not cook. Finally, I spent the entire day with my family and closest friends.
I hope your new year started as amazing as mine did!