So yes, I did finish the marathon on Saturday. Showing up that morning, I still lacked motivation but at least my knee felt less wonky. As I got there and surveyed the course, I felt my stomach drop out a bit and I realized that I was going to have to run this loop 26 times. Around a “park” that was really just a bunch of grass and some baseball diamonds. However, it was very well organized and our timing chips, as well as in person counters kept track of the laps for us.
We got started and I immediately could not feel my feet. They were numb from the cold for about 5 miles. I went out way too fast, partly due to this and partly because I wasn’t really sure how far I was going to run. I was still wavering on whether or not to do the whole thing. We did the first lap with an added little leg of .2 in about 8:40. I don’t remember where I was for any of the other miles, until the half when I was at 1:42. Anyways, around mile 8 I was bored. I was not into it mentally, at all. I tried an audiobook. Didn’t help. Finally put some music on around mile 10 but I don’t recall really listening to any of it. The only thing I listened to was the mental conversation I was having in my head. Should I stop after 13 laps, or should I make this a long run? 16 or 20 laps? My upper back started to cramp up really bad around mile 12 and I was pretty sure that was the end for me. I stopped to use the porta johns and sat there contemplating what to do. Finally I decided to keep going and at least get to 20 miles. Somewhere after mile 15 I decided that my legs were fine and if I just kept going and stopped to drink water, I would be fine. I think the water did help my cramps, but they never went completely away. I usually hold my iPod, but I tucked it into my shirt and that helped the back pain too.
I decided my ultimate goal would just be to finish and if I had to stop and rub my shoulders or back, or walk, then so be it. My legs felt fine, but I did stop and massage my shoulders, stretch my hamstrings, and took a couple more walk breaks. So many people were run/walking at this point, I didn’t care. They kind of motivated me because I knew they would be out there for a lot longer than I was, and I they showed no signs of giving up. Finally when I hit mile 20, I knew for sure that I would finish. I went through mile 23 at 3:08 and thought that was pretty good, I could probably hold 9 minute miles through the last three, but course I stopped to use the bathroom again. Mile 25 was probably around 8:30 and then mile 26 was probably around 8 so I finished in 3:34:29. Another BQ, but no PR. I figured that I took it easy enough that April’s marathon could be a PR, but boy am I sore today. Probably from the cold. My quads are screaming.
Well this morning I ran 3 slow painful miles on the treadmill, only because I have a 3 hour car ride later today. Will be out of town until Thursday evening for work crap. Will be missing my Red and corgis.