Back in action. I did run the marathon on Sunday. It seems like a fuzzy memory to me now, sort of like child birth but with less goo and more Gu. I got to the race about 20 minutes early and ended up waiting in line for a port-a-john for like 18 minutes. Then I sprinted to the start. It was a small race of people with small bladders. I think 200 or so ran the full marathon and another 200 did the half plus a bunch of relayers.
We had a moment of silence for Boston and then we took off. I started very conservatively and didn’t have much of a goal for this race other than to not feel like shit at the end. So the funny thing about this race was that there were NO clocks anywhere on the course. And I didn’t bring my phone which is my only GPS device. So I literally had no idea how fast I was going. It was kind of nice.
The course itself was hilly. My version of hilly which probably isn’t hilly at all. We started out on rural roads of rolling hills. Then we came back into town for awhile and even ran through an old graveyard. Around mile 12 or 13 I caught up with some ladies and chatted with them for a few minutes. they invited me to run with their group sometime on Sundays. They were nice, but I probably won’t. After I passed them, spectators kept yelling that I was the first woman. I was pretty surprised and dismayed by this. I did not need the added pressure.
I don’t think I ever felt truly fatigued. I chewed my Shot Bloks at regular intervals, stopped to pet a dog, walked through a couple of water stops. They had timing mats at every 6.55m but no clock. The race got sparse as we headed back out to the rolling hills to finish. I was relieved to pass mile 20 and planned on walking again at mile 22. Well mile 22 came and I kept going. Then we turned a corner and BOOM wind. It was coming from the southwest as we were running west, but it was still really difficult to run against. I had snot flying across my face and i had to take off my hat so I wouldn’t lose it. I was dreading the next turn to direct south. After mile 23 was that turn. The wind was horrible. It was probably 25 mph. I could see the men ahead of me walking. At this point I knew it was just a battle of wills to the finish. I had no goal and didn’t care if anyone passed me. Just wanted to finish. The hills continued, I passed many men who cheered me on and one who said I was going to BQ. I said, really what’s our time? We were at 3:24 with less than a mile to go. I pushed my way up the final hill and my calves started to seize up. I have never had that happen before. It was like they wouldn’t flex. I almost panicked and wandered how I was going to finish if I couldn’t move my legs. I crested the top of the hill and finally they started working again.
The last .2 was into the stadium and on the track. I squinted to see the finish clock and saw 3:29 so I ran as fast as my fatigued ass could carry me to the finish. My time was 3:30:29. So I improved on my finish 4 weeks ago, but no PR . It was definitely better than I expected to finish. The announcer said I was the first woman but then later when I looked online, I saw that I was actually 2nd. So I have no idea why people thought I was 1st. My time certainly is not a first place time. They do have the splits online and I was very consistent through the race, running each quarter in about 51 min. Then of course the last 6.55 against the wind was 4 minutes slower. Had the wind not been so bad, I may have had a PR. BLAST!
I took two full days off and then ran 3 yesterday and 4 today. Now that the temp is finally warmer than a witch’s tit, I am enjoying running outside and feeling pretty good. Up next is a 5k on May 4th. Yuck. Why did I sign up for a 5k? Then the Peoria races are in May and I’m wavering between the 25k or marathon. I will have to see how I recover from this one. I would REALLY like to PR and they have a 3:25 pacer, but I will try to just do it for enjoyment and see where I end up.