Last year I made my longstanding goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon on this route. I think I would love it, even if I hadn't qualified.
It's beautiful. It is a packed gravel greenway with all the benefits of trail running and none of the technicality. The trail follows the Iron Horse Trail through the forrest with small waterfalls and gorges along the way.
THIS year, Randy came out to run his first marathon and we chose this one to run together because of how much I talked about it last fall.
I had kind of a hard training cycle this time 'round. I increased all my goal paces with the goal of a new PR. I had gotten used to rocking all my workouts, but decided during Taper Week (when all the best decisions are made) in my last cycle that it was time to get uncomfortable again.
So...yeah. I was uncomfortable.
The week before race day I got this text from Randy. "Don't check the weather..."
Uh? Well, I wasn't going to check until closer to race day, but...WHAT?!
NINTY TWO DEGREES.
I've run in some hot marathons before. St. George Pt 1 & Pt 2 anyone? Tucson? Boston?
It's miserable to run in the heat, and stops you in your tracks.
I couldn't see how I could make my goals...and after all that training! Again!
Add to that, Randy wanted to try for a 3:30 finish time.
I was thinking more along the lines of 3:35. That would have taken off 2:46 from my PR, which is HUGE during a marathon. I mean, I worked for almost 3 years to take that amount off my marathon time.
Due to the heat the race directors did let us start 30 minutes earlier than scheduled in an effort to beat some of the heat. Which I GREATLY appreciated. 30 minutes is over 3 miles for me. A LOT can happen in 3 miles.
I guess it's pretty clear, I was SUPER nervous.
I meant to ask my mom if she would do her relaxation thing on me again, but didn't. The time change makes it tricky to work those types of things out.
Instead I opted for food therapy. I've been on a beet kick lately so I got a delicious roasted beet salad with goat cheese. I love goat cheese.
Race day bloomed nice a sunny...which would normally be a welcome sight, but when you face at least 3:30 hours of running, a cloudy day with maybe a light mist sounds AMAZING.
Off we went! (after a stranger fixed my headlamp strap because it was twisted and bugging him. It takes a village to raise a Terra). The funny thing about the starting line on this course is that you run about 100 yards and then turn around and run back:) The nice thing is that you get cheered by your friends twice!
It took me a bit to CALM DOWN about the feeling of impending doom, and find my pace and get my mind wrapped around running a marathon, but with some zen thoughts and even breathing, I managed to get a grip on myself.
Running through the tunnel was a lovely 50 degrees. I could have run the entire race in there.
|Exiting the tunnel|
26.2 miles of roadside concierge service.
|"If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up" (Ferris Bueller)|
He even kept conversation up! I really can't stress how awesome he was.
Chrissy was awesome as Pit Crew Boss again. She and Drew were at each trail head cheering for us, and made sure Drew was ready to hit the trail at the right spot.
I can't even describe how easy this race felt.
I felt great the entire run.
I had a little bobble about a quarter mile from the finish line because I kept thinking I would see the arch around the next turn and didn't, but really I felt amazing. Josh kept having to tell me how fast I was running and suggesting I might want to slow down.
At one point he asked me if I realized by how much I was going to crush my goal. I told him I had just done the math, and to not talk about it:) There was still time to mess it all up.
There is always time to mess up a marathon.
But I didn't! (Unless you count those annoying 19 seconds that I totally walked away while I was wondering where that blasted finish line was).
I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:30:19!
(I also totally "chicked"Randy:) )