|A little day-before-race silliness.|
Friday night as Kevin was packing his suitcase to leave the next morning, I started asking him questions about the marathon. My summer has been zooming by so quickly that I hadn't had much time to look up information about the race. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "I don't know much about this race. I haven't gotten a single e-mail."
Kevin: "You haven't? Not even a confirmation e-mail?"
Me: "No. You signed me up right?"
Kevin: "No. I thought you signed yourself up."
Uh-oh. In the course of the next few min we realized that through miscommuncation, I had failed to sign myself up for the race...and it was full. I was...sad. Some might say I even got a little misty-eyed. Yes, it's silly. It's just a run....to some people. I would like to blame my emotions on my deteriorating picture of health as I had been fighting sickness for the past few days, but in reality, I'm really just a nerd and like running that much. That coupled with the excitement that I got to run with Kevin, which in the past three years has happened about twice, I was bummed.
Without any hope at all, but not having anything to lose, I e-mailed the race director and then crawled into bed to sleep off my disappointment.
The next morning to my surprise, I did have an e-mail from the race director saying to call her after 9 a.m. Long story short, I explained my situation to her and she laughed and said that I could sign up and run. Yay! Off to Bend we went.
|My other half and I.|
Sun morning I woke at 2 a.m. feverish, shaky, sick. Ugh. No bueno. Having had sick kiddos at home the past week, I could have guessed this was coming, but was secretly hoping it would wait until after the marathon. No such luck. After all I had been through on my emotional roller coaster getting into this race though, there was no way I wasn't going to run it now. I tossed and turned until Kevin woke up at 3 a.m. and then bolted out of bed to take some ibuprofen. I got in a few more hours of sleep and then finally crawled out of bed at 5 a.m. dosing up on the ibuprofen again. (I don't think this is recommended so don't try this at home.)
|The starting line. The last time I saw him.|
The starting line was the usual group of men dressed in entirely too short shorts doing their dynamic stretching exercises that leave nothing to the imagination and women dressed in tiny bun-hugging outfits designed for a 9-year-old girl. I love this sport. Out here, anything goes.
We collected at the starting line, AKA the place on the pavement they pointed to and told us to stand behind, and after a few instructions, we were off and running. Out of the parking lot and across the street and...then we were stopped again. Bottle-necked as we funneled onto the single-track trail. Very quickly Kevin disappeared from my sight and I settled in at the pace of everyone else around me. It was fun. Running through the woods seeing a constant stream of people ahead and behind you all running at the same pace, dust flying in your face and mouth. The soft padding of shoes hitting the ground all around you. It was strangely peaceful to me. I normally run with music and I did bring my phone and headphones with me on this run, but I thought I would run without them until I got to the point that I needed more motivation and then put my headphones in. I never needed them.
|Part-way up the steepest hill.|
After the first three miles, the run starts the uphill climb that lasts for the next 10 miles. I knew that my body was not feeling amazing, but I decided I would just run the best I could and make the most of it even if I wasn't lightning fast. I dug in and plugged away at the hill. It wasn't so bad. It was definitely going up, but for the most part I could run from aid station to aid station. After one of the aid stations there was a girl stopped to stretch and I yelled out (like a creeper I'm sure) "I like your skirt! What brand is that?" Have I mentioned I'm a total nerd. She had the cutest patagonia running skirt. I want one.
|If you could see through the sweat, the view was beautiful.|
WARNING: If you're not comfortable with bodily functions, skip this next paragraph.
I'd like to take a minute and just throw out some talk on running etiquette. Not speaking to anyone specific, but if by chance, you are climbing up a 2.8 mile hill and you have the need to alleviate some gas pressure from your body, please don't pass me and then promptly do it in front of me. Especially if you feel like something is dying inside of you. Because the chances are, if you feel that way, it likely smells that way. And, when I'm gasping for air and all the air that I can breathe in at that moment is foul, well, it just doesn't make things pleasant. I'm not asking you not to relieve yourself from your abdominal pressure, I'm simply suggesting that you either do it before you pass me, or step to the side.
|Single-track with a halo of dust.|
|After 13.1 miles of uphill.|
|Warren coming in to finish.|
|The only pic I could get. Eating afterwards.|
The good news from all of this, as Kevin pointed out, is that I did have a PR for a trail marathon. Since it was my first one, I guess that gives me something to beat on my next trail marathon. (I think my final time was 5:14 or something like that. I walked more during this marathon than I ever had. Oh well.) Even though I felt less than stellar, it was an extremely fun run and beautiful. I absolutely loved running on the single track trails. Yes, I fell in love with trail running. I would definitely do this one again.
Just 60 days until the next marathon. The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Hopefully I can get in some good training between now and then and redeem myself from being so slow. Fast or slow though, I always enjoy it. It's always fun to me. There's always something to learn about yourself out there and I like to make the most of it.
Now back to my blanket, chicken soup, and cold medicine.