Ok, so where were we..(click here for part 1)
Ahh yes, now I remember – mile 13 – as I see the half marathoners finish I continue on alone. The next time I see this street I will be finishing the Run Crazy Horse marathon. I knew that it was going to probably be a long and lonely remaining run to the finish.
Immediately after passing through town there were only a few runners ahead of me; no crowds cheering us on, no trees shading us from the rising heat. After about a mile of pavement, I was back on the loose rock of the Mickelson Trail, unfortunately THIS is where the uphill started…about the next 5.5 miles would be uphill. This would become a very deceiving hill though. The trail appeared flat but oh it was not! Between the heat, dehydration and the increasing elevation, I immediately felt my pace slow. I went from 9:13 to 9:30 to 9:45 in no-time.
I slowed down on purpose though, I knew I would going to need to conserve energy over the next 5.5 miles. I knew I could run the entire race, but during these moments of no shade, no fan support, no water…it was tempting to walk for just a second.
Little did I know what was going on during this time. Camp Krier/Waby was setting up at mile 17…which was also mile 22!
Anyone who ran the marathon probably became familiar with camp Krier/Waby. The 4 cheered on all the runners with a special “You Can Do It” sign and baby clapped them on like a proper American cheerleader 🙂 When I saw them just a few minutes after the mile 17 water station, it was like the heavens opened up. Tired, sweaty and thirsty…my family had exactly what I needed…hugs, kisses and cold water bottles!!
Did I mention how hot is was? HOT. Too hot to be running a marathon, that’s for sure. That’s me in the blue dumping almost a full water bottle down my back. It felt sooo good! THAT, and I was excited to just have more water supply. Now with more energy it was upward for another 2.5 miles before the turnaround point. Around the 18 mile marker, SHADE, beautiful, glorious, cool SHADE appeared! I felt even more energized now. Mile 19…another water station and a sprinkler!!!! I danced around in a little circle around the sprinkler – I was so happy! More runners were now walking though, not a good sign. I was passing runners that passed me at the start line.
Mile 20…the turnaround point! Two lovely older people were running the water station and they kindly filled up my entire water bottle! At the turnaround point…the run literally turned around! DOWNHILL…a nice steady downhill until the finish! My now 9:58 pace was about to improve! This is what I’ve been waiting for. I was incorporating my long strides and sprints now, just like I’d practiced on all those long runs. My legs suddenly felt no pain. My upper body was lose and relaxed. I was going FAST!
My body was thrilled for another dose of cold aqua! I bet they were relieved that I reported I was feeling very good! The next time I would see the fam would be at the finish line! I was still going fast and did not plan on letting up. About mile 24, the shade disappeared again but with only 2 miles to go, I kept saying, “20 minutes, run fast for 20 minutes and you’ll be done!”
Of course, guess what…Mile 25.25 a little steep uphill at the last minute! Everyone in front of me was walking (all two of them), but I refused. Running those mountains in Spain were going to pay off right now! And it did!
The hill was over and now it was a downhill to the finish line. I could see it! I was already celebrating to the traffic guards with my arms up in the air, “yes, yes, yes, yes.” So, right when I thought we were done, they made us go around the stinkin’ block! Oh, well…just keep on keeping it on!
Finish line to the left! Smiles…nothing but smiles!
The 4th marathon could not have been sweeter.
This was my first post-baby marathon. I did the training, put in the time and it paid off!
This was the most needed ice bath ever. Followed by a much needed rest on the couch until baby woke up. Of course the day I run a marathon, hubby played 3 hours of soccer. We were both very sore going into our celebration supper.
My take on running a small marathon (900 total runner, less then 200 for the marathon):
I thought I would hate running a small marathon. I ended up loving it! With less runners you recognize more of your surroundings as well as the runners around you, you get more attention from the water station peeps, the bathroom lines are shorter and everyone supports everyone! Hubby liked it as well. He was able to cheer me on in more places and recognized the same runners at each stop! The start line was great as well. Instead of taking 15 minutes to just reach the start line, it only took seconds and you weren’t tripping over one another those first 3 miles like I remember in the previous 3 marathons. I also placed: 41st to finish, 12th female and 2nd in my age group. I think that’s rather hilarious!