A good long race report is needed. In case you are impatient (like me) I finished marathon #48 in 5:20 by the chip, 5:13 minus the pit stops.
Several months ago, I was planning my summer vacation with a friend from Alberta Canada. We had met before in Wyoming, so I was searching around that area for a marathon. Preferably over Labor Day weekend. At first we looked at Jackson Hole, but hotels there are expensive. So we settled on Pocatello “Running the Gap” marathon. At that point, looking on United Airlines, I noticed I could get first class tickets for only slightly more than “economy plus+bag check fee” so I went for it. In first class, they call me Miss Bellman. United Airlines did a great job.
Packet pickup was quick. The back pack and shirt were nice. Expo was small.
Driving the course. Habs and I drove the course. We were astounded at how steep some of the hills looked. I knew I wasn’t going to be sprinting down them. We also got a look at the long straight boring final 8 miles.
Bus ride. The race did have numerous large luxury buses to take us to the start. Everything was easy and on time. Habs and I had to tell the driver where to go though; this added to the fact the driver seemed unfamiliar with the controls on the bus made us pray we got there safely.
Scenery. It was dark at first. I was going about 12 min miles. After about 25 min, I caught up to my friend Larry. Larry has run over 1,500 marathons. He doesn’t go fast but he is somewhere at a marathon every weekend (sometimes 2). His picture is in Marathon Maniacs magazine a lot. Then after it warmed up, I decided to take off my head band. When I took off my hat, my sun glasses fell. The girl running next to me immediately picked them up and asked if I would like her to fix it. I said sure. Then she said, “I do this for a living.” Seriously good luck for me.
As the sun came over the mountains, I was in a very pretty area so I lolly gagged a bit and took some pics. I had no reason to be in a hurry. That patch on my knee is my number.
As the down hill part is about 15 miles, I did start doing some walking after about 13 miles. I continued the race doing 7x1s. Except for 4 pit stops, my speed averaged just over 12 min miles.
The wind. We ran into a 20 mph cold head wind for at least 8 miles. I got cold and had to put my sleeves back on. Every Marathon has its moment of truth where you want to quit. Some call this the wall. For me, it is beyond my training envelope and when I have to reach down inside for some non-physical power. About mile 17, going into that wind, I realized I was dying. I needed to get my brain to activate those stores of energy it wants to keep for itself. I need to be conscious of when wanting to die happens. If I stay asleep, I slowly slow down and feel bad for the rest of the race. If I wake up and get the power flipped on, I find determination and a lessening of the pain. On this day, I put my head down and concentrated on the strides. It worked.
At the end of the race, just after I turned out of the wind, I was able to really pick up speed and run like a runner into the finish. It felt fantastic. Then Mr Habs gave me my medal and a hug. Chip time was 5:20. Garmn time was 5:13.
Habs had already eaten a steak and potato dinner at the finish line. I had no interest in food, but ate some watermelon. Then decided I was very cold so we went back to our hotels. I took a scalding hot shower and stood in it for a very very long time.
And I relaxed in the Hampton Inn laundry room with Habs; and ate a cookie.
I am incredibly happy to have finished another marathon. No issues at all with knees or heels. I do have a case of DOMS in my quads, but nothing serious. Tomorrow I fly home and still have the rest of the week for running in Seabrook. Next stop is the Fort Worth marathon.