Well, I did it...I tackled my longest race mileage to date. I did not complete a full 50k, but I did complete 27.012 miles. And I have the shirt to prove it.
The course: a 2.7 mile loop, run multiple times. To complete a marathon, you had to run 9-3/4 loops. The 50k required 11-1/2 loops. The catch, you had to complete a full loop in order for the marathon and/or 50k time to count.
The schwag: just a shirt and a medal. But that’s ok, I don’t really want to drag a bunch of stuff back in my suitcase anyway. Oh and hammer gel sample.
The story: There was a slight delay in the race start due to repositioning one of the markers. The location was Warwick City Park near the airport. And even though I was minutes from the airport, I felt completed secluded in a beautiful setting with the waterfront as my backdrop. The course was “rolling” and had a wicked bad series of three hills on the back side of the loop. The downside was that I had to tackle the hills at least 10 times! Ouch! The front of the course had many ups and downs, but also had long, steady inclines, which were tough on the quads and glutes. The course was very winding, and I learned a new body part could hurt. From all the pivoting around the curves, my hips really took a beating.
I have had the opportunity, through all these races, to run a variety of courses: point-to-point, out-and-back, figure eights, and now a loop. Each has its pros and cons, but I have to say I liked how running a marathon or beyond, broken down into manageable sections, really made the course must easier to run….at least until the 8th loop when I was done with the SAME course!
Meg sat in the car between laps, which generally lasted a half hour/loop. She would hop out of the car, see what I needed, act interested, then hop back into the car to warm up. My first two “laps” I waved and smiled at Megan, calling her “pumpkin” and telling her it was a nice day out. I shall call this my “happy mom/runner” stage. Everyone goes through this at the beginning of a race - that euphoric feeling. My third lap was a request for half of my ginger Larabar, followed by the other half at the end of the 4th loop. The end of the fifth lap was a shout out for Tylenol (13 miles were completed at this point and time to load up on the “performance-enhancing” drug called Acetaminophen). I was keeping a nice easy pace until the 7th mile when I lost 2 minutes on the loop. This is where I turned into “tired, just-give-me-what-I-need” mom. The 8th loop I only slightly waved at Meg, but she said it was more like, “Don’t talk to the hand” kind of motion…not really a wave. When I started my 9th loop, I grunted, “I’ll be finished soon.” When I hit the 10the lap, the poor girl only got a nod with, “See you in a few minutes.” Oddly enough, I PR’d in this race finishing the marathon in 5:06:21. Nine minutes better than my June 2010 Grandma’s Marathon finish and nearly an hour better than my 2007 Marine Corps Marathon time. Yet, sadly, I didn’t really care. I was tired of the whole running thing and, quite honestly, I just wanted to hang out with my daughter at Nordstrom’s, checking out the new Ella Moss tops, and drinking coffee drinks (which we did post-race).
When the race was over, Megan took me over to the beach area and we sat on the bench listening to the shore, the waves, the birds and it was beautiful. Best of all, I had changed into my uber-comfortable hot pink crocs. So even though the race was not terribly exciting, the weekend with my daughter was amazing and unforgettable. I love running, but my body and mind needs a little downtime. This will only last a couple of days...then you'll find me running on the bike paths in no time.
Oh, I hit the 1,000 mile mark at the end of the race!