Only? ONLY. What is wrong with me? Why is 13.12 not enough? Why do I feel like I didn’t do enough? I wanted to do more. but honestly it is best that I didn’t.
Yesterday, the sunniest and warmest day of the year thus far, I participated in the Green River Marathon. I decided to do it kind of as a relay with my friend AN the RB. Logistically this was the most complicated race ever. It was a point to point so it is difficult to get everything in order. But we made our plan:
- Park AN the RB’s car at the end.
- I pick her up at the end.
- Drive my car to beginning.
- I run from the start to the half.
- AN the RB drive to 13.1 and run the half to the finish.
- I run A) the rest of the way with her or B) drive to mile 19, 20, or 22, park and finish with her.
- Drive from finish to my car, wherever it may be.
Sounds pretty easy. I picked AN the RB up at the finish around 8 AM (everyone was encouraged to meet at the finish at 7, but alas I make my own rules and like to be fashionably late…). She jumped in the car and we headed to what we thought was the start. It didn’t take long to realize what we thought was the start was actually only the half point. Oh shoot. Thank goodness for smart phones!!! We arrived at the start at 8:21. Perfect!! Only 9 min to start! I texted Mel and she was in the Honey Bucket line! We headed over to get our Relay Number written on our leg Triathlon style.
I saw everyone lining up on a small bridge. I decided I would stand where I was, where I THOUGHT was the FRONT of the pack. I planned to just jump in when I saw Mel. The guy said GO! and everyone ran the other way. Shoot. I was in fact about 50 feet behind the last runners. Grrrr…..off to a great start. I said bye to AN the RB and headed out for a short 2 mile out and 2 mile back. I was dead last…the back of the pack, bringing up the rear…the end, the tail, the one left behind. I started out in LAST PLACE. What the heck. This sucks. Oh well, it didn’t take long for me to start passing people. People who were running 26.2 miles. How many miles was I going to run? It also didn’t take long for me to decide I was going to stop at 13.1.
Shoot. I totally forgot to text my friend RED before the race started. She was also planning to come to the 13.1 mark and run some too. I took my phone out and texted her, all I could get out was “Running”. I kept running and was looking forward to seeing Mel when she would be running back. Sure enough right by the turn around I saw Mel and her friend. I waved like a crazy woman and she turned around to run with me. It was great to see her, it’s been tooooo long!! I was no longer in the back thanks to an 8:14 first mile and 8:35 mile 2.
When we approached the place where we started I saw the porta potty and knew I should use it. I didn’t want Mel to have to wait for me plus I could tell her friend was wanting to unleash the beast, something about being an Ironman….crazy dude! So I told her to go ahead. I hit the porta potty and continued on my way.
Things were moving along nicely and I was feeling good. Hot, but good. I’m not sure where I was but at some point I was running past a nice older man who said, “I hope you’re running the relay.” I slowed to run with him for a bit and told him I was just out to go as far as I wanted. He told me his wife had grumbled when he left to run, saying “You’re gonna waste this sunny day out running? When are you going to finish my deck?” We laughed about that and I may have been out of line but I told him, “Well, keep running and you’ll have a long time to finish that deck.” Our paces were not meshing and I slowly pulled ahead.
Around mile 10 I saw three bikers ahead cooling off in the shade. One of them yelled at me, “You running to Alki?” “We’ll see. I don’t think I could take all three of you for a bike…” They laughed. I laughed and kept running. About 5 min later they zoomed past me on their bikes and one said, “I’ll buy you a beer at Alki.” How bout a hamburger and water buddy? I didn’t see them again, they might just still be waiting for me at Alki.
As I drew closer to 13.1 I knew I needed to stop there. There really was no need to kill myself. I had nothing to prove. I am not in marathon condition right now. 26.2 miles is A LONG way and I have not been putting in the time, miles, and training necessary. I quickly decided that I would hand off to AN the RB and drive to mile 20, park and finish with her. Or maybe drive to mile 22…I saw AN the RB bouncing and waving up ahead! I got there, she handed over the car keys and I told her I would see her around mile 20. RED and her little Red Heads were there at 13.1 too! She had her double jogger loaded and ready! This woman is a running machine! I offered to keep the little Red Heads with me and meet her at 20 but they wanted to ride. They were ready to ride! So off she went with about 90 pounds in that jogger…I felt bad! But she didn’t! I’m telling you, she is a machine!
13.1 stats: 1:59 flat! 9:04 pace! Stops and cross walks and a porta potty! What?
So my friends were off and running and I was in the comfort of my car. I drove to mile 19 since there was not directions for 20 and then next stop was 22. RED had said that 20 was enough and I knew it would be. She had a stroller and it was HOT! So I got to mile 19 and waited for my friends.
First I saw Jon, Mel’s friends from the beginning. He was looking strong and said Mel was on her way. I got ready to cheer her on. A few minutes later I saw her round the corner. I didn’t even realize it but she mentioned in her blog that I was in the middle of the street! Oops! She said she was hot and tired. I truly wanted to finish with her but I had the keys to my car and two friends on their way. I couldn’t leave at that time. With one more non-runner this would have worked out fine. We took a few quick pics and she was on her way.
With Mel on her way I waited for the others. Check out her race recap HERE. First was AN the RB:
I cheered her along! By this point she decided she was done. I don’t blame her, it was hot! I think the majority of her leg was on pavement and in the sun. She decided she was done and I planned to go on and finish the race from there. At about that time we saw RED coming around the corner!
Look at this stroller! She and AN the RB ran 6.3 miles!
I decided not to finish the rest of the way. I really wanted to get in 20 miles but I knew it wasn’t smart. I knew it wasn’t the best idea. My hamstrings were already tight and my calves were sore. What did I need to prove anyway? So we decided to be done and loaded up in the car. We headed to the finish to get AN the RB’s car and return to the half point to get RED’s car. I must say that races that start and end in the same place are MUCH easier.
I felt bad not staying to cheer Mel in. I had honked at her at at least two other spots along the way. I wasn’t sure if she wanted to kill me or maybe she didn’t know it was for her, but I honked and cheered her on nonetheless.
In the end 13.1 miles done in a respectable time. Maybe someday I can just BE in marathon condition all the time. I could call it “Being in a State of Marathon”. but for now I have to be happy to “Be in a State of Half Marathon”….I’ll take that.
Here is a pic of my sunburn, just to prove that the sun does shine up here in the PNW.
Next time I’ll remember the sunscreen.
Today is the beginning of Portland Marathon Training!!!! Wooo whoo! good thing Sunday is a cross-train day! And Monday is a rest day. I think I am ready to be back in the throes of training! And next weekend’s long run calls for 8 miles, but I think I have just the perfect plan: Sound to Narrows 12k!!!
Today I am Thankful for:
The ability to run!!
Great friends who love to run with me!!!
Jessica and her willingness to watch my Little Buddy so I can run!
You, for reading this entire LONG post, if in fact you did! =)