Woke up a little tired from the little jog I took the day before. I wasn't hurting especially but just fatigued. There were a handful of people signed up for this run and I somehow made it to the start on time. I had my camelback filled, tank and shorts on, cap and sunglasses prepped. I had studied the map the night before and even wrote out left/right at each turn. It would have helped if I had brought it with me. Thankfully the race director, Arthur Martineau, had copies of the directions for everyone.
No fanfare, timing mats and a finishing remark from Arthur that "the race started 2 minutes ago" set up off on our 26.2 mile journey. Here's our huge group of runners. I'm standing behind my beautiful, leggy friend, Betsy.
My goal was 4:30 or faster. Or just finish. I would REALLY know until I had a few miles under my belt to see how my body was feeling. We set out on a beautiful, quiet morning in Bellevue. A guy took off in front and I started putzing along, staying in front of most of the group without trying. The general consensus this morning was, what's the hurry?
David Pierson was quickly at my side, a fellow marathon maniac, a surprise since I didn't see him at the start. He was a little late and hurried to catch up with us. He also ran Seattle Rock and Roll the day before and finished about the same time as I did but we didn' see each other. I met David during my Winter Triple, discovered he is deaf, and have blundered my way through conversations while David remains ever-patient with me. My daughter is minoring in ASL in college and keeps telling me to study!
David had the same plan, sort of, in that he wanted to run a 4 hour and I told him I would run a 5 hour and he told me I couldn't slow down and we'd run a 4 hour. Yeesh, these are the kinds of friends I have! We worked well as a team not getting lost and keeping each other on track taking in nutrition and liquid.
The course was rolling and we hit this very long section of downhill that killed my quads. We thought it would never end. I told David we must be running to H-E-L-L. And what goes down, must come up or something equally original. Haha. Surprisingly we never had a huge uphill that seemed to be the equivalent of the downhill. Thank the Lord!
David started tiring around mile 16 and after walking some more uphill and not being able to convince him I didn't mind sticking with him, I powered on my own off the main roads and onto a nice bike trail. The time passed so much more quickly with David by my side. My pace significantly slowed and I expected to see David and many others pass me but it didn't happen. I wasn't the only tired runner out there. I wasn't feeling hurt but just fatigued. Finishing seemed like a great idea.
There were numerous times I had to stop and look around at street signs and/or ask people where I was to be sure I hadn't missed a turn. There were a few times I was positive I had taken a wrong turn but somehow I was on the right path. I kept my pace slow and steady and made my way up the last final uphill to the finish line. Less than .2 to go and I stood waiting at another intersection for the light to change. What a difference between a big city marathon and low-key marathon. I love both for different reasons.
The finish line arrived and I was one happy girl to be done. 26.79 on my Garmin. Got some water, found myself in second place and penguine-walked to my vehicle for the drive home. First I had to GPS a fast food place because I NEEDED french fries.
My next race, Taylor Mountan Marathon, was in 6 days and I would not run leading up to it because my body was struggling to recover. It was a good move.