We woke up bright and early on Sunday at 4:45am. We loaded the boys up in their PJs and hit the road by 5:30am! We headed back down to Mankato from our home in Eagan. It was a bitter cold start to the day, with a low in the upper 30s, but it would warm up to the 60s by the end of the race! After the long drive in the dark, we got down to the race start on the university campus right around 7:30am. We headed over to the starting line and I ran a short loop for my warm up!
|Freezing at the start line!|
|My handsome fans that follow me everywhere!|
Dick Beardsley, a popular American long distance runner and motivational speaker from Minnesota, gave a quick motivational speech to the crowd. Then we were off! We started at the MSU - Mankato campus and headed out into the Mankato farm country!
|Dick Beardsley in the red shirt speaking!|
The course was not very exciting for the first 20 miles. It was mostly run on the shoulder of a country highway. It was past season for the Fall colors and everything looked brown and grey. The start of the race included all of the race distances for the 5K, 10K, Half, and Full marathons. At the mile 3 marker, the marathoners broke off to head out of town! It's pretty cool when the race splits like this. It just makes you realize that you are going off to do something that not many people choose to do intentionally. It separates the runners from the crazy people (marathoners)!
It was a pretty lonely course for awhile. The first part of the race included an incredible uphill. I ran the whole thing and learned later on that it was in my best interest to walk the hills in this race. There were plenty and they were frying my legs. I wasn't sure how my calf strain would handle that.
I did find comfort in knowing that a group of my clients were also out there and running the marathon relay together! I was able to see them at each relay exchange point. Jill ran the first leg and I never saw her until they finished, but I got to see Michelle as I ran through the first exchange point! It was fun to know someone and to high five and have her cheer for me! Immediately after I saw her, there was another big hill. I walked this time!
I was starting to feel my calves and my IT Band frictioning. I wasn't sure how far I would make it with these injuries, but I was still in it by mile 10. I ran by a little blonde haired boy about 6 yrs old on the side of the road and he looked me right in the eyes and said "You got this!" And I believed him! I think it was right after that experience when I felt some renewed confidence that I would finish this race! I ended up running side-by-side with a male runner for awhile. Runners can be funny people during a marathon. We have the entire road to ourselves, but we end up running an inch apart. Must be an instinctive thing. After a mile or so, I decided to look over and see what the guy looked like! We stuck together and pushed through the rolling hills for 4 miles. We ended up losing each other a little after the half split when I found that I just needed to run my pace and slow down a bit! Shortly before the half split, Eric and the boys were waiting for me at a playground at mile 12.
|Ethan waiting for mom!|
|Ryan waiting for mom!|
I came up on the half split at a pretty good pace. I was near my average split, not my fastest, but what I would expect to run without proper training. It was around 1:52 and that made me happy. I stopped to fill up my water bottle and eat a Clif bar. I saw Debra and Lisa at the water stop! It was so nice to see them! I was needed some cheering for! I walked for a couple minutes to give my running muscles a short recovery. Then I took off again into the lonely farm country! Little did I know that I was nearing a wide open stretch of road that would blast wind against the entire front of me from miles 16 - 18. Ugh, that sucks. Every little pebble on the ground felt like a giant rock I had to step over! By lower body was starting to fatigue.
|Just cross the chip mat at the half!|
|Posing for a photo!|
|Filling my water bottle!|
I stopped for a pit stop at the mile 17 aid station. I took off some layers and was finally down to my tshirt as the sun started to come out. I finally made it to the big downhill that I looked like a jump off a cliff on the elevation chart. It wasn't much of a downhill. At least, not after all the other hills I ran so far. I was expecting something more quad burning, oh well! I descended down to mile 20 and was happy to be staring my last 10K in the face!
I ran through the final relay exchange and the ladies were still there cheering me on and taking pictures. Debra got a couple of pics of me as I ran past. I told Michelle "I'm hurting"as I went by! It seemed like it had taken forever to get back to town and finally see the scenic part of the race! As I ran out of the wooded trail to cross a busy street full of fans, a man opened his arms and said "Welcome back to town! We've been waiting for you!" I looked at him and said "I've been waiting for you!"
|Coming into town!|
|Taking a much needed walking break to refuel!|
I restarted the wheels and headed down the path once again! As I approached the final 5K, I really began to feel the fatigue in my legs. I was spent. I hadn't trained for this race and there it was pointing itself out to me. The final 5K was one big loop. As I headed out for the loop, I could see the returning runners finishing the last mile of the race. I was SO jealous. That last 5K felt like an eternity. During that time, I took several walking breaks and even stopped to help motivate a male runner that was doubled over. I told him "You got this." Apparently he did "have" this, because he blew by me a mile later and didn't say anything. As he ran in front of me, he started going the wrong way on the course. I had no energy to stop him, so I asked a spectator to go after him. She redirected him, and then he blew past me again! Maybe next time, I will just stick to motivating myself!
As I approached the finish line, I was very relieved! I saw Eric, Ethan, and Ryan standing near the finish line and I ran by and gave them the thumbs up! I finished with a time that I consider "slow" for me, but overall I am thrilled that I even finished! Sometimes, that is all you can ask for :) I did my best and I got my completion. I considered this the "long" run in preparation for NYC. Hopefully NYC will feel a little better now that this is under the belt!
After I exited the finish area, I met up with my guys and sat down to have my free beer! The boys got to play in a jumpy house and I got to warm up in the sun before we headed home! Very happy to be a runner today and very happy that my Beacons were watching out for me!
Event: Mankato Marathon
Place: Mankato, MN
Theme Song: "Yeah" by Usher
Theme Song: "Yeah" by Usher
Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Overall Place: 184 of 451
Gender Place: 56 of 181
Division Place (F4044): 15 of 38
Half Split: 1:52:27
Final Time: 4:08:49 (9:30 avg. pace)