First, read this article from The Onion. Because it's so true and hilarious.
And now I'll tell you everything about this marathon if you are willing to listen. It's a rough one.
I was too ambitious for this race - not physically, but just from a time perspective. I have had so much going on in my life, it was too much to train for a marathon as well.
So what ended up happening was that I half-trained. I got all the long runs in on the weekend - and made it up to peak of 20 miles, but didn't really run during the week. 3 miles here, 4 miles there. But nothing like how I trained for the first marathon - which usually looked something like 4 miles on Tuesday, 8 miles on Wednesday and 5 miles on Thursday, and then the long run on the Saturday.
Not only did I have a lack of training, but also a lack of energy, having just spent the last 2 weeks drinking, eating and traveling myself through Europe. Next time I tell you I'm going to run a marathon 6 days after vacation, tell me I'm silly, and stop the conversation.
Ok, onto the actual race. I lucked out on weather again! 40 degrees, 90% chance of rain and windy. Awesome!
The Haunted Hustle started in Greenway Station, in Middleton. We arrived just before the start, since the race was just 10 minutes away and had no issues getting to the start line. It wasn't actually raining at that point, but was chilly and damp. At 7:30a, the start sounded, and we were off.
We started the race with the 4:30 pace group. Tim and I were both pretty confident that we would finish under 4:30, so it seemed a great idea...at the time. Our pace leaders were really great and made our running group a lot of fun. We also chatted with a couple that knew some friends of ours....Madison is a small town.
So I started to feel bad at mile....8. My joints and muscles felt stiff, and my legs were in PAIN. I've never had twingy pain that early on. So I was scared. Because mile 8 of 26.2 should really be just a warm up. I was also still getting over a cold and that was still lingering, so breathing was a little more difficult.
I started to fall behind the pace group around mile 10. It was kind of depressing to watch my new found group of friends slowly making their way ahead of me. And soon I was all alone. Tim looked like he was feeling good, so I was happy for him.
I hit the half way point at 2:18, so actually was pacing well, but it was more difficult than it normally was for me. And the heavens opened up, and it poured for a while. That was a low point for me. And then coming up to mile 14, I had to start walking. This is the point where I started to question if I could even finish this marathon.
And now I may sound like a crazy person, but for the next several miles, I had a conversation with myself. Why I should quit, the reasons behind it - and then just go several more miles and see how I feel. Back and forth. No way am I quitting! I can do this! Ouch, I can't go 10 more miles.
It was pretty painful. I wish I had someone to talk to at mile 16 - 10 miles more seemed so overwhelming. I may have even shed a tear of frustration. And then I dug in my heels, and told myself I was going to finish even if it meant walking more and taking longer.
Surprisingly, miles 20-26 were so much easier and involved more running and less walking. The body is a strange thing. I was mostly on auto-pilot too - I stopped thinking and just ran.
So, I did finish. My official time was 4:55 BUT - the course was almost a half mile longer than 26.2. So really, I ran it in 4:50, which is two minutes off my first marathon. I'll get to my 4:30 someday.
I'm happy I finished - but I was in a lot of pain. This marathon was SO much harder - mentally and physically - than my first marathon. I couldn't even walk to the car - Tim had to come and pick me up.
The rest of the day included PANCAKES and couching with the Louman.
Next up - a winter full of bootcamp and yoga, going light on the running. But my marathon days aren't over (hopefully). I'm hitting up Chicago next fall. Anyone want to join me?
Congrats to all the runners - I had several friends run their first half marathon, and I'm so proud of you!