This is going to be more of a "random thoughts" blog, instead of the usual race report/recap.
First things, first. I finished my 4th Full "Mary" in 4:21. Nice to know it's one of the 5 toughest Full Marathons in the country. Very pleased with that time, as my overall training was laughable for the past 4 months. The 4-5 times I did get out to Percy Warner to run the course, was very beneficial. I was able to run up hills that were only walk-able 4 weeks ago. YES, I did walk up on a few occasions ( 3 mile hill, back-side of 3 mile hill, "not a hill" at mile 23, etc) but these are more like 8% incline (or so it seems when running).
Nice day for a Marathon during the first half for the runners, and a nice day for a Marathon for the spectators during the last half. Temps were in the 50's to start, but by noon (when I finished) it was in the upper 60's/low 70's.
If any deer would have been at the finish line, I would have made for a great "salt-lick". I've never been covered in salt like I was at the end. Arms, legs, those little spaces right there in your eyes. OUCH that stings, trying to wipe away the sweat with salty fingers, elbows, etc.
Ran with Melanie, Matt and Amy during the first 3 miles. Somehow I got a little bit ahead of them, and like normal, started running by myself. I saw them a few times on the out-and-back, and they all had good finishes.
One of the signs at the top of the first big incline said "300 feet up, 3500 more to go" - thanks for the encouragement !!!
Saw Trent, the race director going up 3 Mile Hill, and asked him "Why did I PAY you to do this to myself?"
Old Man was out doing some pacing in the "rainbow Afro" wig. Funny.
Felt the familiar calf cramps around mile 22, and they slowed me for the last 4 miles. It's a weird feeling having your calf's knot up and start running like a stick man.
The park is beautiful and the race is really awesome. The volunteers are fantastic and very encouraging and make things fun on the course. The after race food is the BEST because everyone brings a little bit.
Running down to the finish line was AWESOME. My family was there to greet me and I had a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The race is tough, and my quads and calf's are still sore, but I had the best experience EVER at a race event. I wasn't feeling very well, so we didn't stay long after the race was over, and I wished we could have. Free massages and Beer. Enough said.
It took me around 4 hours to start feeling well, I guess my electro-lytes were really low. I didn't realize I had sweated that much. I took 4 GU's at mile 6,12,18 and 24 and drank plenty of water and Gatorade.