|Thank-you muffins for my catsitters and drivers :)|
Friday was chilly, foggy, and full of surprises! We stayed in a house that is rented out to four guys attending the UMN-Duluth. It reminded me so much of Thee Taj from my ONU days, hence the reason for wearing socks (at least) at all times...
My shakeout run post-packet pickup felt decent but not great. That's about how the Boston shakeout run went, so I wasn't worried. Plus, I spent most of the 10-15 minutes we were running talking to first-time-marathoner Amy and enjoying the scenery of downtown Duluth. Nichole put on her coach hat when we got back and made everyone talk about our race mantras and motivation and what our in-race nutrition plan was going to be. I really struggled with motivation after Boston and since I'm not a naturally super positive person, the 'warm fuzzy' part of the afternoon was difficult.
|Box o' awesome|
We spent the rest of the day watching (and then quoting) Top Gun and eating CARBS. (OMG, there's another post I need to do about CARBS or the lack thereof...watch the blog this weekend!) Off to bed early for a marathon in the morning!
|Foggy morning in MN|
up for reals. It was a pretty relaxed morning since we were going to be dropped off at the starting line. I lost everyone when I had to take off my pants at gear check, but then I found Amy and Nate in the starting corral. I was really thankful to Claire and Jake for running out and getting me a pair of gardening gloves the night before because it was chilly! It was also really foggy, so being damp didn't help.
When the race finally started, my goal was to stay between 7:45-7:35 through halfway and then re-evaluate. Every once in a while I'd look down at my watch and see that I was cruising at 7:30s and I really had to hold back. It felt nice to be able to tell myself to slow down! The course, while totally enveloped in fog, was really beautiful. I felt like I was running in Oregon or Washington. You could hear the waves lapping on the rocks and fog horns from ships out on the lake. So nice :)
|I really wanted that 3:20!|
until 5K to go when I realized that I was going to come in under that, even!
|Am I going to make it?|
to hear people cheering out "Great pace!" or "You look awesome!" as I was running at the end. I just felt so strong the entire time! Looking at some of the race photos, I know I still get wonky arms, but hot damn, I wanted that 3:20.
So was it all worth it, truly?
Yes, yes, yes. I know that I have the absolute best friends in the world here in West Lafayette, in Morgantown, WV, in East Granby, CT; that my running family in Northfield, MN means the world to me; and that I have a coach who is willing to dress up in a cow suit to cheer me on, believe in me even when I'm not totally sold, and push me beyond what I ever though I could do.
Training for a marathon changes your life. It's impossible to be the same person at the finish as who you were 26.2 miles earlier. This weekend renewed my passion for life and for running. You betcha that I'll be back out on the roads next week with a smile on my face and a new goal in my mind and even more passion and enthusiasm in my heart.
Running is a love/hate relationship sometimes. The races where you finish and feel like you couldn't have put an ounce more of yourself into it are where you make that relationship stronger. I finished with a huge smile on my face and another finish-line fist pump (watch it here!).
This race was the perfect end to a rocky journey. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!
|All smiles post-race with Cory|
|Marathon crew and cheering herd!|