|Mary and Me|
Every 26.2 is created differently. You have to respect that kind of milage or it will chew you up, spit you out and leave you on the side of the road. I knew this would be a tough course. The hills that I encountered during the first half of the course made the hills of the Boston Marathon look flat in comparison. From mile 4 to mile 12, I ran up the steepest hills ever! At times, I felt as if I was pulling a sled with weights behind me. Other times, I felt as if i was running in place. But, I put one foot in front of the other and refused to walk up the hills. Sometimes my pace would slow down, but I did not stop. The hills didn't matter. My surroundings were peaceful and beautiful. I took it all in.
I reached the half-way point in 2 hours and 24 seconds. It was then that I fueled on a Lara Bar. I did not fuel after that. If I could have held my pace, I would have finished between 4hrs- 4:15. The course went down hill and leveled for four miles before it turned up onto route 9. Finally, a bit of relief from the hills. But, I knew once I turned north onto Route 9, I had rolling hills to contend with. And so the fight began. The fight between my body and my mind. I remember at mile 16 my Garmin read 2:28 and at mile 20 I was at 3:08. My hips were sore. The rolling hills were adding to the punishment I already had experienced in the first 13.1 miles. As I completed mile 24, I walked through the water station. I knew it would take a lot of inner-strength to start running again. As I cleared the water station, I began to run again. Every step I took was just pure pain, but I refused to walk to and through the finish line. I stopped three additional times between miles 24 and 25. With just 1.2 miles to go, I sucked it up. Every painful step got me closer and closer to the finish. I heard the drums and then I saw them. I was almost there. I saw the 26 mile marker. I took a right turn onto Leland. Then I could see the finish line. With .2 miles left, I stretched my legs and went into a full sprint toward the finish line. DONE! My fourth marathon was in the history books. Completed in 4:19:21.
Boy, that was tough! Total elevation was 1347ft! The hills in the first half were brutal. But, I am proud of myself for running this marathon. If I can finish a hilly course such as this one, well then I can finish any marathon. Some of my fastest miles were in the first half. I'm still having a little trouble with pacing myself. Learning to pace is a work in progress. I'll get better at it, but it will take time and practice. Next stop will be the Mohawk Hudson Half in October and The Philly Marathon in November.
Thank you for stopping by,