October 6, 2013.
I wasn’t planning on running this. My fall marathon would be Detroit in 2 weeks. However, I had recently qualified for the Half Fanatics. That made me want to become a Marathon Maniac as well. To qualify, I had to run 2 marathons within 16 days, or 3 marathons within 90 days. TC marathon was 15 days away from Detroit. Being my hometown marathon, it added no travel expenses…just more physical pain and suffering. It was the only opportunity if could see of completing this within the next year.
I had already run the TC marathon last year, and it’s a beautiful race. But it has a big hill at the end, making it not PR friendly. That wasn’t my goal. Yesterday, I ran fast, and smashed my 5k PR. Today was about running far.
The expo was nice as always. Packet pick up was smooth. The whole weekend was cold and rainy.
A friend and coworker was running the 10 miler. Her husband and a couple of mutual friends were coming down to cheer her on. They offered to drive me even though she would be done hours before me.
We headed down to the Metrodome. It’s open to runners pre-race to get organized and stay warm. We were both on the corporate team and went down for our group photos.
She went to her start line. I would start an hour later.
The weather had not improved by the time I started. I went over to my coral and picked a pace team. The group I chose was a little bit overly optimistic.
The first part of the race was great. It really is a beautiful urban course. We wound thru the Minneapolis urban jungle before emerging at the chain of lakes. By this time, my overzealous coffee consumption was catching up with me. No porta potties but plenty of bushes where other runners had the same idea. I ran into the bushes, and managed to run right thru a huge clump of burrs. When I emerged, I noticed that I had thousands of them all over me. Man, do those things cause some serious chafing! The next 15 miles, I was focused on plucking them off of me…
Around mile 10, we hit a bottleneck, and we got packed in pretty tight. We were so tightly packed that the runner behind me clipped the back of my foot pulling my shoe right off my foot! I had to circle back, find it, wade thru the oncoming runners, retrieve the shoe, and get it back on. That was the last I saw of my pace group.
By mile 17, my legs were cramping and the rain had started. I stored my ipod in a ziplock bag and kept going.
Mile 21, the long hill. This killed my remaining energy. It was a death march from that point on. A mile later, I saw my friends and stopped for a couple of minutes to chat. That gave me a little boost. It didn’t last long. My legs were in rough shape. I was stopping to stretch every mile or so. Finally, the finish line was in sight.
I grab my medal, shirt and food. Got better food in the corporate tent. Retrieved my drop bag and met up with my friends for the ride home.
Step one of my Marathon Maniac quest was complete…