Saturday Nov. 1st was the Mid South Marathon in Wynne AR. Several of my Memphis marathon training partners and I decided that we would use this marathon as a "training run", sounds good... right??? We had a 20 miler on the schedule so why not just run a marathon instead! As Saturday rapidly approached I started rethinking the wisdom of our plan!! LOL but we were commited and the fact that they were going to have a port a pottie every mile really sealed the deal!
Saturday morning I met Kelly at the elementary school I arrived promptly at 4:32am she was across the street getting her caffeine fix. It is an hour and a half drive to Wynn and we needed to get there early so I could register, yes I am a procrastinator! We were also planning on doing the early start at 7:00am. This race had a 6 hour cutoff and our orginal plan was to run 20-22 miles and walk the last 6 so we thought we might be squeaking by... well I felt confident we would finish in at least 5:30 but you just never know what can happen out on the road. An even bigger reason to do the early start was the weather, it was about 52 degrees at the start and was predicted to warm up to 76 degrees by noon with completely sunny skies and I think I have already let it be known in the past I prefer cooler weather for long runs!
Bailey, Curtis, James, Michele, Patti, Brice and Tami F. also did the early start along with about 10 others. We had been warned there would be no course support so I was happy to have a nice size group to start with. It was still kind of dark when we started and cool. I had a short sleeve throw away t-shirt on and I ditched it within a mile of the start.
Curtis led the group and luckily we were able to keep in sight for the first part so we would know where to turn. The one thing we didn't think about was that no course support meant NO aid stations for the first few miles!!
I really wanted our first couple of miles to be 11:00 miles and then after that try to maintain a 10:30 -10:45 avg. I was feeling really good and I thought I think my stomach is going to be ok.... well you know what happened next. Luckily it was not too far from the port a potty just past mile 2. I was able to duck in and take care of business. Kelly stopped with me and we lost the rest of the group, I was bummed but at least I was able to take care of business.
At the next aid station mile 3 they were setting up so we stopped and had to wait for them to open up but it didnt' take too long.
I think it was mile 4 when we saw Bailey coming out of a port a potty ahead of us she ran towards us and stuck with us the rest of the race until the last 2 or 3 miles.
It was a beautiful course, the fall foliage was beautiful!!! It was still cool and just a slight breeze the perfect running weather.
James was running the 1/2 marathon but started early with us so he could get back to Jonsboro and the kids. Michele ran with him for the first 6 miles and after the turn around when we saw James he said Michele would be waiting for us at the 7 mile aid station.
She was getting bored and just before we got there she was running towards us :)
Once the aid stations were set up they were GREAT!!!! They had pretzels, chips, cookies, fruit, all kinds of goodies at EVERY mile.
I had brought pretzles with me but I would grab a handful at every aid station and eat them instead of breaking into my stash. I also stashed a couple of cookies and pulled them out when I needed some extra help in the later miles. I also ate my honey stingers.
We stopped at a port a potty probably 8 times or more during the race and no they weren't all for me!! But there were a few where we all needed it and 4 girls and one port a potty definately slowed us down!
At the beginning of the race we were discussing the fact that the fast people would at some point pass us during the marathon and we were trying to figure out what mile that would be. It was mile 12 or actually just shy of 12 miles. It was really pretty cool and they guys were great!!! Obviously they knew we had started early but they were complimenting us telling us great job etc. The turn around (this was an out and back course) was at mile 13 and since they were so speedy and we were not we got to see them again when they were headed back. Again they were super nice!!
Maybe if I were more competetive the constant passing would have sucked but instead it was kind of fun. What was really funny was after we had turned around and were on the way back some of the runners who were on the other side of the road were giving us crazy looks, like how did those girls get so far ahead of me!!! Most of them eventually passed us but it was still fun! We were very considerate of the faster runners and stayed out of there way for the most part.. we even would run on the grass so they could pass us. A couple of guys were coming up behind us and I heard one of them say "hey were are skirt chasers" I loved it!
Not sure exactly what mile it was but sometime around 16 or so Kelly's calves really started hurting and she was having to do a lot of walking. We had been seeing a guy on a bike for miles and he would always tell us how great we were whenever he passed... we had no idea who he was but assumed he was part of the official race team. Turns out he was out there as support for another runner, after a couple of miles of mostly walking because of Kelly's calves we saw this guy off of his bike and asked if he had any ibuprofren... he didn't but he said he would find us some. A mile or two later he came back and as promised he had ibuprofen for Kelly :) too bad I didn't ask for some too. Because of the extented walk breaks my hips, piriformis etc all tightned up and I was starting to hurt. I had also done something weird when I put my chip on and the top of my foot was starting to throb from the pressure, I tried loosening my laces but it didn't help.
After the ibuprofen kicked in for Kelly we were able to run for longer stretches and I just kept thinking ok get to mile 20... and then 23 etc. Once we were past mile 22 we gave ourselves permission to walk as much as we wanted but really we wanted it to be over so we tried to do more running than walking.
Finally we made the second to last turn and we were on the final stretch... and it was a slight downhill which was awesome.
We all just kicked it in and ran as hard at we could to the finish.
Our final time was 5:23:xx Michele was first then Kelly and then me. It was really cool to see 4:23 on the clock but our time was adjusted for the final results.
The High school Gym was open and we were able to take showers which was heaven!! I had brought a change of clothes but it was so nice to be able to shower.
They had set up the food in the cafeteria and had BBQ sandwiches and Pizza neither really appealed to me that much but I had a sandwich. I knew the protein and carbs would be good for my poor muscles.
One of the only bad things I can really say about this race was the roads were slanted most of the way, and becuase they didnt' shut down all of the roads you were dodging huge 18 wheelers, dump trucks etc. We never had a problem but it was hard to be able to find a flat spot for very long and my feel could really feel it, along with my glutes!
We had also been told by everyone that this course is FLAT, FLAT, FLAT except for one good size hill at mile 24... well they were WRONG!! It wasn't a killer course but it definately had rolling terrain throughout the whole course. On the way out it felt like we were climbing the whole time so we thought when we turned around we would have more downhill... well you can imagine our suprise when it felt like we were climbing the entire way back! LOL
Still it was GREAT and I am really really glad we did it!! We also managed to have a women's team for the Grand Prix and Bailey, Kelly and I earned individual points as well.
Oh I mentioned the weather at the beginning of this post... it did warm up quite a bit but I never really got hot so that was another thing to be grateful for.
I know I'm leaving good stuff out but that's what happens when you get old and wait 3 days to write the race report.
By the time Kelly and I got home on Saturday it was 4:00 in the afternoon and I was starting to get sleepy. Brenda came over to visit for a little while though and that got me all wound up again just talking about the race. After she left Arland, Brett and I went out for Mexican food which was really yummy! We got home about 6:30 and by 7:30 I was passed out on the couch, about 9:30 Arland made me go to bed and I slept until 6:30 Sunday morning. When I woke up I felt great!! I had a little bit of soreness in my calves and quads oh and yeah the top of my right foot but otherwise I definately did not feel like I had run a marathon the day before.
Sunday was a jam packed day... I met Brenda at Starbuck's for a fun girl talk session and right after that we went to Magness Creek to have lunch with my Dad, Stepmom, Kylie, Livia, Jeff and Brett... right after that we headed to Greystone for some more fun. We finally dropped Kylie off about 7:30 and once again I was asleep on the couch about an hour later.
This morning I woke up and nothing hurt not even the top of my foot :)
Tonight I am meeting the girls for a run.... this will be the true test!
I will post the pictures that Gary took later this evening....