Once again I am late getting this race report done. Oh well better late than never.... maybe.
Once again we were headed to Wynne Arkansas during the first weekend of November to run a marathon. It was a different cast of characters this time. Several of my running friends from last year didn't make it. Kelly who has taken a bit of a running hiatus. Michele, last year was miserable enough for her she did not need to do it twice. Bailey who sadly left us to live in Japan. I really missed my girls but this year I had Arland and Jane :) as well as Jackie C, Gabby and a few others.
We had opted to drive up race morning, I guess it's about 1.5 hours from Cabot?? Arland and I met Jane and Jackie at Team 1 and we were off to Wynne.
We had all decided on the early start, it was supposed to get really warm and even the early start didn't help much but THANK GOODNESS we did it!
There were probably about 20-25 people doing the early start so pretty much an anticlimatic start, but it was kind of a relief to not have to weave in and around a huge pack of people!!
I knew I had to run my own pace and not get caught up trying to stay with Arland and Jane. The first 8 miles they were never too far ahead of me and a couple of times I sort of caught up with them at the aid stations. Speaking of aid stations because we opted for the early start we had no course support or aid stations for the first 4 miles. I had planned to take a throw away water bottle but forgot it at the last minute, and believe me I was really wishing I had it. I started to panic a little bit, worried that we wouldn't have water until mile 6. I started speeding up a little bit to catch up with Arland so I could have some of his water when I could see an aid station up ahead. One of the positives about this race is the great aid stations and the port-a-potties at every mile!!!
So mile 1-8 were really good, I was probably running a little too fast but I felt good and just went with it. Mile 9 I started feeling a little tired and was bummed because I knew it was way too early to be feeling like this!!!
It was here in mile 9 that I started to lose sight of Jane and Arland. The course is rolling hills and lots of curves so it was easy to lose sight of the other runners.
One of the really cool things about doing the early start is that the race leaders end up zooming past you, of course you are hoping it's later than sooner but it was mile 12.67 when Ethan went flying by me. Ethan is a fellow Cabot Cruiser so I was really excited to see he was leading the race!!! But not too far behind him was Leah and she would eventually overtake him to win the Marathon.
The turnaround... one of the negatives about this race is it is an out and back which is also positive since it makes it easier for them to have all of those aid stations and port a potties every mile, but this year it was mostly a negative!!
Mile 13.?? finally the turn around I had so been looking forward to it. I had saw Jane shortly after she made the turn around and she was looking good. Arland was a bit behind her and he wasn't looking so good, he said he was hot and tired, which was pretty much exactly how I felt!! The first thing you notice after the turn around is the wind! At first if felt kind of good and refreshing but then once you were on the open road it became painful to run into it! Several people who ran the race looked up the wind speeds and had graphs showing 20mph winds with gusts up to 45 mph. It was miserable, and the sun was beating down, and the road was slanty, and there was traffic and I was just beat.
About mile 16 was when the calf cramps hit... I have had calf cramps in several races but never anything like this, I seriously thought my legs were going to break the cramps were so intense.
Mile 20 was when the wheels finally fell off and the rest of the race was pretty much run to that sign, or that tree or that driveway and then walk and then try to make myself run again. The only consolation was that the majority of other people were going through the exact same thing!!! I saw much stronger runners than I am walking and some even stopped on the side of the road. I felt like I was doing a good job with my nutrition and drinking but i think not having any water until mile 4 and then the intense sun just was too much and I never could catch up.
Finally I am in the home stretch and I take one last walk break so that I can run through the finish line. It was slow and it was painful but I was able to run the last .5 mile. I saw Arland, Jane and Jackie at the car and they cheered for me really hard and I really needed it!! I was just praying that no one would tell me to speed up! LOL
Finally I make it onto the track which was kind of tricky cause it is a big step up and the way my legs were feeling I was afraid they might seize up but although it hurt I didn't have to stop or walk. One neat thing about a small race is you almost always get to hear your name being called and that is always fun!!
As I was getting my chip removed I heard a lady wailing and as i looked over I saw a man laid out on the ground. They were starting CPR and the lady was just inconsolable. I was in shock and couldn't move. I knew everyone was waiting for me but I just couldn't leave. I was so sad, that last mile I just kept thinking about how much this race sucked!! It was awful, it was hot it was windy etc. but as soon as I saw that man laying on the ground it all went out the window and all I could think was how grateful I was that I was still standing!!
I was convinced the man was dead, he had been down for several minutes before I finished and it seemed like an eternity before the paramedics loaded him up into the ambulance. I am happy to be able to report that he did indeed survive. He had a 95% blockage to his heart and it really was a miracle he survived the news report said he had no pulse for 40 minutes!!
After he was taken away I finally let myself head towards my husband and friends. The finish line was on the High School track and we were able to use the showers in the gym which is so great when you have a long ride home!!
Next up Rocket City Marathon!!