Friday, September 30, 2011

Quad Cities Marathon

Got my new shoes and went outside for a short 3 mile run. I really wanted to save some energy and rest my muscles for next weekend. They still felt great outside, but I think I will tighten up the laces a little more, just so I don't slide too much in them.

The QC Marathon...
Yeah, that was rough! I thought it was quite miserable, but then looked at my time splits and it wasn't awful. I had an amazing start to the run! The first half I averaged probably 9:10 pace. Overall, I had like 18 miles that were less than 9:30 pace, two of which were less than 9:00. I was feeling so great that I really didn't feel like I was running. At mile 12 I thought I could seriously keep up that pace through the end! I was even having thoughts of perhaps Boston. That will still be off in the distance. I really had to consciously slow myself down, but that was the most I could do. I just wanted to go faster and faster!

At mile 13ish we crossed over to the island and things started to break down from there. About mile 14 it started to sprinkle. OK, this isn't bad; it's always nice to have a cooling rain come in. By mile 15 it was a full downpour! I had rain running off the bill of my cap. It was awful. My blistered toes that started about mile 6 had now become full blown blisters and very painful. I thought I was going end up with a broken toe by the end it hurt so much. My body was screaming stop. My mind keep talking to it to keep going. I knew if I stopped I would not keep going. Yep, that's what happened. I was so upset with myself and it was everything I could do to keep going. I called Bill around 19 to let him know I was coming back over the bridge and nearing mile 20. I really needed and was longing for someone to run with me. Rachael ran 2 blocks with me and that was amazing (she gives me energy I didn't know I had), but I still ended up with 3 miles that were around 12 minutes. Mile 24 was the worst. I finished strong, however, with a 9:37 pace. Every step was pain, but I kept pushing through it to the end. While my time wasn't great (4:24:27), I did finish. I think I need to go back and conquer that course!

The weirdest thing was that no one talked on the run. I felt like I was all alone on a training run. I stuck with the 4:10 pace group and everyone was VERY chatty at the start line. I thought, this will be great! Bob, the pacer was amazing! He was an older guy in his 60s and did not look like your typical runner, but he was the most consistent pacer I've ever run with. He had completed a few ultramarathons in recent years as well. Anyway, I tried to strike up some conversation with people along the route, but they just looked at me like I was highly annoying and what was I thinking talking to them?! sheez. I finally just kept to myself and continued running. Even at the end when things were tough and lots of people were walking, no one talked. There was one man from TX who I kept passing and I suggested we keep each other going and again tried to strike up a conversation, but nope. He decided to walk and fall behind to avoid me. I just couldn't believe it.

By the finish line I had never been more happy to be done with a run!! I grabbed some fruit, met my curb crew and left for the van. I was defeated and just wanted to go home. When I got to the van, I immediately removed my shoes and socks. YIKES!!! I have never had blisters as bad as this. There were so many different variables this time. I was alone, no distractions, new shoes, bungie laces, rain, pouring rain!, fast pace, foot discomfort that I hadn't known.

While I was quite discouraged with this run, it was really a great run for the first 19ish miles.
I wasn't able to wear regular shoes all week to allow my blisters to heal a bit. Here are some more pictures:

Weekly mileage: 29.2 miles
September total mileage: 100 miles

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