The Newport Marathon was fantastic. Arriving at the start line, it was great to be in a “small” crowd of 1,000 people. I don’t think I have ever participated in a race with such a cozy, community feel. I came across a fellow blogger at Move Eat Create at the start. She has been training so hard, I knew that I would see her on the course later (and that she would be passing me on my way out, while she was on her way back). And I did, and she did coming in with a truly great time. Congratulations, on a great race, my friend!
I always start a race on a cool day with a long sleeve on, but despite the cloud cover and the slight breeze, Saturday morning was warm. So, throwing caution to the wind, I left my long sleeve with my jacket in my drop bag. . .
Thank God that I did!
The clouds burned off about an hour and a half into the race.
A short while into the race, about half a mile after the maze of neighborhood that was the first three miles, I met a few new friends, and quickly discovering that they will be running the Siskiyou Out & Back (the 50K) in July! I got caught up talking with them, and decided to keep pace. I knew it was a little faster than I could probably maintain for 26 miles, but I thought I’d give it a shot. My lungs were content to keep the pace, but my legs… my legs need more training.
By mile 12, I let my new-found friends take the lead, and kept moving forward solo. Looking for my Grampa the whole way, especially after mile 13. He started the race at 6am with those walking the marathon, so he had an hour lead on me. I did not cross paths with him until the turn around at mile 15! We had a Big Hug moment, and stuck with each other and chatted for a little while. A few minutes into conversation, he said “It is such an honor to run with you, and to be passed by you!” and encouraged me on. So, I did go on. In the end I only beat him to the finish by a few minutes, as I walked a lot of the last six miles.
So, I learned I need to stretch. Stretch more. Stretch at all. I’ve been neglecting my muscles, and it shows. Lesson learned.
Have you ever experienced an unexpected slow-down during a race? I’d love to hear your story.
One of the most remarkable things about my experience at this marathon in Newport was that I had no head game. I had no doubts about finishing, no moments of dislike that I was still running. I enjoyed myself through the pain. Regardless of the tightening of this band that made me limp, hop, and walk more times than I could count, I would keep breathing, countdown, look up, smile, and run on again.
Two days past race day – I’m a little sore, but I have a smile on my face and I am still lovin’ life!
Happy Running! 🙂