We have been a little slow in updating the results of our marathon last Sunday. it’s been a hectic week and a lot of windshield time driving back to Indiana. Each of us is going to share their view of the race.
Almost six months ago, a month after having my third son (and third C-section), my husband popped up with the idea of signing up for the first ever annual Mad Marathon in Vermont. He was so excited about the idea, and I was motivated to get rid of the baby weight as quick as possible, and we both loved any excuse to go to Vermont, so I hopped on the marathon bandwagon.
After months of training and preparation, the race day, July 10, finally arrived. And now that the race is completed, I’m left with two predominant thoughts about the experience:
1. The Mad Marathon was AWESOME, well done, well organzied, BEAUTIFUL, and BRUTAL.
2. My race was about the worst, painful, most anti-climactic long run I’ve had so far.
Running the marathon was a great experience for us. Through it, we met some terrific people and were able to push ourselves to limits beyond what we believed ourselves capable of. The Vermont countryside in the Mad River Valley is breathtaking, and everyone involved in pulling off the marathon, especially Dori and Ian, the organizers, were fabulous. We were impressed by the serious runners who tackled the tough course in fantastic times, as well as amused by the more social participants, who stopped occasionally to snap pictures.
All that being said, the race was personally super tough for me. I was experiencing awful headaches every day for most of the week before the race, and didn’t feel in top shape by race day. While Mike and I included hill training in our prep for the race, I was intimidated from the start when we drove the course prior to the race. Hill after hill lay before us, including a particular daunting patch called “the Dip.” that we got to run down and up twice during the race. That was a misleading name…it should be referred to as “the Yawning Chasm” or “the Grand Canyon”.
From the start of the race, I had trouble breathing properly. This was frustrating for me because I haven’t had breathing issues since February. Only a couple of miles into the race I began to already feel exhausted, and by mile 15, my legs were cramping and having muscle spasms. At one point, my calf muscles cramped up so much that my toes curled under in my shoes and I tripped, nearly falling all over myself. I was so discouraged, because I had never experienced this before, and that morning I had been careful to eat and drink what I always did before long runs. Drinking gatorade and slurping down energy gels did little to make me feel better.
Mike was awesome, sticking with me and encouraging me, but I was obviously really holding him back. He refused to run on ahead until I told him that I’d be seriously mad at him for the rest of the day if he didn’t take off and run the best he could. He finally obeyed me ( ) with a little over 10 miles to go, and I proceeded to limp in to the finish. However, through the incredible encouragement of all the aid station volunteers and friends, alot of prayer, and sheer willpower, I did finish.
I’ve heard that people never run two marathons. They either run one and determine that that will never happen again, or they catch the bug, and run more and more. Despite the frustration with my first marathon, the nausea, cramps, and ginormous blisters on my feet….I’m addicted. I could hardly do more than hobble around after the race for about three days, but the whole time was thinking how nice it would be to get out and go jogging.
Mike and I are already planning our next marathon.