Memoirs of the 2016 Rehoboth Seashore Marathon from the slower side
Several months ago, this gal crazily agreed to run a marathon with some Roadkill teammates. “It will be fun!” they said. There was a futile attempt at training as the super hot sunny days made it near impossible to get the needed runs in. Then came the tummy issues that plagued my autumn months and the stress of a new job. In October, I decided I wasn’t going to run until I learned I couldn’t transfer or defer my registration. I was back in! The week before the run, sinus issues tried to curtail my participation, but I persevered. Yes, I am stubborn!
On December 2, I made the trip to Rehoboth Beach with almost every piece of running clothes I owned. I joined my friends, all younger and in much better shape that I but we all had a common goal. Of course there was pre-race talk of strategy and clothing options. All I could think about was what I was going to eat after the run. Notice I did not call this a race. For me, it was a test of endurance and mental strength.
Morning came. We tried to get the Roadkill cheer in but between crowds, last minute clothing ditches, and warm-ups, it didn’t happen other than in spirit. We lined up in what I think was about 30 degrees and windy conditions and wished each other a good run. We were off!
My goal? To finish. I was on a mission. I started out at exactly the pace I wanted. The first half, I felt pretty good. I felt strong. My legs were loose and my breath was steady. It was cold but it felt good when I got into the woods. I was smart. After about mile 6, I walked a few steps at almost every water stop to have a sip of water. I enjoyed the scenery and I thought happy thoughts. Everything was pretty uneventful.
At some point after the halfway point, my legs started getting tight. I could feel my hamstrings from my heels to my butt. I tried to stretch once and I’m lucky my hammies didn’t snap. Bad move. I used some different strides as I ran and that seemed to help, at least enough to keep going. Around mile 18, I was on a road and the wind was at my face. To put it mildly, it sucked. I made the decision to give my legs a break and walk from mile 19 to mile 20. Again,another smart move. Then I got back to my slow and steady pace. Hearing the DJ in the woods say my name and where I was from around mile 22 was a gift! It gave me a little boost that reminded me that I was here, I was doing this thing, and I was going to finish! I came out of the woods for the last time and the wind was at my back. Thank goodness! Now I
knew I was going to do it!
Coming into the chute, I saw Roadkill singlets and heard my friends cheer me on to the finish. They came back for me! They could have gone someplace warm and stayed there and waited for me to find them, but no! We were all in this together! They waited for me to get some much needed food in me and then we were off to the townhouse for showers and naps. Oh, how thrilled I was when I heard that these youngsters wanted naps! I learned what amazing finishes my friends had and rejoiced in my 30 minute PR! 30 MINUTE PR! Sick, terrible training, far less than ideal physical preparation and I got a 30 MINUTE PR!
I declared that there would be no marathon in 2017…until Ashlie mentioned Vermont.