What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

#41 - The Boulder Marathon

Gosh, I love these late marathon starts. 8am. Are you kidding me? Sleeping in until 6am is positively wonderful on a race morning. I LOVE IT. Forecast was calling for a hot one. Oh well. I was going to be slow anyways, the weather was just going to make sure of it. I had no time goals set for today. The only goal – to finish in one piece and not further damage myself before returning to Ironman training this week.

My whimsical decision prompted Mike to register for the half. Team Freisem is back at it. We got to the Boulder rez about 7:40am. No need to stress out and get there early, right?? Met up with my friends Catherine (running the full) and Katie (running the half), exchanged morning pleasantries and lined up for the race. Incredibly anti-climactic compared to what I was doing a week ago. Wow. I actually even felt a little guilty just “driving” to the start of this marathon rather than swimming 2.4 miles and riding 112 miles to get to it.

Catherine and I ran together for about 18 miles. It felt more like a death march. The temperature peaked around 82 I think? but it seemed ridiculously hotter...the sun was blazing. My legs felt like they each weighed a ton too. I wanted to go faster but couldn’t. I didn’t bother looking at my watch. There was no point. Whose bright idea was this again? Oh yeah. Mine. While Catherine was struggling with IT band issues, I asked her if I could just go ahead. I couldn’t keep stopping while she stretched because I was losing my will to go on, rapidly. She was so happy I had stayed with her for that long and gave me the blessing…Go ahead, don’t feel bad! Ah, the magic words. And so I went.

This is where I actually may have picked up speed. EVERYONE had started walking early on. Like I said, it was a hot one. However, I don’t think 30-40% of the people out there had business running this race. This is a tough marathon course. Extremely hilly. Extremely exposed. There were runners laying in ditches in the shade on the side of the road. People were cramping. I have never been so afraid for runner’s safety as I was today. It was awful. The aid stations were running out of hydration. It’s a small race too – only about 450 marathon runners. Many of them will probably never run this marathon again. What a shame. It really is an incredible course, it just has to be run "smart" no matter the conditions...

I finally came in at a glorious 5:00:29. 83rd female out of 189. 12th out of 26 in my age group. 242nd out of 454 finishers. It is my 3rd slowest marathon ever but by far my most challenging and rewarding. I will never ever believe that I can’t do something, ever again. One day, when Mike and I have a little girl (using the power of positive thinking), I am going to tell her that there is nothing she can't do and she is going to have the power to be her own hero...

My friend Kelly and I after, enjoying a frosty beverage [not pictured: frosty beverages]

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