Sunday, November 05, 2006

Marathon #2 is History...

We are so lucky - dry - cloudy and gray, but dry from start to finish. The first raindrops hit the pavement within minutes of our finish. Finish time: 5:54:36. Not quite as fast as I hoped, but as whipped as I feel, definitely fast enough.

The first half is a blur, as usual. Lots of chatter, lots of fun, beautiful scenery. We ran on a paved trail for at least 16 miles, then through some urban and industrial areas, then back to paved trail. We had a good windstorm yesterday, so the trail was covered with leaves. The trees were gorgeous - one line was a glowing red, one area had trees with colors like flames, and more than one section was covered with golden birch leaves. We came to a bend in the path and it looked like the yellow brick road was laid out before us. We ran under freeways with cars rumbling and shaking above us with a rocky bank on one side and a river on the other. We ran over a wooden bridge that felt so soft on achy knees, and then over another bridge that carried us high above the water. We turned a corner in some little section of Seattle and saw a steep hill ahead - and Jenny made us run to the top - no breaks.

We ran through one aid station where Eric said it was 13 miles, but someone heard 15. That made for good discussion for a while. Then at the next aid station, Eric frowned and told us mile 19 - wow, we were cooking! We ran and ran and ran. Then my phone rang and it was Eric's special tone. He told me that the lady at the last station was wrong and we were a few blocks from mile 19. That was hard - probably the hardest thing of the day - to think we were at about 21 and to find we had 7 more to go. The course was well-marked to guide us, but had no mile markers. This was a small race, maybe 40 people and some of them running relays. We had an early start with three others, and eventually all but one runner passed us. But no worries, I had warned the race director of our expected times in an email earlier. We chugged along.

Another gradual hill approached and about half way up I had to walk. Rick immediately slowed down to walk with me. I told him I was in the "dead zone". I was moving forward steadily, but could not think at all. It was all momentum. We started running again at the top and Jenny was running beside me. She chattered away, and I answered with things like "uh-huh", "yeah", "oh". Jenny, I'm confessing here - I have no idea what you were talking about, no idea at all. I appreciate the distraction though. We ran past an industrial area that seemed like it would never end - it was pretty - all landscaped and green, but still, it went on for ever. Finally, that area ended and the water appeared on our left, with the Seattle skyline straight across. Then the one runner that was still behind us caught up and passed us by - Marathon Maniac, King Arthur (remember, he started a full hour after us). We were officially the last ones out. By this time we were dodging walkers, bicyclists, roller-bladers and dogs. One group of strollers wandering by asked if we were training for a marathon, and seemed very shocked when we said we were running one right now.

At this point, Melissa began to pull away. I was focused on Arthur's yellow vest, then on Melissa's swinging ponytail. First I saw the vest stop. Then the ponytail stopped. Then I saw Eric snapping pictures and then I realized we were done. Done! We broke six hours! And then, while we were sitting in the middle of the sidewalk stretching, the rain started.

I forgot to mention who "we" were. Jenny and I, both running marathon #2, Rick, a virgin (hah!), George, who's last marathon was seven years ago (Marine Corp Marathon), and Melissa, who we will call an "accidental" marathoner. Why accidental? Because she joined us today to run 12 to 13 miles for training, and felt so good she just kept going - making it the first marathon for both her and Rick! They were great and they both looked fresh.

We were once again blessed with Eric, the most awesome crew ever. At first, he'd pop up every four to five miles. He'd be snapping pictures with not one, but two cameras. He'd have drinks laid out and be holding spare clothing. Then towards the end, he suddenly was appearing every mile or so. He was wonderful. And by the way, he PR'd yesterday at Autumn Leaves - 50 miles in 8:11. Steve had a great race too - the 50k in about 5:02 or so.

One last detail about my race - it was practically blister free! Yay! I have one tiny one on the tip of each second toe and that is it. I relaced my shoes a few weeks ago - skipping the first set of holes. I can't remember who suggested it, maybe Sarah? Who ever it was - thank you!

So, marathon #2 is history, now I've got twenty-one days till #3.

28 comments:

Annette said...

Nice job! You are a marathon stud! I can't believe Eric was out there supporting you the day after a 50 miler. Wasn't he exhausted? By the way, when I saw him, he looked fresh and cheerful - that was sometime after 10 am. Tell him congrats on his PR! You two are amazing!

Rose said...

Way to finish #2! And so glad there were no major foot "issues." It sounds like your awesome support system really keeps you going.

olga said...

Wow, great day, Michelle! I can't believe you or anybody can run on payvement for so long...I am a wuss:)
Good job, lady!

robtherunner said...

Congratulations Michelle! Marathon #2 finished and #3 right around the corner. It seems like just yesterday when you ran your first marathon, oh wait, it wasn't that long ago was it?

I wish I could have been there today. I'm so jealous.

PuddyRat said...

Wow! Totally awesome, Michelle. To go from someone who, earlier this year, didn't think she could run for more than an hour to running two marathons in two months, with a third one on the horizon, is nothing short of amazing! Awesome job. I'm so proud of you!

Dori said...

Congratulations, Michelle! I'm so impressed that you were able to finish a marathon so soon to the previous one, and a PR! Fabulous. :-)

Darrell said...

Woohoo, you did it! Your second one, so close to the first and one more to go, wow! It looks like this was a fun little race. The next one will be a little bigger, huh?

Jack said...

Congratulations on marathon #2, sounds like a great course, even with the pavement. Rest up for #3!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Michelle, you are turning into a marathon machine. You'll be joining the 100-club soon at that rate.

Congratulations!

TryAthlete said...

Congratulations and well done Michelle.

Wes said...

Way to go Michelle! That is so exciting! You are such an inspiration for us all. And now, time to start tapering for number three, eh? LOL. Will you be the coach for Team HM Express? Think about it!!

JustRun said...

Way to go!! Another one under your belt! As confusing as part of it was, it sounds great too.
Glad to hear the feet were good, too! :)

Anonymous said...

Great job- and on to #3.... Wow, you are my insiration.

D said...

Wow Michelle - nice job. I can't believe #3 is right around the corner.

Sarah said...

Way to go, Michelle! Glad you had some good weather. At my last 50k, one of the aid stations had a sign saying it was 1.5 miles farther than it really was, so I know how demoralizing that can be! Kudos to you for keeping on. Glad the shoelace trick worked. You're more than halfway there to being a maniac! : )

mtnrunR said...

whooo hooo, great job! I met your husband after AL, very nice. Great job once again!
tom

Ironayla said...

So glad to hear that marathon #2 was dry and practically blister free. I can't wait to hear about Seattle!

I have gotta catch up with you soon... coffee... or an easy run on Sunday sometime :)

Jessica Deline said...

Yay you maniac you! That would have been rough at that point in the race to find out you had 2 more miles to go than you through. Geesh. Way to go!

Robb said...

Congrats Michelle! You are on a roll - with a 3rd on the horizon. You are brave and strong.

Anne said...

What an idyllic course, from the sounds of it. And I loved how you described the end -- by noticing a change in a swinging ponytail that suddenly stops. Delightful!

Joe said...

Awesome, Michelle...so very cool! 2/3 of the way to certified-maniacdom!!!

I'm really glad the blister monster stayed mostly away.

A very effective description of the "dead zone" too...yeah, that's what it is like. And you worked through it well.

I'm also so happy for you that the rains held off...that would have been pretty tough.

Put your feet up and enjoy it! #3 will be here soon!!

Joe said...

Oh, how could I forget...pass along mega-congrats to Eric for a PR on 50 miles!! Wow!!!

He deserves a new job for that !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm worried about you. First you catch this crazy marathon bug after Portland. Now you are dragging innocent virgins into your "Maniac" folly. You used to be such a sensible runner. It’s that moron husband of yours, isn’t it? And that other putz runner he hangs out with. Be careful, Michelle, you are hanging with a dangerous crowd.

Yours truly,

A concerned citizen

Ryan said...

SWISH SWASH and #2 is in the books....Congrats...a few key points I really enjoyed where "lot's of fun" "no worries" and "we chugged along" Great job….keep'em coming!

craig said...

Two down and one to go. Congratulations on finishing the second one. You are 2/3 to you goal. Tell Eric congratulations on his recent PR as well.

Sarah Elaine said...

Well done!

That's a bit of a mental mind job with them not having any mile markers though. Oy vey!

runliarun said...

OMG, this is dizzying, this is so exciting! Where did the time go between #1 and #2? Soon enough you are to post pictures of your blister-free, smooth, little toes.

Sarah said...

Congratulations!! Loved reading your race recap, you rocked it! My next goal is to break 6 hours, I will be following your blog!