Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Chance Marathon

It's true, I ran a marathon today, it's 11:30 pm and I'm still up and I haven't had a nap. Amazing! We're making it till midnight, then sleeping in tomorrow. It will be the first time in about six or seven years that we've missed the local Resolution Run. On the other hand, it's the first time I've ever closed out a year with a marathon.

And what a marathon it was! Remember how I said it was a double out and back on trail? Well, about 75 feet of trail was covered by a slide, so the course was rerouted. We had a seven-ish mile out and back that ran us on trail and through town - on the same course as the 15K we ran in October. Then back to the park, where we had to run down to the entrance and around the arches leading into the park. Back to the trail and out to the south for a six mile out and back. We ran up to the spot where the trail was blocked by caution tape, then turned around and went back to the park. Another run down and around the arches and back out on the first out and back. Back to the park. Arches. Repeat the six mile out and back. It was a tough course - some long gradual up hills, a variety of terrains from asphalt, concrete, gravel and dirt, to a long boardwalk over the bay. There were some sections with stunning views, some sections through downtown Fairhaven (an older section of Bellingham) and through beautiful forest. There was also a block or two down an alley - not so pretty. Those last six miles were tough - I was really tired, had trouble lifting my feet and my back, between my shoulder blades, was sore (I think from carrying my water bottle, I haven't used it since Seattle). There was a long downward switch back, then a short section of road, then...a killer hill. A killer walk-up-it-hill.

But you want to know what was great about those last six? Rob and Eric joined us. They ran out with us and they were goofy. Rob was leap-frogging over the bollards. Eric was telling lame jokes. One time Rob started dancing to Hotel California and was being so silly about it that I couldn't run - I was laughing too hard. Then, on our way back, we saw Patch and Steve coming down the switchback to meet us. They ran the last two miles in with us (and of course, things got even goofier). Eric carried my waterbottle for me those last six miles. They all dropped off when we reached the park and left us to do those damned arches again. As we crossed the finish line, Margaret did a cartwheel!

Final time: 6:03. We were the last ones on the course. A handful of runners waited for us and cheered us in. I'm pleased with our time - it was a tough course. And the race director told us pre-race that the actual mileage would be 26.8. My Garmin worked great - mine recorded 26.09 and Eric's picked up 26.01. We figure we lost the signal a couple times in the woods. We had a couple long splits - once when we stopped at the car so Margaret could change her shoes - her ITB was killing her, so she wanted to switch from her trail shoes to her regular running shoes, and second when we walked the entire boardwalk and stopped at the restrooms. We just needed a little break right there (about mile 18). So for the 26.09 that the Garmin showed, my average pace was 13:56. My average hr for the whole thing was 145. Not bad at all.

One of the best things is how good I've felt ever since. After the other three marathons, I felt kind of sick to my stomach and head-achey well into the evening. Today I used S-caps and drank about 24 ounces of water and I feel great. It's the first time I've been able to eat after a marathon. The bad news is I picked up a few blisters - one large on the side of my foot, just where I had it in Portland, and smaller ones on the toes again. Bummer.

I did it! Four marathons from October 1 to December 31. Now I'll have a two month break from marathoning, then pick up the next four from March to June. Summer off from marathons again, because my heart can't handle the heat, and then...some fall marathons. Only one has been decided for sure. My birthday is Tuesday and for my present I am getting entry to the Nike Women's Marathon! So far, Margaret and I are going, but we are inviting all the women we run with and we're calling it a ROAD TRIP! Pretty nice, huh?

One last thing. I succumbed to peer pressure yesterday. Jenny and Jane talked me into one loop of the Capital Peak Fat Ass - 17 miles. Trails. Mud. Maybe snow. 2500 foot elevation gain. The website says "No awards. No t-shirt. No aid, no frills and no whining". I'm feeling a little intimidated but I've got enthusiastic buddies who say they will get me through it - and enthusiastic supporters in Eric, Steve and Rob. So - I'm in. Stay tuned.

32 comments:

olga said...

Michelle, congratulation on a great day! And on your birthday! And on fun with the boys!
As for CP - don't worry, there will be aid and friendly faces:)

Nicole said...

That is so awesome! Congrats.
And happy new year.

Jenny said...

Happy New Year! Congrats! Sounds like a fun marathon. Have fun sleeping ina and "babysitting"!!! I'm off to run the 5 miles at the Resolution series!

Janice said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful race. Congratulations! What an achievement:)

susie said...

Happy New Year Michelle...you've had an amazing year. You should feel so proud:)
Can't wait to follow your progress in 2007!

runliarun said...

Awesome way to close out a year. Awesome way to start a new one. I can't believe you made it through midnight after all that. Damn those blisters. You are truly amazing.

justrun said...

Congrats on your finish and on feeling great! Your body must be getting used to that!
Happy New Year! Here's to no injuries and miles and miles!

matt said...

that is fantastic, michelle! no surprise, though. you managed to inspire me through the very last day of the year. you should be very satisfied and proud of your accomplishments. here's to an even better 2007! :)

robtherunner said...

Congratulations on gutting it through to the finish. I missed the resolution run this morning as well. I forgot Jessica had to work.

Wes said...

Nice job on the year end Marathon Michelle! The upgrade fixed the calories thing on the garmin for running, but not for biking :-) I'm gonna file a complaint! Four marathons in the Spring of 07? You're killing ME! LOL. Have a great 07, and Happy New Year to you, Eric, and family.

Annette said...

What a great way to end the year! With your '07 race goals, I have to say, you truly are a marathon maniac! Wow! I'm impressed. :)

By the way, have you ever tried BlisterShield? I use it all the time now. It's a powder (that actually has wax in it) that you put in your socks. I used to get blisters a lot. But, I have never gotten a blister when I've used BlisterShield. It's great! (Wow, I sound like a commercial, don't I?) :)

Good luck with your running goals for 2007. You will do great! :)

teacherwoman said...

Talk about finishing the year with a BANG!! Way to go! Sounds like fun! Enjoy your day of rest! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thomas said...

I got lost on that course description somewhere in the park, but it sounded like a lot of fun - again! Hope the blisters won't bother you too much.

Happy New Year!

Joe said...

Awesome, Michelle, mega-congrats to you for the race and an awesome year.

I agree with you...the most amazing thing is how well you felt/feel after the race. You are acclimating to that level of effort and that length of time moving.

Now if you can just get a permanant sherpa to carry water for you your back wouldn't hurt. And a possible clue from Annette on a bilster solution??? (any photos forthcoming??!!)

Hope you enjoyed your New Year's Day...resting well and well deserved!

Dori said...

Sounds like a tough race. Congratulations on finishing another marathon! You're awesome. I'm also planning on running the Nike Women's marathon in 2007--I'll see you there!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Michelle,

You truly are an inspiration. I can't believe I met you just a few months ago, and you've run 4 marathons in that time! WOW! Your HARD CORE! =)

Happy new year, and Happy Birthday!

Wendy

Darrell said...

You all have so much fun at race. I think I'll give my two week notice next week and come on up and join you all. I was just looking at my Seafair pix today with my inlaws and remembering how beautiful it was up there.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!

Anne said...

Suddenly my lil 5 miles down memory lane this morning sounds so woefully inadequate. Way to go, Michelle! Sounds like you're in fine form to celebrate your birthday tomorrow.

justrun said...

And in case I don't get a chance to tell you tomorrow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are awesome and I want to be your attitude when I grow up! (I hope that makes sense.) :)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

woo hoo, michelle!!! four marathons in three months, amazing.

yay for your birthday run!!!

happy new year

Sarah said...

You are on a roll! Congrats on a great finish to 2006.

Happy Birthday! : )

Jack said...

Happy Birthday! What a way to finish a year, congratulations.

Ryan said...

What a fun race = ) I can’t think of a better way to end the year and begin a new one!

CHEERS
Happy Running in 2007

mtnrunR said...

Great race report. Don't worry, it WILL BE COLD at CP. Don't worry there will be water on the hood of the jeep patrol. With a dude sitting in it reading the paper and drinking nice hot coffee as you fill up. IF THE WATER ISN'T FROZEN!
Happy New Year, and great job.
tom

Bob Gentile said...

Sounds like U guys had a great time and an awesome way to close 06'

You are now ready for an awesome 2007'

Happy New Year Michelle to U and your family!!

Chad said...

Congrats - what a way to finish the year!

TryAthlete said...

Great way to end 2006. Happy Birthday!

Journey to a Centum said...

Lame jokes? That was my best material! Perhaps my days as a running comedian are numbered.

Great job on your marathon! On to the next...

Buzz

Jessica Deline said...

4 marathons in 3 months. Very impressive. You ARE a maniac :)

D said...

You are my new running idol! So many marathons - impressive year Michelle!

E-Speed said...

What a great way to end the year! Your birthday is New Years Eve too? So is my husbands!

WannaBe5Ker said...

What a way to wind down your year! Congratulations, wow!