Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Chance Marathon '07

Reporting in from the far North, the idyllic town of my youth, Bellingham. Eric, Margaret and I came up yesterday, had a good dinner at the great pasta & pizza place down the road, and then stayed up late chatting. We are staying at my parents house. We got to sleep in this morning till 7:00, and rolled up to the race start about 8:20. It was cloudy and cold, but the park building was open and it was warm inside. This is a small race, limited to 50 marathoners. Most were Marathon Maniacs - friends that we see at all the local races. We caught up with everyone for a few minutes, listened to some quick directions from the RD and we were off.

Last year the course was modified due to trail damage from the big windstorm. This year, we were able to use the original course. We ran out on a wide gravel trail - out and back twice. The course is beautiful - it runs through gorgeous forest, past a waterfall and looming rock walls, past stunning views of Chuckanut Bay and high above Chuckanut Drive. There was an aid station at the start/finish, and at the turn around. Margaret, Jane and I ran together. The miles flew by with the conversation. Ray wasn't running today, but was hanging out at the start cheering for us. One of the Maniacs, Jon, has a birthday tomorrow (1/1) and mine is on the 2nd (it's the big 50!), and Ray's the 3rd. There was a Happy Birthday banner with our names, and when we ran into the start area the first time, Ray had everyone singing Happy Birthday to me.

I started feeling a little tired on the second run out and having intermittent problems with a tight chest and my breathing. Margaret and I pulled a little ahead of Jane (she's still recovering from the Dumbass - a brutal run on Tiger Mountain). We were running a 5/1 and took a few extra walk breaks as I needed them. We made it to the turn around, and I sat on the tailgate of the pick-up and swigged my coke for a minute or two. Jane caught us here and we ran back out together, then Margaret and I pulled ahead again.

I was feeling whipped by this point. I think my cold of the last couple weeks played a part, possibly the fact that I ran about 20 miles this week before going into the race and that I wasn't adequately hydrated. Margaret really helped, entertaining me with stories and keeping me moving. It wasn't too long before I spotted Eric and Steve way down the trail - coming back to run us in. Eric and Steve chattered away distracting us and making us laugh - as usual. We came cruising in to the finish to another round of Happy Birthday, and Margaret crossed the line with a cartwheel. Our finish time was right in the 5:36-5:37 range (we'll have to wait for the official results). Much better than last years finish of 6:03!

We wrapped it up at Starbucks with Margaret, Steve and Rob before they headed home. Eric and I are staying because his Dad is having his aortic valve replaced on the 2nd. We'll stay in town as long as we need to - till we're sure he is on the road to recovery.

I'm feeling pretty good right now - based on the fluids I've taken in since we finished, I was pretty dehydrated. I know better than to let myself get in that state, but somehow I didn't manage it well this week.

Today's race wraps up 2007: 10 marathons, 3 50ks. I remember at least one 10K, and there was also the 50 mile relay and the 168 mile relay. I had a stellar year of running, more than I ever dreamed I could do. We'll see what 2008 brings - so far there are four planned marathons and probably the two relays. I am also looking forward to the same two half-asses I did last year - running up mountain trails through bountiful rain forest challenges me in every way.

Many thanks to all my Y Run Club friends that ran with me through out the year - Rick and Jenny and I shared a lot of adventures. Special thanks to Eric for supporting me, encouraging me, and coming back to run me in at so many races. And to all my blogging friends - thanks for sticking with me through the past year and Happy New Year to you all!

24 comments:

Thomas said...

That was indeed a fantastic year of running, Michelle, congratulations.

Happy New Year, and happy birthday (in advance). You'll do your new age group proud!

Joe said...

A great way to end a super running year, Michelle!!

Not to forget your son's graduation as an important part of the year either!!

Happy Birthday tomorrow...it isn't all that bad on the "other side" of 50, I'll tell you!!

Wes said...

Michelle, congrats on a great year. I hope to be as great a marathoner as you are someday. Happy Birthday!! I'll keep Eric's Dad in my prayers over the next couple of days.

Sunshine said...

Congratulations! As always it was interesting to read your marathon report.
Awesome Award for your 49th year.

Seems like it would be neat to be in a new age group.. sort of a compensation for being a year older.

Happy running, happy year.

craig said...

Ah, memories of beautiful Bellingham.

I knew this was a great running year for you. But it looks even more impressive when you put it all down in black and white like that.

My prayers will be with your family concerning Eric's dad. Hope all goes well.

Sarah said...

Running a marathon is a great way to end the year! Congrats on all you accomplished in 2007 and wishing you more of the same and better in 2008! : )

Irene said...

Wow, you sure put in a lot of miles this year! Congratualtions on your most recent marathon, especially since it's the last one of the year and your times were really good!


Happy New Year!

Happy Birthday!

Darrell said...

A great way to end a great year of running with a nice even 10. You've had quite the year.

Happy Birthday!

Nice new family pic on the sidebar.

Robb said...

Yes, big year! Happy 2008 and all the best on your birthday tomorrow. Will it be one of those 'big' even numbers that ends with a '0'?

robtherunner said...

A great year of running and in the big scheme of things as well. Congrats on a good run yesterday. We really got lucky on the weather. I hope all goes well with the surgery.

Donald said...

Wow - 10 marathons this year? That's awesome. Keep on rolling into 2008.

Nicole said...

Nice job on the race. Happy New year.

George said...

Could it have been all that partying on Saturday night that could have left you dehydrated????
Have a happy b-day and new year!

Mama said...

There is a massage in my office with a Happy Birthday message for you, if you can fit it into your busy schedule.

Rest up while Eric's dad has his surgery. I think it was convenient of him to schedule it so you guys could be there with them. (hehe)

Talk to you Thursday.

Be Free,
Lorri

Sunshine said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! ... The New Year.. and your new year:
Blessings for you new beginnings.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy birthday michelle!!! and happy new year!

man, what a year you've had. that's fanTAStic!

justrun said...

Happy Birthday to my Internet Mom!
And a Happy New Year to all of you!

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow. That is quite a year you had last year!!

Happy birthday to you, by the way. :-)

Juls said...

AmaZING!

Annette said...

You did some serious running this year! That's amazing. Good luck with your runs for '08. I look forward to reading about them. :)

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Wow! Happy new Year and Happy Birthday! Look who's a big girl now!
Jenny

Makita said...

What a fabulous year you've had. Thank you for being there and inspiring me not only on the road (running) but in the heart as well (homeschooling). :D

Dori said...

Good job, Michelle! And Happy 50th Birthday!

scott keeps running said...

Congratulations on another successful marathon and a wonderful year of running! You've raised the bar for 2008. 50 miler on the horizon?...

:)