So, I finished my marathon. The day before the race, we drove up to Walker, MN. Tim noticed something about the race, which I had not noticed. It had an early start for slow runners! That is me. So bright, early (read dark and cold), we met at the starting line for my first marathon.
The slow runners group was a nice group of people with lots of marathon experience. I think I was the only rookie in the group.
There were two long segments of off-road trail running. In the photo above, you see me emerging from the first segment of trail at about eleven miles into the race. I got my first water of the day at this point. My Dad and Mom came up to see me run (only two weeks after Dad's heart surgery). You can see Dad handing me water in the photo above.
The girls made really cute posters to cheer me on. If you click on the photos they will enlarge and you can read them.
The marathon really was a mystery to the girls. The know all about the historical roots of a marathon. And they noticed that all summer, Mom's Saturday mornings were spent running but they didn't really get it until Tim hauled them from place to place to cheer me on.
In addition to having trail running, the Walker Marathon is also quite hilly. I trained for hills as much as possible but there wasn't any good way for me to train for trail running, it was hard but also nice because it was a good diversion while I put one foot in front of the other.
Above I head into the woods for the second segment. Below you see me coming out. I was passed by many of the fast marathoners during this time.
I came out of the woods about twenty miles into the marathon. This is where I hit the wall and it became a lesson in endurance and trust.
I cannot say enough about having my family there cheering for me. Especially Tim and the girls. With the marathon over a month behind me the memory of the pain and most of the details have faded but I remember with clarity the sense of love and support I got every time I saw them and every time Tim called out to encourage me.
Even though the Walker Marathon is probably not an ideal marathon for a novice, I am so glad that I ran it. It was a beautiful location and it was a small marathon. I didn't start with thousands and I wasn't passed by hundreds.
I had a double scoop ice cream afterwards. :) At the time of the marathon I had lost between 35-40 lbs. I am now down 45 lbs. According to my doctor, I probably should aim to lose about twenty more pounds. Now I am focusing on diet more than exercise. :)
On the way home, the girls had their photo taken with the great Minnesota legend, Paul Bunyan. :)