Saturday, June 13, 2009

Outrageous Race

Ran the Maryville Marathon today: 3:57:53. This is a personal best, a Boston Qualifying time, second place women overall, and first place Master’s Women.

It was a foggy day, 60F with a north wind. The race starts at 6:30. It is a small race, maybe 100 counting those doing the half. I wear a sweatshirt up until the start; then lay it to the side but I keep my gloves on. The gloves go into the fanny pack after about 20 minutes.

The Maryville Marathon is a two lapper. During the first lap, I kept my mind on the day’s lesson: I want the peace of God. I just ran this thought over and over through my mind. I kept looking at my watch every mile. The first 3 miles has 3 hills, but the rest of the course has mild, long grades. At three miles, I was at 28 minutes, but at 4 miles I was dead on 36 minutes (9 minutes per mile). Wow, that is fast! I decided to pee after 42 minutes. I was the first one in that box, so it was totally clean. I lost a minute there but I think ultimately it was a good decision. I took Gu every 30 minutes and 3 S-caps (electrolytes).

I kept looking at my watch and marveling at how I was keeping pace. I knew I could run 16 miles that way, but 26? When would I crash? I returned to my lesson and kept it in my mind.

I had 8 oz of Succeed stashed at the starting line for use at the halfway. I got to mile 15 at 2:15. I got to mile 16 at 2:24 and change. That left me 110 minutes to finish 10.2 miles and qualify for Boston. I had cruised the down hills at the first part of the second lap. I began to wonder if the mile markers were not off or something: how could I be going that fast? At mile 17, I decided I was having the race of my life. I needed to throw my heart over the bar. I committed to keeping the pace no matter what, even though I knew I must be trashing my legs.

During the second lap, my mind was filled with another couple of thoughts from the day’s lesson (meaningless to non-ACIM students): “I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me.” I kept my mind going over and over these thoughts. It occurred to me that if I kept my thinking from sabotaging the race, my body would do the running of its own accord. So I kept my mind on the thoughts and otherwise concentrated on pumping my arms forward, not side to side. I kept looking at my watch. Despite a long uphill grade for miles 21 and 22, I was not losing time, but keeping the pace.

At mile 23, I had left myself 38 minutes to BQ or 33 minutes to get under 4 hours. Wow, I could go under four hours. I kept my thinking on the straight and narrow. I kept my arms pumping. I was hot and my legs were tired, but somehow the whole thing was still hanging together. I chased another woman those last 3 miles and got to her shoulder at mile 26. She noticed me and put on a sprint but I had nothing to match her. She got first place (but she was a 40 year old baby and I am a 50 year old Master).

How did this happen? The thinking of course; but also, the high 5 from the two year old. Maybe the S-caps. Maybe the Succeed Amino. Maybe it was the orange vibes from Running Maniacs; or else c-moss was really pissy today but that worked to my advantage. Maybe the old hat. I had put 3 hats in my bag, but as I walked out the door, I grabbed my oldest shabbiest hat; and that is the one I wore.

Anyway: I can’t believe it. I qualified for BOSTON!

I might actually try to go. I might be one of those once-in-a-lifetime hassle filled trips which you must not miss.


rob horton said...

AWESOME!!!! awesome run! i very much enjoyed reading your race report. hopefully by the end of november, i too will be a lean-mean-boston-qualifying-machine :) i am hoping to participate in the 2011 event. what is next?

Spirit Flower said...

Skinny Bear, the Psyco Psummer is next.

Mark said...


rob horton said...

well enjoy the pscycho psummer. it is wild that the two events i took off my schedule to do the "minneapolis marathon" are two events that you are participating in. i guess i will just experience them vicariously through your reports. thanks for sharing.