Sunday, May 30, 2010

National Captal Marathon - Report

The boarding passes are printed. Spirit Flower will soon be going back to her little corner of the planet.

My Course in Miracles lesson for the day was: I rest in God, and I am as God created me. The rest in God bit is common to all religions. What I am is uniquely defined by A Course in Miracles. These two ideas were in my mind as I ran today.

There is nothing so wonderful as the tremendously achy feeling of post marathon legs.

Believe it or not, I booked my trip to Canada at the end of last year and the hotel in January. I feared that if I did not book the ticket and pay the money, I’d chicken out on coming to NCM. JoJo (an internet friend from runningmania) and I had been discussing what race it might be good for me to come to; and she wouldn’t let me come to ATB as it is always rotten weather.

So then, the task was to maintain my marathon fitness and not be stupid (hence incurring an injury). I ran 3 and 4 hour runs each weekend all winter, sometimes in crazy locations as I sought secure footing. Little old ladies ought not risk falling down to much. (LOL). I chaffed at the bit wanting to race but refraining under the “don’t be stupid” rule. Finally in March, I couldn’t pass up my dream race (80 miles in 20 hours); and seemed to come through that ok. Then, I guess I hit an impossibly stupid thing: the Olathe marathon. It was only 3 weeks after the 80 mile race and I shouldn’t have “raced” anything (but go read that report for further information). After Olathe, I had a tender Achilles and I have been babying it for the past 6 weeks.

After my 3 and 4 hour runs last weekend, I was sure of my condition (as any addict enabling themselves can be) and approved myself for running NCM, but going for a 4:40 or worse. My trip to Canada has been wonderful and JoJo is a great hostess and I’ve been thrilled to meet the runningmaniacs I’ve been following for the past 2 years. Ottawa is beautiful. Watching the Trifecta was great. I’ve never seen such a well managed event as far as crowds go. I loved watching the world class women in the 10k.

JoJo got me at the airport. I spotted her flirting with cute soldiers (really JoJo, maybe you should do the Army run and get a soldierly hug at the finish). First on Saturday, we went to Tim Horton’s and then JoJo’s parents. We went to Bruce pit with C-Moss and met Andy on Saturday morning. Andy gave me an orange buff. JoJo put on my tattoos. We went to the expo and met Turd (Mike) on Saturday (I needed to meet someone whose internet handle is Turd Ferguson). After tons of walking as we watched the races, my weak foot was complaining. I was up at 4:30, had my coffee and spiritual study and bm. I walked down to my corral at 6:40. I asked someone to take my picture with my bb; so I have a before and after.

The start was terribly polite. The green corral was half empty. Everyone had plenty of room and even the bunnies were not creating problems. So, I just started at an easy pace. At 5k and 10k, I was on a 5.5 mph pace and that seemed fine with me. I didn’t really look around at the scenery much but was impressed that so many people came out to cheer all along the course. I was so surprised the first time someone said, “Go Laura.” She told me my name was on my number (dummy). That was cool! The aid station near the half was fabulous with the men in dresses, and some guy who really could dance! I got into at porta-pottie without waiting at 17k (bonus points).

Finally, I saw some maniacs with hula girl. Their cheering brought tears to my eyes. After that, I started trying to decide when to turn on the afterburners. My Achilles was “not too bad” (which is usually an understatement for a runner), my energy level was great and I knew I wanted to put some effort into the race. I began to speed up. At 30k, I approved my self to fire the jets (hence the negative split). Surprisingly, when I go into high gear, I also go into meditative state and become something of a running machine powering ahead and mostly looking only at the road in front of me. Having the half marathoners join the course at the end disrupted my speeding as I started having to dodge them.

But I was starting to feel the race in my legs and knew I was achieving my happiness (I love that feeling). I kept “racing”, saw hula girl again and swerved to get a low five. I was soon into the crowds lining the final k. I’ve never been through anything like that before. Wow! Swell! Bosso, coolo, neato!

Finished: turns out chip time matched my watch (4:31). The medal is so pretty and I love the spinney thing. Worth the expense of the trip. I had my bb with me so I asked someone to take my picture.

Then I basically hobbled back to the hotel to clean up and go to the M&G. It was great to meet more runningmaniacs. After a marathon, I usually get to a prone position as soon as possible, so it was outrageous to spend 2 hours shouting at people you just met. I am exhausted.

After a nap, I’ll still swear the Achilles is “not too bad.”

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