I had decided to run this marathon after talking to some other club members. You should read the Andy Payne story when you get a chance. In my heart I knew this wasn't a good idea. It was less than 3 weeks ago that I ran the Flying Pig Marathon, and I also knew the weather was not going to cooperate. The marathon starts at 6:30, then two hours later a 10 and 5k. I ran the 10k last year, and it was hot and humid. I had been watching the forecast for the last week, and the prediction was the same for this year. Oh well, I still decided to go ahead and run. This is a very low key marathon, 79 finishers, in fact it is not much different in support from a small 5k. It consists of a short run through the park, and then 3 times around lake Overholser. I know this course well, and in training have run around the lake twice several times. So I know it's boring. We start pretty much on time, and I'm running with a friend from the running club. I know he is faster, but figure he'll take it a little easier today. We're running sub 9 minute miles for the first loop, and I don't feel too bad. We got separated after that, and I was doing ok, but knew it wasn't going to be a P R day. Near the half way point of the second loop, the weather was starting to take it's toll. I did want to make it to the 10k turnaround so I could see a lot of my friends that were running that. I made it, and saw pretty much everyone running it. My next goal was to make it back to where they would be ending before most of them caught back up to me. I didn't make that goal, but they all knew I was running the marathon, so they would encourage me. I really felt more like I was running an ultra marathon because after the second loop, it turned into a survival run. The aid stations were really too far apart for the conditions. I weighed myself when I got home, and I had lost 6 pounds. That's not good, that means I was dehydrated. I would drink two cups at every stop, but still would be thirsty within 10 minutes. I did finish, after going into the walk/run survival mode, and just barely kept it from being my worst time ever, 4:23:24, although if I take chip time from the other one it was the worst time by a few seconds. I will second what a friend said in his blog, while the time was terrible, the experience was not. I made it through when I really wanted to quit, and because this is a multiple loop course, it would have been easy to quit. I was a little disappointed I didn't get an age group award, it would have been nice to medal in a marathon, but my time didn't warrant that and I'm in a competitive age group.
On a very positive note, I've spent the whole weekend with my 4 year old granddaughter pretty much to myself. It is so wonderful to see the world through her eyes. We went to a rodeo on Saturday night, and have just been walking/running and talking in the countryside Sunday and Monday, and she thinks being in the country is "just so nice." She thinks her "paw-paw" is so great, and I think she's right. Last night, she had pretty much worn herself out, and she took a short nap, then she woke up, saw me in the recliner, and came over, climbed in with me, and went back to sleep. It doesn't get any better than that.