It is 5 pm on Sunday, exactly three and a half hours after the Supergeezer's completion of the Valentine's Day Marathon Massacre. I have been in my pajamas, lying on the couch for the last 2 hours. I yelped about 30 minutes ago as a massive cramp seized the back of my right leg and I was left flopping on the couch for 20 seconds like a fish flung out of water. But the cramp has passed and all is again right with the world.
Let me say this: I severely underestimated how hard this event would be. Each member of our 4-person Supergeezer team (combined age over 200) had to run 4 laps. The course was 1.6 miles. Hilly, yes. But still, I can run 1.6 miles in my sleep.
Or so I thought.
The kicker was that you had to run each lap fast. Which I knew. And still underestimated. My thought process was that, sure, I'd be winded at the end of each lap but tra-la-la... I would just suck it up and do it.
Compare this with my thought process during each lap which went something like this: "AAAAUUUGH! Kill me! KILL ME. Why do I sign up for these things? It's only been .2 miles and I'm heaving. I'm going to have to stop and walk. I'll just tell my team I cramped--that way they won't know I wimped out. Yes, I will tell them I cramped OR maybe I'll fling myself on the pavement and get a skinned knee and play the injury up for more than it really is. I can do it--they'll never know..."
Luckily, by the time I finished mentally moaning, I had cleared the biggest hill and could convince myself to do the rest.
I am VERY proud of our team. We came in at a 3 hour and 28 minute marathon, averaging a 7:58 pace. (My marathon time solo was a 9:48 pace.) I'm also very proud of me. My splits (average pace per mile) were a 7:22, 7:26, 7:21, and 7:33. I'm thrilled with my times. Last summer on the track, my "fast" pace was about an 8 minute mile. Now I'm under a 7:30 pace and that's running more than a mile on a semi-hilly course. I remember thinking early last year that I'd be so happy if I could ever just run a steady 9 minute pace. It is actually exciting to see how the body improves over time and what was once unthinkable is now doable.
Still, I'm pooped. And amazed and inspired at the perseverance and skill of other runners. There were 20 people on the course who ran it solo. That's 18 LAPS of hills, all by your lonesome. The winning guy came in at 3 hours and one minute--smoked us, all on his own.
There were also a number of 2-member teams, who were just cranking. And a lot of high school kids that we could sort of get a glimpse of as they roared by us at lightspeed. Usually you just felt a light breeze go by and knew to applaud. They were incredible.
I also got to spend time with Amy & Mo, running buddies from last summer's training group. If anyone needs incentive to run as a means to lose weight, talk to these two ladies. Amy's lost over 45 pounds and I think Mo over 50. They look incredible. Which makes them less likeable. Why the hell haven't I lost 50 pounds?!? <grin>
So it was a grueling day (waiting almost 40 minutes between laps) but also a fun day. And I can't begin to tell you how glad I am that it's over. I think I'm clear of races until the end of April. That's my first trail 1/2 marathon. Let the training begin!
P.S. Kudos to Off N' Running for another great race. And the hooded sweatshirts are great! They've got the title of the race dripping down as if in blood lettering. Classy!