This was my third year running the Route 66 Marathon. Each year the course has changed. The first year that I ran the marathon, the course was really flat until the last 4 miles which becomes crazy hilly.
Last years course stayed in the downtown area more but this years course spent over half of the course in the downtown area which meant more and more hills.
Just like last year, the weather was an issue. I woke up to a balmy 61 degrees. The ground was sweating with a 85% humidity. To top things off, we had a strong southerly wind which would wreck havoc on the flat riverside portion of the run.
Anyway, I was very anxious about this particular run. My body has barely made it through a few knock down fights with marathon courses over the last year or so. I entered the race heavier than I had ever been for a marathon. To confirm this statement, I had a lady ask me around mile 22 “how much do you weigh?” I told her the answer and she told me “you are moving well.”
I started off slowly in the race as I quickly saw how hilly the first part was. I took it super easy until I had flatter running. This would be one of my smarter races for me. Never did go all out but I had moments of accelerated pace.
Once I reached Riverside, I had ten miles left. The first 4 or so miles on Riverside was rough going. The wind was gusting off the river around 30 miles per hour. Once I turned around, the tailwind helped some.
I had a very special guest run the last three miles with me. Little B. I was very happy to see her. So many times I get lonely out there running by myself. Plus it was added encouragement for me to get to mile 23 where I knew she would be.
Once B joined me, I was able to coast into the finish line. Very grateful for a friend like her.
Just like any marathon, I fought back tears as I heard the crowd at the finish line. Something about that, always chokes me up. Halfway through the final stretch I catch sight of my kids. Ran over to them and told them I loved them before running the final 20 years. Not sure if it meant anything to them other than daddy saying “I love you,” but it meant a bunch to me to run something of this distance in front of them.
Here’s my plan from here….Lose Weight!!! I am going on a cleanse next Monday. I will be posting my weight updates to help keep me honest. I have vowed to never run a marathon at this weight again.
I really love running marathons so this will be added incentives to get the weight off. Really want to run the Avenue of the Giants this spring.
Pic w/ the kiddos