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Amanda M ran: Super hot and hilly. ...
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- 27 miles
- 06:22 time
- 14:23 pace
- 5559 calories
Super hot and hilly. The hills really weren't that bad, there were just a lot of them and they were long & steady with little shade in a lot of areas. It was about 85F when I finally finished. Yes, I ran about a quarter mile over...on purpose.
Here's the story:
Before the race started, I knew it was going to be a hot day and I knew the course was going to be very hilly, so I kept telling myself that I was going to run slow and not worry about my time. So when my wave finally started, I took off not so slow. First mile was around a 10:30min/mi. I realized this was way too fast, so I tried to make myself slow down, but I wasn't very successful. For the next 10 miles, I had a really hard time trying to keep my pace slower than 11:15min/mi. My original plan had been to start out around 12:00min/mi and speed up. Oh well.
Around mile 13, the shade and breeze disappeared. At this point, we were running on blacktop asphalt with no shade and blaring sun. The temp was around 80F at this point and the heat was just radiating off the ground. I was on pace to PR, but I made myself stop and walk and slow down immediately since I usually don't do well in the heat. I wasn't alone. I looked around and EVERYONE was walking, especially up the hills, from this point forward. Around mile 15, I caught up to a girl who looked like she was really struggling. I found out it was her first marathon, so I decided to walk with her for a little bit and encourage her. About a mile later, I took off.
It wasn't long before I finally caught one of my running buddies around mile 16.5. She was walking and did not look good. She told me she didn't feel well and would likely walk it in, so I told her I would walk it in with her. About half a mile later, she really started complaining about not feeling well. Another half mile down the road she was telling me she was really light-headed and not sure if she could even finish. Suddenly, she took off behind a bush and returned several minutes later looking pretty pale...then she sat down on the curb and said she couldn't go any farther. Uh-oh. I looked around and spotted a medical tent at the top of the hill...so I sprinted up the hill to get the medics and led them back down to my friend. We got her up the hill to the medic tent and waited on her to come out of the port-a-potty so they could check her out, help her cool down, give her some Gatorade, etc. I stayed with her at the Medical Tent for at least 20 minutes, tried to call/get ahold of a few friends, and finally told her I was going to go ahead and try to finish the race.
Although I hadn't moved for several minutes, and I was at mile 17.5, my adrenaline was pumping and I sprinted up the next two hills. The heat and reality of the race finally caught up to me, well, my head, and I slowed down. I decided any time goal my mind thought I could make was beyond shot and I just needed to finish...plus, it was WAY too hot to worry about race times. At this point, I decided to encourage and talk to everyone I saw. I ran into a couple more struggling first timers and several people struggling with the heat. I handed out a few salt packets I had picked up at the medical tent to people I saw that were really cramping up.
Somewhere around mile 22, I caught up to the girl I had met at mile 15. We walked and talked until we hit the finish line and had a few people join our group along the way. She was a part of Team in Training, so we had several TNT coaches walk along with us to help encourage her. Several of the coaches thanked me for walking with her and encouraging her...one even tried to recruit me for TNT. Around mile 25, I saw my friend that I had left at the medical tent RUNNING to try to finish the race. She looked a million times better than when I had left her about 40 minutes earlier.
When we finally reached the finish line, I convinced her to run it in...and she did. Even though I had my second worst finish time ever, I felt good knowing I had helped coached someone through their first race. I told her, and every other first timer I saw, that if they could run that particular marathon on that day with that heat, they could do ANY marathon. Some laughed and told me that race would be their one and only, but several others felt encouraged and started brainstorming future races.
A marathon is more than just a "race"...it's an experience.