That was until Doug asked...
Out of nowhere...
"Are you running the marathon?"
Ummm noooo...I was doing the right thing and running the half while recovering from an ankle injury.
AND only having an 8 miler as my 'long' run (with a 13.1 as my longest run OF THE WHOLE YEAR-in January), just didn't seem doable.
The little voice in my head started murmuring.
And wouldn't stop.
I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.
I knew it was going to take me forever.
But that murmuring won out.
I signed up for the early start.
And away I went!
The first 8 miles were good. Running 11 and 12 minute miles.
So with my long run being 8 miles, I knew by mile 10, I'd start to wear down.
Got to mile 10, still running 11 and 12 minute miles.
Wow...I only have 16 miles to go.
Okay...well...think about that...
You've already run 2 more than you have since January.
And you have double the miles to go. Hmmm...
I did well up until mile 14 and that's when I decided to reign it in and walk most of the way back.
I could feel a tinge in my ankle and I wanted to make sure I took it as easy as I could.
With taking the early start, there were around 20ish of us.
I ran the first 14 miles as if out on a run by myself.
The faster runners took off way ahead of me.
The slower ones were way behind me.
I did not see anyone for miles and miles except for the water stop volunteers.
Most of the marathon was run on the Centennial Trail.
A wonderful trail system that runs from Washington state into Idaho. Once in Coeur d' Alene, it runs along the lake.
It was very serene.
The lake was quiet.
The temperature was perfect for running.
There was was wind I could have done without, but
I was having a great time.
And still surprised at how good I felt even with a couple of massive hills.
The course wasn't easy, but it was gorgeous every step of the way.
The back half was fun as well.
The course was an out and back so the runners that started at the regular time had caught up with me.
It was nice as everyone exchanged, 'good job', 'lookin' strong', 'keep up the good work'.
I then spotted Doug!
Relief came over his face when I told him how good I was feeling.
He was looking strong too.
We exchanged some kisses as some taunting runners came by asking if we knew each other.
Hey...whatever works to get me to the finish line!
I went through an emotional phase I hadn't experienced in quite some time.
It was actually a fun roller coaster.
And even better when I never hit the crappy stage.
Mind you, the last 8 miles were REALLY tough for me, but I was ECSTATIC to know I was going to finish.
Regarding time, I knew it was going to be a long day out on the trail. Hence, the early start. I had no time frame in mind. Just to finish. I was thinking I may come in around 6 and a half or 7 hours.
So when I rolled in at 6:02, clock time, I was very pleased. Very pleased.
Not too shabby for my first marathon of the year, my long training run being 8 miles and walking most of the back end.
Doug finished strong with a smile on his face not too far behind me. Mind you, I had an hour and a half head start! He had a good run too. Amazing what some low humidity and cool temperatures can do for a run!
Later Doug and I were talking about my time and he mentioned that the early starters didn't start exactly at 5:30 am, we started a few minutes late.
Could it be???
Could it be that I ran UNDER six hours?
YES! It could be.
I ran a 5:59:34!!!
Marathon number 30...in the books. Not too shabby in 4 and a half years.
More on our trip later. We hiked a tad and Doug took some great photos.
If there is ever a chance to head to Coeur d' Alene-take it!