I ran my 4th Tupelo 14.2 Miler this weekend. Originally (back in April-May) I had a time goal for this race....to run it at an 8:30 pace. Well, life happened, and I had the craziest, busiest, summer ever, and I just did not have time (or make time at the expense of something else) to train at the level I needed to in order to achieve that goal. In fact, the last month prior to the race I ran very little. I got my long runs in each week (10-16 miles each), but some weeks that was my only run! That is not the best training! So, about a month ago I changed my goal to running for fun with Leanna and Stacee.
This week also marks the first week of our 14 week marathon training for the St. Jude Marathon in December, so we just treated this race as a long run. Stacee was not feeling well, so we ran slower than normal and walked a lot. It really was a pleasant run--not having to think about the time. The first half of this race is run in the dark (it starts at 5:00 AM), so I did not even look at my watch until about mile 8 or so.
I did make one mistake, and I will not do it again. I did not take a GU during the race. I have gotten tired of that stuff, so I take as few as possible on my long runs. However, I do normally eat one or two or three--depending on the length of the run--usually at around mile 7 or 8 and one every 5-6 miles or so after that. I had one package of GU in my pocket (a new flavor--salted caramel!), and I planned to eat it at mile 8 or 9. But I was feeling so good since we were running slowly, that I failed to eat the GU. Big mistake. At mile 12 I was done. Tired. Icky. I finished the race, and then for at least an hour after the run I was nauseous. It was the lack of nutrition during a 14 mile run. Live and learn!
The medals were really cool this year (but I have not taken a picture of mine!). Usually the 14.2 mile run participants get a broken in half medal....they say you only ran half of the marathon, so you only get half of a medal! Ha! But this year they made medals fashioned after the Boston Marathon medals. The full marathoners were awarded blue and gold medals (the Boston Marathon colors), and the 14.2 milers got pink and gold medals. Pink! I loved it! The race shirts were cool (and scary) as usual. They are always tie-dyed and feature a skull and crossbones on the front. I do not wear this shirt to Kroger, but I will wear it to xc practice some day.
Speaking of the Boston Marathon---I signed up! I was one of 5600 runners who had crossed the halfway point but did not get to finish the marathon (remember, I was at mile 25.8). We were all invited back to run the marathon again--this time to cross the finish line. After much deliberation, I decided to accept the invitation. So I will training for yet another marathon this spring---and then I am retiring from the marathon. I am.