Today I went for a short trail run and realized I haven't given the Nipmuck Trail Marathon its due. It is a great marathon and anyone interested in destination races should put this one on their list. You must be mentally and physically very strong though. Read on...
The marathon has essentially two parts. The first 12 miles you run southbound to a very interesting turn around. You have to run over a beaver dam to get to the turn around, it is very cool. As you can imagine the first half of the marathon was pretty wet, crossing many streams and there are a lot of rocks along the trail.
It was also hot and muggy that day. After the first half, you find yourself back at the start point and my sweetheart, Dan, was there with food and water and support. I felt like s*&t, let me tell you. I thought holy moly this is going to be an even longer day than I had expected!!! In addition my running partner, who had carried me for most of the training, was feeling the heat.
We gathered our reinforcements and I asked Dan to meet us at the next road crossing just in case we needed anything. Mostly we needed moral support and encouragement because the race is very well supported with volunteers. At about every three miles there was a table of liquids rangeing from water to coca cola. There was also a lot of interesting food to choose from, namely soggy grilled cheese, pb and j, cookies, bananas and something that appeared to be beans and cheese but looked like cat puke. I refilled my liquids at the table but stuck to what I ate during the many hours of training: a cashew butter and jelly on a soft taco shell!!! It really hit the spot for me.
The second half of the marathon is dryer and shadier and prettier to me. But it is also much much more hilly. We soldiered on and started to feel better at about mile 19, which is very silly isn't it? The worst part of the marathon was from mile 11-19, that is very long wall to have to deal with, let me tell ya. At about mile 19, we had another turn around and some of our very good friends were working the station. We collected hugs and kisses and then made the incredible climb back. The last seven miles were probably the easiest for us, weird huh?
The last mile of the route is marked in tenths. My partner, Deb, and I woohooed at every tenth. It was so flippin fun. We had a hard day but we definitely had fun.
Unfortunately I never felt the elation I usually feel after completing a marathon. I am usually high for a month after such an accomplishment. It never came or maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. All I have felt the last month while running was TIRED. This marathon and its training definitely kicked my butt. My finishing time was 6:44, just a little slower than I expected so I was fine with the time. My main goals were to finish and have fun with Deb, I completed both of those.
After the race Dan and I headed to Deb's house where I was staying at the time, showered and then went out to eat. I got this awesome chicken dish, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was!!! I also got a big yummy drink, I think it was a pina colada!!!
My recovery was pretty easy as well. I had minimal soreness but I was soooooo tired. I do remember being crabby.
Now onto preparing for my sprint tri. in July. Also I am planning my birthday month of celebrating my 40th birthday!!!! I have to get on that, the first day of celebrating starts tomorrow!