Pete Tanguay

Races

Memphis Half Marathon 2012

by on Dec.02, 2012, under Races

Summary:  What an awesome day.  What a great weekend.  I am so thankful for so many people in my life.  Once again, I ran for my NF Hero, Mavia Evenson.

Now, on to the race report.  I didn’t really train specifically for this event.  I was trained up for this event and was focused, but my last few months were focused on the Chicago marathon and the NYC marathon that didn’t happen.  Then we went on a cruise over Thanksgiving where I did 3 treadmill workouts and some time spinning on the bike and weight training and drank a lot of beer ( :) ).  The week before the marathon I did a run and some speed work but that was it.

I quit drinking coffee and alcohol for the week prior to the event and drank a lot of water.  I had my first cup of coffee the morning of the race and felt the caffeine perk me up.  My goal was to run sub 1:40, the same goal I had in January when I ran the Houston Half and did a 1:43.  This was an aggressive goal, but why set goals you know you can reach?  Reach high.  I felt I could do it, but I knew it would be a stretch.  It was possible.  The day before the race, Tim texted me and said he was going to come and pace me.  At first I thought, ‘Awesome’.  Then I realized there was no slacking as I had my favorite pacer there with me.  It made me focus all week to be ready.

I was as ready at the start of the race as I have ever been.  No injuries.  Felt good.  Well rested.  Nutrition was spot on.  I had Tim to pace me and I gave him a gatorade bottle of Amino Vital mix with a chocolate Clif Gel with caffiene in it and he was to carry it and give me drinks from it every mile or when I wanted.  No aid stations to deal with.  Temps were in the high 40’s and the weather was good – a little windy and slightly humid but not a factor.

Off we went in Coral 2 with the 3:10 and 3:15 marathon pacers and hung with them for the first mile or so.  I felt great.  1:39:?? was going to happen today.  I remembered the course and thought I knew the uphill and downhill segments.  I’ve run this course 3 times in the marathon and 3 in the half.

First 5k was great.  Felt good.  On pace.  The plan was to get to the park on pace at mile 8 and then pick it up slightly through the park which I remembered as flat, then pick it up out of the park (mile 10) and start the 3 miles downhill (according to the website).  As we entered the park, I thought we were on pace.  The park was not flat.  It was gradual up, then down and then uphill going out.  I did not want to waste energy going up the hills and kept the same level of effort.  If I had known I was a bit off pace I might have pushed harder.  I am not sure what the result on the race would have been.  Coming out of the park I tried to pick it up and did a bit but the 3 miles of net down hill was really an up and down section.  Tim was pushing me hard but going up the hills I just didn’t have it.  I worked and focused but didn’t feel I could afford to give it my all yet and just gave it my best. We finished hard but it wasn’t enough to do a 1:39:??.  Ended up with a 1:42:23 (even though my garmin said 1:42:01 as it may have stopped when I walked for a few seconds at mile 8 to take a drink).

I learned a lot from this race.  First I learned that I need to have  a couple mile splits to check where I am in a race so I don’t think I am on pace when I am not.  I should have had a 3 mile, 6 mile, 9 mile, 12 mile split written on my arm so I would have known that I was slipping rather than thinking I was on pace.  Not sure if it would have mattered. Second, I learned to try and run slightly faster than your average goal pace.  My goal pace was 7:38/mile.  In the future I will try and run a 7:30 or 7:33 pace to achieve this goal.

After the race I was happy with my result but not satisfied.  I had set a goal, even though ambitious, and felt I could get it.  I didn’t.  I kept thinking, “where did I go wrong?”.  I will take the lessons learned from this event and when I train for future half marathons I will apply them.  On a positive note, this is my second fastest half marathon ever and my fastest in 3 years.  I have run 2 half marathons this year and one was a 1:43 (also tried to get under 1:40 at this one) and a 1:45.  Looking at the race results I found that I finished fourth in my age group and since the 1st finisher in my age group got an over 50 age group award, I officially finished third in my age group out of 108 runners.  This is very satisfying.  The personalized plaque I will get will mean more than the medal.  This fires me up to keep working and get my time down under 1:40.

Beyond the race and the finish time, I am amazed at the friends I have made running.  The NF Endurance team was there in full force and I am proud to be a part of them.  The Conway Running Club was there in full force and I am proud to be a part of them.  Many Little Rock Runners were there and I am happy to be friends with them.  The race started with Ellen, a patient at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, singing the national anthem.  She brought tears to my eyes.  The person who introduced her said after she sang, as people were applauding, that he was especially proud of her as she was his daughter.

Running through the St. Jude campus, giving high fives to all of the kids was so moving, as it always is.  If this doesn’t make your heart move, you need to get an EKG to see if it is still working.  This was a great race to finish out the year.

Here are my Garmin splits.  Happy to have all but 2 miles sub 8!  I just did not realize that miles 4-9 were so far off pace and did not anticipate the hills in the park in mile 10 or in the last 3 miles.  What if …. Oh, just stop it!

Here are the results of my age group:

There were 2181 males of all ages in the event and I finished 145th which is the top 7% of all males in the race and I have to feel good about that.

I ran 11.5 miles today as a recovery run.  I am so happy to be injury free and look forward to 2013 racing.

The fundraising support from FACEBOOK is encouraging!!!

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Chicago Marathon 2012

by on Oct.09, 2012, under Races

To have finished this is amazing to me because 3 months ago my leg hurt so bad I didn’t think I was even going to be able to finish.  With the help of Chance and his chiropractic and acupuncture magic, plus some change in diet, I got back to where I could run a good full week the week of 8/12-18.  I was patient and trained when I could and got to the starting line feeling great.  Absolutely no hint of the pain in my glutes, hamstring and knee.

The day was perfect, high 30’s to start, very little wind and cloud cover.  I’d had a couple good night sleeps and was ready to run.  Same plan but a little slower pace – plan to run 8:55 – 9 minute pace for the first 20 miles using “electric” energy and then step on the gas.  I had the opportunity to see Danny Dreyer, the author of Chi Running at the expo and listening to him speak really hammered home some of the key techniques that I needed to use in the race.  Let the bone structure of your body support your weight while you run as you lean forward, lift you pelvis to engage your core and lengthen your spine.  Then see the road go out behind you as you lift your legs.  Everything needs to be moving forward.  Gravity is your friend.  This was my focus for the entire race, but especially the first 20 miles.

The first 9 miles literally flew by.  I was amazed at how quickly the mile markers were coming up.  I had run the last 20 miles of the Chicago marathon before, meeting up with someone at mile 6 and pacing her in.  So the first 6 miles were new and they went so fast.  We went through a tunnel in the first mile and my garmin lost satellite and I had it set on auto stop and losing the satellite made it think I had stopped so when I got to mile 1 my garmin said I had gone .78 miles.  I kind of panicked and then realized that there was race time on every mile marker and I knew we had crossed the start at about 5 minutes and so I could calculate it out.  The Garmin lost satellite a few more times in the tall buildings and so it was hard to know my pace but by then I had a comfortable 8:55-9 pace that I could feel.

All was good until the half, crossed it at 1:57 and felt good.  I slowed a bit after this but didn’t think that I was slowing but my garmin must have lost it again.  I was starting to tire but Curt was running with me and ran a bit ahead and so I could focus on him.  It was great to have him there.  I knew Mary would be at mile 16.5 with the fuel I needed to finish the race strong.  And she was there and after I got it I walked a bit while I drank down the Amino Vital, got my gels in my gloves and ate a few bites of a clif bar.  I had taken some pretzels at an aid station and really didn’t need much to eat so I threw the Clif Bar to the side.  3 miles until the gas could come on I worked to get back to my pace but could tell it was a little slow but focused on conserving energy rather than trying to maintain pace.  It was not time to use any gas.

Mile 20 came and I began to work.  I was not feeling fresh by any means and worked to maintain my pace and begin to pick it up when I could.  Running through Chinatown was good and it was at this point that Curt started to lag a bit.  I hated to leave him but he wouldn’t have wanted me to wait.  I was looking for the bounce in my step, starting to use my leg muscles more, pushing off more and telling myself that this was the moment I had trained for.  I was encouraged that I was not hitting the wall like I did in Little Rock and Hogeye this Spring.  I worked hard in mile 23 to get my Garmin under 9 minutes but could not hold it.  I think the loss in pace was mostly due to walking some aid stations to stay relaxed and get good fluids.  After mile 25 I decided I had enough hydration and I was going to run through them.  I would pick off people that were still running and reel them in and pass them.  Best part was passing the guy with the 3:45 bib on his back and “Drop the Hammer” printed above it.  I felt like I was dropping the hammer and he had dropped his.  I was starting to feel good but really looking for the turn at mile 26 when you go up and over the bridge to the finish.  When it was in sight I gave it all I had, breathing really hard up the hill and down to the finish line.

I’m really happy I pushed so hard because a 3:57:58 is so much better than a 3:58:??.  I already had 2 of those and even though it still would have been the fastest 3:58 I had done, it was nice to get a 3:57, my second fastest marathon.  Curt came in a 4:00:38.  I felt bad for him.  He’s run a couple in the 3:40’s and I felt like he suffered because he ran my race.  But he also met his goal which was to enjoy his race and for us to run together.  Lucky me.

Here’s the Garmin’s story, not sure how credible it is.  I do like the finishing time better!!!

Here’s a picture of me at mile 16.5 when I was to meet Curt’s Dad, Chuck, with my Amino Vital drink, gels and Clif Bar.  This was vital to the last 10 miles.  Mary had this but I didn’t see her.  I panicked.  The picture tells the story.  Ha!!!!

And last but not least, my great running friend Curt, who makes running a marathon even better than it already is!!

And for history’s sake, here is an email that came out regarding the race in Chicago.

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Hogeye Marathon 2012

by on Apr.16, 2012, under Races

I knew I wasn’t ready for this one but I didn’t think it would be this hard!  After “locking up” at mile 22 in the Little Rock marathon I finished, somewhat disappointed and decided I would run Hogeye in a month to work some things out.  I didn’t do any long runs between them and have been focusing on “speed” races, 5 and 10k’s.  Well, that is no way to train for a marathon.

In the end I feel good about my race.  I went there to finish and I finished.  There is a certain amount of satisfaction by being able to go run a marathon whenever I want to – well I should say finish a marathon as I didn’t run the whole thing!!!

The morning started out with the expectation of very bad weather.  Kansas had gotten hammered with tornadoes the night before and there were clouds coming our way and a wet race predicted.

Fortunately the 30mph winds pushed this line of storms more to the north and we pretty much escaped the weather.  There was some rain in mile 22-3 and when we finished it turned into a monsoon.  But fortunately this was not a factor in the race.  The wind, however, was a factor, both from behind and in your face.

I felt good and got into my 9 minute pace, give or take a bit, and thought I would be ok.  I had a few fast miles in the beginning but those were due to mostly downhill portions.  As I got into mile 16 or so my legs locked again.  It was hard to run and so I changed to run/walk.  There were lots of up and down hills and yet I have done this marathon in a 4:08 before and so it wasn’t completely the hills.  It was the preparation.  I figured I’d be able to bring in a 4:10-15 but not today.

Leslie was doing the 4th leg of their team relay and the second and third relay exchange were in the same place so she had a drink and clif bar for me there at mile 12 and I was feeling ok at this point.

But by the time I got back around to her again, mile 18.2, not so much.  I took off from there, knowing she would catch me and she did, about mile 22.  She pushed me along, made me run, and we finished together.  Didn’t help the time of her relay team! And as you can tell, there is a bit of an uphill to the finish.

I enjoyed the race and even with a very slow time, I am not disappointed because I went out there to finish and to learn some things from Little Rock and get my head ready to start training for Chicago in a month or so.  I was reminded that you must be conditioned for the race in order to be able to run the whole thing.  When you get into the race and your legs are gone, they are gone.  There is no amount of mental that will bring them back.  I’m looking forward to a few weeks off and then ramping up to an “A” race Chicago training program.  Hope the summer weather doesn’t kill me!

Here is what the Garmin says.  And the Garmin doesn’t lie.

And as an added bonus, my brother Ed and I did our second “intercontinental marathon relay”.  He finished the Paris Marathon about 30 minutes before I started mine.  Click here for his marathon blog and pictures.

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Capital City 10k – 2012

by on Apr.07, 2012, under Races

A beautiful morning for a 10k.  My body was wondering why I was going to ask it to run so hard this morning.  I was looking forward to the race but didn’t have a lot of “want to” run in me.  No real motivation to get a PR, just wanted to get out and find a pace that I could hold and get it done.  I ran this race last year in 44:38 and didn’t know if I could repeat or improve upon this.  I settled into a pace I felt was challenging but not red lined.  It felt more like a hard run than a race.  A running friend came up behind me in the 6th mile and encouraged me to push it to the finish.  I would have liked to have this last mile sub 7 but it wasn’t to be.

I’m happy with the race.  It was enjoyable and hard enough.  Hogeye marathon next weekend.

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Spring Fling 5k – PR

by on Mar.24, 2012, under Races

I haven’t had a PR in awhile and was not expecting one today.  The race started out quick and a friend, Angie was in front of me about half way through the first mile.  She’s a fast runner and also runs for the Conway Running Club team so I thought I would see if I could hang with her.  At about the 3/4 mile point I decided I could pass her.  I grabbed a drink as I ran by the 1 mile aid station and she passed me.  I then pulled ahead of her and for the rest of the race I could hear her very close behind me.  It was two team mates running together, me pulling her and her staying with me.  The end result was my best ever 5k time and she finished about 10 seconds behind me.  That’s some great speed work to start the day!!!

Click on the image above for full race results.

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2012 Chase Race 2 miler

by on Mar.10, 2012, under Races

Less than a week after the Little Rock marathon I’m out there running a 2 mile race.  Last year I ran a 13:07 but I am still very happy with my results today.  One lesson I take away was with about a half a mile left to go all I could think about was how long until it is safe to kick it in and how can I keep up my pace or pick it up.  Suddenly my mind said – “STOP IT”  just focus on your form and quit thinking about the last mile.  I focused and pulled past a couple runners and then kicked to the end, beating a guy in my age group by less than a second to get third in my age group.  Nice to be able to run a couple 6:40 miles at my age.  My official time was 13:30.

And always one of the highlights of every event is the opportunity to run for the NF Endurance Team and to hang out with my NF Friends like Connie Oslica.

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Little Rock Marathon 2012

by on Mar.05, 2012, under Races

The 2012 Little Rock marathon is in the books.  It was a tough day out there.

I have been running but not on a strict marathon training schedule.  My focus has been fewer runs that are faster and running less to try and resolve the injury in my leg.  Although I still feel it, I think it is on its way to being healed.  It was not a factor at all in the race.  I went out today to try and run the first half faster than I usually do without using a lot of energy and seeing how well I could do the second half.  I also went out to run for Mavia and Danny and having them their in my thoughts helped me through my race.

The morning started with some cool weather but it heated up to about 50-60 by the end of the race.  The wind was light to begin but got to about 15-20 mph by the end of the race.  My first half felt good.  Felt like I was running a half marathon at a nice comfortable pace.  The few hills in the first half didn’t really feel like hills.  I was working my way through the race just fine.  I didn’t feel like I was laboring that much, just felt like I was running a very smart race.  The 3:45 pace group caught up to me about mile 10.5 and I ran with them for a bit while everyone in the group was trying to come up with the 10 states that had two words in the name of their capitol (like Little Rock).  They went on and I crossed the half marathon mark at 1:52 four minutes faster than last year.  Everything was on track.

Then came the hills.  And the wind.  I worked my way up the hills from mile 14-16.5 and felt I was doing fine.  The race was becoming work and I could tell I was slowing but that was to be expected.  I had very good nutrition and hydration and as I ran down the hill to mile 17 I thought, ok, let’s get this race done.  The 3:50 pace group had not passed me yet and I was going to turn on the gas around mile 20 and run it on in.  I still felt this was doable.  From mile 18-23 is an out and back along the river and running out against the wind (not too bad) I knew I would have wind at my back to finish.  Again, good news.  Then about mile 19 a pace group caught up to me that I thought would be the 3:50 group but there was no 3:50 group.  It was the 3:55 group led by a good friend of mine.  I stayed with them only briefly and then began thinking that I was now being chased by the 4 hour group.  Almost to the turn around.  At mile 20 I was just under 3 hours and I thought, all I need is a one hour 10k to finish under 4.  This is going to be work but I can do it.  The 3:55 group passed the turnaround and I timed how far behind them I was at it was 2 and a half minutes.  Ok, it’s time to run.

The rest of the race just hurt.  My thighs locked and it was hard to run.  I gave my last effort in mile 22 but could not hold it.  The 4 hour group passed me about mile 23 or so and I ran/walked in.  Two friends tried to encourage me to run with them but it wasn’t to be.  Here I was finishing the Little Rock marathon with a tail wind and couldn’t run it!

In the end it was a good race and my 12th marathon (plus I ran 20 miles of the Chicago marathon once with a friend – starting at mile 6).  I left it all out on the course and although I’m not pleased with my time I know it is what I had on this day.  Running for Mavia and Danny was very special and the event will go down as a positive day!

As the day after the race goes on, though, disappointment on not being able to run the last 6.2 in an hour is creeping in.  What would it have taken to battle harder through the pain to get in about 10 minutes earlier?  Why could I not keep up with the friends who were saying come on?  Why did I let my legs win the battle of will?  I did the best I could and take a lot of good away from the race.  So let’s try and leave it there!

Time to recover (my legs are shot) and then lose some weight, build some core strength and train for the Chicago marathon in October – my 2012 ‘A’ marathon race.  This should be a challenge as much of the training will be in the heat of the summer, not a good training time for me.  It will all add up to a good challenge for 2012.

Finally, special thanks to Lesley who is our fearless NF leader who got me into running for NF, Hannah who was my course support in miles 18-23 and without her providing me my Amino-Vital drink and Clif Bars I hate to think what would have happened and to Madeleine for being there at the finish line to give me a hug (and of course to my awesome wife for being there as well even though she is not in the picture!).

And one more mention of the two people who I ran the race for, Mavia and Danny.  Thanks to so many friends who “ran with me” and supported me financially, I reached my goal of $5,000 and our NF Endurance team reached our goal to raise $20,000.  If it is still March 2012 you can click on the image below and still add your financial support to a great cause!  Who knows where we will finally end up, but we do know that the money will be put to good use to solve the NF puzzle.

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Run the Line Half Marathon

by on Feb.20, 2012, under Races

Another half marathon in the books.  Had a good race, a little more uphill than I had expected.  I tend to run conservative up hills to not use too much energy and run harder down the hills, actually using the same amount of energy but going faster.  It felt like there were more ups than downs in this race.  One of my new goals is to learn to attack hills a bit more without using too much energy.

I got a good start and worked to hold a sub-8 pace.  I would have liked to stay around 7:45.  I had some other runners I was trying to stay with and pushed myself early on.  Mile 3-5 I kept thinking about how long I could hold it, how many more miles were left and decided I needed to focus on what I was doing in “this mile”.  Someone in my age group who I did not want to beat me came up beside me in mile 6 and I thought, oh no, here he is.  I thought, “I can out kick him at the end” so just stay up with him.  Then we got to a gradual down and I thought, no, let’s leave him now and I did.  I kept my distance and had a good last 2 miles.

Overall I feel good about the race.  Not my best time but good for this day.  Did a 3 mile recovery run this morning and felt good.

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Soaring Wings Half 2011

by on Oct.29, 2011, under Races

Finally have good information on my injury which is a muscle or ligament pull right at my pelvic bone.  It’s been there for awhile but as it gets better I run more and so now it is a chronic injury.  The good news is I now have stretches that will loosen it up and have been instructed to ice after every run which I can tell will work as I sit here and blog my run with an ice pack between my legs.  This will keep the swelling down and help it to heal. 

With that in mind, I set out to run the Soaring Wings Half Marathon yesterday as an easy run, not a race.  Curt was pacing the 1:50 group so I decided to run with him and if I needed to let him go I would.  That’s what I did, about mile 8.  It was hard to see some runners I knew pass me after mile 8 (runners that I would normally finish in front of) but I wasnt’ in a race frame of mind and focused on finishing without walking and not getting injured.  Finished 1:52:22 and finished strong.  I passed my watch to Curt at mile 7.5 and he brought his group in at 1:49:48, an excellent pacing job.  Below are my splits for the first 8 miles and my finishing time.  The goal is to pick up my training, heal up and finish the Houston half marathon in January with a time that starts with a 1:3_:__. 

Madeleine and Anne Elizabeth did the kids run the night before!

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Tailtwister 50k

by on Jun.05, 2011, under Races

After I finished the Vienna Marathon in April, I realized I had done one in March (Little Rock) and if I did another one before June 6th that would be 3 in 3 months and I would be qualified for Marathon Maniac status.  Part of me said,  “so what” and another part said, “do it or you’ll regret it”.  If you don’t do it now you’ll have to run 2 marathons again to be in the position to make this decision.  So I did it.  I signed up for the Tailtwister 50k that was held at War Eagle State Park, Arkansas’s largest state park (12,000 acres).  I’ve often thought of trying a 50k, I couldn’t find any marathons before June 6th that were worth doing (or close) and I have a lot of friends who really enjoy running trails.

The week leading up to the run I was feeling really fatigued.  Couldn’t understand why.  My runs were difficult.  I felt tired a lot.  Work has been very busy and I was a little scared of the upcoming 50k.  To top it off, I end up getting these sores, like spider bites, on my arm and go to the doctor and find out I have shingles, something you get when your immune system is down.  She gave me some medicine and I asked if I could run the 50k while taking this medicine and she said, “I guess so but it may not help your immune system get strong”.  That’s all I needed was a yes and I was out of there to get the meds.  It was the ticket to run and the ticket to taper and rest all week.

Ultra races (races over a marathon distance) are as different from marathons as cross country skiing is from downhill skiing.  Once you get past the fact that you are running in both, the similarities fade fast.

As my timing chip crossed the start mat and we headed down the trail into the woods, my primary goal was to finish.  Other than that I wanted to experience the woods, have some time to think and see what this ultra running was all about.  The first 7 miles of the race went by quickly, running up and down the trails.  I got going real fast down, then tried to find the “pace I could run forever” on the flats and did whatever my body needed on the uphills.  I walked the steep uphills when I felt it was taking me too much energy to run up them rather than to walk.

First aid station at 7 miles was my first experience coming into an ultra aid station (I’ve worked one before).  Instead of running by and grabbing a cup and throwing the liquid down your throat without losing pace, someone meets you and “gets your order” – I’ll have one filled with water and one with gatorade, and they were off.  There was a buffet of sugar, salt, fruits and starches.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, jelly beans, oranges,  etc. After a couple of minutes I was off down the trail again with ice water and gatorade.  This happened every 3-4 miles for the rest of the race.

In a marathon, you have a goal pace you try to maintain.  On the trail, the goal seems to be to keep moving forward, keeping in mind the faster you run, the sooner you are done.  But the faster you run is more dependent on how energy efficient you are as you cover the miles on the changing terrain.  I worked to keep the best pace I could as I ran.  As the race went on I walked more and more the uphills, and they were uphill!!  I focused on power walking to cover them quicker.  I counted my steps and tried to get back to a run by 50 steps unless the hill was real steep.  I didn’t want to walk too much but I also didn’t want to burn too much energy on a hill without corresponding distance gain.  Mostly I was in a “whatever it takes to cross the finish line” mode.

In a marathon, the course is clear, lined with people and you never have to worry about tripping or falling.  It is all about keeping that goal pace and going for the kick at the end if there is gas left in the tank.  On the trail, falling is a constant concern.  I was always focused on the trail ahead.  A couple times when I put my head back to drink I almost tripped.  The further I got into the race, as my legs and mind got tired, the danger of falling increased.  At about mile 23 I was coming down a windy hill and I got going too fast.  Early in the race I would have braked with my legs but they were not quite as responsive now.  I took a corner too wide and almost ran right into a tree, back on the trail and the next corner I went off into the woods but everything was fine.  In mile 27 I was picking up my pace on a gradual down and feeling good.  The trail was nice so I let up my guard and the next thing I knew I was on my way down.  Fortunately the water bottles broke my fall so all I have are bloody knuckles and a skinned up shoulder and leg.

In a marathon there are always runners around you and people on the sidelines cheering.  On the trails I was by myself 90% (at least) of the time.  There was one part when we were briefly on a service road where a runner ran up beside me and asked me what NF was.  He was from Peru and living in Arkansas and it was nice to spend a couple of minutes to let one more person know about NF and why we Run for A Reason.  The rest of the time I was making up songs about trail running and how I was just going to run all day, thinking about my friends and family, listening to the ice in my water bottle go up and down and trying to make my legs go up and down to the beat, noticing the deer run through the woods and being focused on what my body needed to get through this event.  I had planned to spend the time thinking through some things, since I’d have a lot of time on my hands, but I realized I needed all my concentration just to stay on my feet and to keep moving and “thinking through” somethings was taking too much away from the run.  Coming in to the last aid station (about mile 29-30) they saw me through the trees, someone yelled “runner” and someone else started banging a cowbell and they all cheered me in.  I asked one of the guys there to text Lynn to tell her I was ok since I thought this adventure would take no more than 6 hours and I was over 6:30 at the time.

One of the best parts of the race for me was when I passed the 26.2 mile mark.  I knew that I was in virgin territory.  I had never run more than 26.2 miles and I was about to run another 5 miles. I was still moving and running.  I believed I would make it.  I got excited and picked up my pace – yup, and stopped paying attention and met Mother Earth.  There were 2-3 killer hills in the last 5 miles.  I power walked every hill and committed to running as much as I could.  My legs were tender.  Although it was 95 degrees, the shade of the woods and the excellent job of the aid stations to keep me hydrated and my nutrition up, it was never a factor. Towards the end as I passed a few people I realized that my body and legs are well trained for distance running.  I especially enjoy passing runners who are clearly 10-20 years younger than me!

Although this event was really not about time, the Garmin came along for the run and recorded the facts.  Mine is set to auto stop when I am stopped so it looks like I spent some time stopped in the aid stations.  I really thought I was going to get in under 7 hours but it wasn’t to be and it doesn’t matter.  I did get off course once and got all the way down to the lake and had to go back to the last white flag to find out where I had gone wrong and “get it right”.  Fortunately it was not very far.  With the elevation changes being so drastic, the pace / mile is hard to analyze.  Basically, it is what it is.  It is 31.37 miles, 4475 calories burned and close to 10,000 feet of elevation up and down.  That’s what Mr. Garmin has to say about this race.

What a great accomplishment, a great day in the woods and honestly, something that I’m surprised, but happy, that I could accomplish.  One more thing.  In a marathon, the next day your legs are sore.  In an ultra run, the next day, everything is sore.  I’m sure I’ll run another marathon and I’m sure I’ll do another ultra.

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