Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. - 1 Cor 9:24-27

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 Marquette Marathon

Training has been difficult this time around.  Hubby accepted a new job and was gone before us for a few months and then the move itself.  Overall, my pace had slowed down compared to the previous marathon training partly due to the effort I made in hitting more on my forefoot rather than my heel.

Iowa has spoiled me on the amount of miles of bike paths that they have.  So nice to not have to worry about traffic on long runs ... that and the lack of elevation.  Though, I do have to say that I miss the hills.  Crazy, I know.

I had signed up for this marathon back in January when I still lived an hour and a half away.  A very good friend and homeschooling momma and I agreed to run it together.  On Friday, the whole family drove eight hours from Iowa to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  My friend and I camped out in our own hotel room leaving our husbands to tend to the children in a different room.  We talked past our bed times but who sleeps well the night before, right?

God blessed us with a fellow runner who offered to drive us to the start.  I'd rather not have to wake my husband and five kids that early in the morning.  Thanks be to God for prayers answered.  I had asked my husband if he was nervous of a stranger driving us.  His answer, "Marathoners are a breed all their own. 

The sunrise was breathtaking.
The marathon course is two laps.  Here's the description from the marathon website:
What’s the course like?

In a word, AWESOME! The course starts out at Presque Isle Park on the shores of Lake Superior. The majority of the course is on a bike path winding through woods, skirting the downtown, and passing by the Saturday morning farmers market. Best of all, ½ the race is along miles and miles of flat, fast, and gorgeous Lake Superior shoreline. There is one uphill at mile 12 and 25. It is an 1800 foot stretch that climbs 80 feet in the shade of an old growth stand of hemlocks. After “topping out”, you are rewarded with a fairly gradual downhill followed by a flat fast quarter mile stretch to the finish.
The first nine miles we were doing very well.  We talked and talked and averaged a 11:37 pace.  As the next miles progressed, my friends feet were not doing well.  I had taken out my earbud because I noticed that the sound of her footsteps were different.  It was painful listening to them.  We started walking a bit more and our mile 12 split was 13:44 making the overall pace 11:56.  She knew in her heart that she should stop but felt that she was bailing out on me.  I told her that I was perfectly fine with continuing solo and that if she didn't stop, I would and then we would both not finish.

Mile 13.1 we were back at the starting line ready for the second lap.  My friend was smart and stopped.

Half marathon time - 2:37:10 (12:00 pace)  only 1 minute slower than my first marathon split in Green Bay!

I wasn't solo for long.  By mile 14, hubby and the kids found me.
Bumbershoot ran out to give me a hug.
This course is very family friendly.  There are so many parks for the kids to play at.  Basically, we played leap frog for the rest of the marathon.  Hubby would drive by with the windows down on the van.  The kids would yell, "Go Mom Go".  They would get out at a park and play.  When I ran by, they would run along side and cheer.  Hubby would pile them into the van and drive by with the windows down.  The kids would cheer, etc.  I had the best support crew at the marathon!
Mile 15

Mile 21

Lil' Chef and Squeaker running with me at mile 22

At Picnic Rocks, Mr. T joins in

Mile 24

Working ore dock in the background

Lil' Chef and Squeaker following me into the isle.

Lil' Chef, Squeaker, and Bumbershoot ontop the world's largest glacial copper.

Into the finish chute

Still smiling!

Second full marathon finish!

Husband looks proud, eh?
Waiting for a massage

Marathon time - 5:26:51 (12:29 pace)  PR over the Green Bay marathon

Overall, I felt pretty good.  My left knee was slightly tender but nothing like the first marathon.  Fueling went well and I was glad that I brought the extra Roctane.  I needed the extra sodium on the second lap.  Thankful for no stomach issues!

I am sad that I didn't get any pictures with my good friend.

Thank you to my hubby, Lil' Chef, and Mr. T for taking pictures.