We flew into Chicago Friday morning, grabbed our rental car, and headed for Kenosha.
Marathon #3: The Wisconsin Marathon
in Brief: Pretty, Flat, Overcast and COOL.
Notable features: After the finish, Bratwurst and Polka Rock,.
I forgot my iPod shuffle, but used my iTouch and it worked fine. I also forgot gels, but the night before the race I dashed across the highway to Dicks sporting goods - and here is what is horrible about Big Box stores: When I walked in the greeter asked me what I needed, and I said "Gu" and he did not know what that was.
I said "Sports gel". Nope.
I said, "Energy gel" and he pointed me towards all the energy foods, where I found some Roctane. I love this stuff. Lots of electrolytes, a bit of caffeine. I "Galloway"ed this one, running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute. I felt strong on this race, but had a moment of panic at mile 15-ish, when I started feeling my IT band. It murmured at me for a while, and then inexplicably, the feeling disappeared. There were a few uphills, but they were mild. Lots of concrete, and part of the course went onto a gravel road.
Unbelievably, I blew away my old PR (that I got last week in Nashville) with a finishing time of 4:47 and and...
there was nobody there at the finish. Nobody I knew, anyway.
I wondered around for a bit for 30 minutes, and then Himself came walking toward me - he'd gone and gotten the car and moved it closer and never expected me to finish that fast. And why would he? *I* never expected to finish that fast.
We stopped at Popeyes at my request, and I changed in the bathroom,, scarfed down some chicken, and then jumped in the car and headed for Kalamazoo. We arrived early enough to relax for most of the evening and get a good night's sleep. We ate at a local Italian chain.
Marathon #4: Kalamzoo Marathon
in Brief: REALLY Pretty, Hilly, Sun skies, Mostly cool.
Notable features: I never found the meal I had the ticket to. But it didn't matter. I just wanted to lie down and cry when I was done.
Arriving in Kalamazoo, much like the Wisconsin marathon, the packet pickup was small and low-key. I checked in at the 50-state challenge table, where they took my picture holding a placard that said "New Mexico." They gave me my free New Balance 890s for being the first person from NM to sign up.
I "Galloway"ed this one also, running 4 minutes and walking 2. I were a tired puppy. But I'm telling you, when use the Galloway method, your legs are fresher toward the end when everyone else is fading. But boy, my feet hurt. I was not expecting this to be hilly, but it was. However, at mile 15, I got my feet under me with a long, mile-long downhill. Most of this course was shady.
Lots of friendly locals, and trees covered with huge pink flowers that looked kinda like huge pink gardenias, but no leaves, just entire trees covered with huge waxy blossoms. Can anyone tell me what these are?
Oooo, my feet hurt. I had more Roctane Gels for this. They are hideously expensive .
Finishing time: 5:17, I think. After this one, I felt a lot like I did after my very first marathon. My feet hurt. My quads hurt. I was a little unsteady when I finished . I went straight back to the hotel and lay in tepid water for a while, and then cleaned up and napped on and off most of the afternoon. In the evening, we went to a Mongolian Barbecue, where I had some veggies, meat, and a bit of brown rice. Time to start eating clean again.
So what did I learn from this?
- First, who would have thought a slow old lazy woman like me would pull off a sub-five marathon the week after running two others?
- Second, running at sea level ROCKS. All that oxygen. It's awesome.
- Third, I married a stud. His times on his four marathons were 3:44, 3:42, 3:41, and 3:42. And he still had enough energy to chase me around a hotel room.
- Fourth, for me, the Galloway method works. It works well.
Next up: Jemez 50K trail race. I DNF'd this one last year; my goal this year is just to finish.