Chehalis Western (paved) trail. A fun course would be to start in Yelm or Tenino and take the trail point to point all the way to Woodard Bay. Today I will run a marathon here, but it will be a triple out and back from 67th street at the same start/finish as the Run for Luck and the Puddle Jump.
Sporty Diva Rose greets me enthusiastically and takes time to explain the course to me. Small event with a 5K, 10K , 26.2miles and 50K. Tammy is running the half and it is her birthday. I decide to run the first 10 miles with her at about 2 hour half pace. That is faster than I should go out for a marathon, but I can slow after and it should not be so bad.
Marathon Maniac group photo
Start - 5K and 10K go off in one direction, half full and 50K go another way. To get enough miles we do a short out and back on 67th street. We can see that three runners are ahead of us, but we have no idea which race they are in. Now a left turn to head south on the trail for half a mile. Turn around and stay on the trail going past the aid station. We won't see the aid station again for about 7 miles. I have a small water bottle and some gels. I debated carrying another or bigger bottle, but foolishly went with the small one.
Mile 6 - Nice time chatting with Tammy. Bill biking along here and there to take some pictures. One woman (Amanda) has been ahead of us. When we reach the T junction with the Pacific Ave trail we are to turn right, but Amanda is no where to be seen. Looking left we see that she has gone the wrong way. Tammy and I yell and get her back on track. Small chalk arrows on the trail are there, but not so obvious. Out Pac Ave Trail for a bit and then turn around.
Mile 9 - Tammy started tiring a few minutes ago. We were at 2 hour pace but now it is slowing some. Her friend Cheryl joins us and we finish the first loop at mile 10.
Mile 10 - Tammy takes the 5K out and back to complete her half. I start my second 10 mile loop by heading out 67th street. But first I refill my empty water bottle and also open a gatorade, drink some and leave that next to my car. Now running alone. But so many Maniacs that I can greet on the out and backs. Lisa, Tory, Rick, Monte, Cindy, Jane, Slug, Steve, Crockpot, Peter, David.
Mile 13 - Not feeling well. It is getting warm and I am thirsty but want to conserve what is in my bottle. Start taking walk breaks. I do catch up to Amanda who is also starting to struggle. We start talking and I hope for a nice couple of miles, but when I can no longer keep up, I see that I have only gone a mile with her.
Mile 15 - Feeling very poorly. I remember stepping on the scale this morning and being surprised to find myself three pounds lighter than expected. I don't know how it happened, but I must have been dehydrated going into the race. Now my legs do not want to move and a real struggle begins. I drink more and go off course to the Chambers Trailhead to fill up my bottle. Run a short bit with Peter but he gets away from me. Too bad, I think that there is only one woman ahead of us, and Peter is now the first male.
Mile 18 - I can't run more than a quarter mile then it is a long walk break. Water almost gone and I have two miles to the aid station. Seriously struggling. I could just quit at 20 miles. Not my day. But I know that I will go on. With the 50K, I won't be the last one in and there are others going slowly. No one is passing me, at least not yet. Hot. Slower Half fanatics encourage me.
Mile 20 - End of lap 2. Rose is concerned about me. I must not look so good. A cold drink sounds great and I sit on a bench and down two full cups of cold Fresca. I will probably get hit with nausea, but it just looked so appealing. Fill my water bottle and also carry a larger bottle of gatorade. Head out slowly for the 10K out and back.
Mile 21 - Lisa catches up. We walk for a while and I help her get something out of her sweaty back vest pocket. Then we run and she goes much faster. Pavement getting to my legs and my left foot is hurting a little. Mostly just lacking in energy and afraid that if I run much I might pass out. So I walk a lot. Down to the Chambers Trailhead where I toss the empty gatorade and fill up my water. Tory passes me here and is soon to be way far ahead.
Mile 24 - My spirits are OK but my body is just not willing. Stomach is Ok but I just can not run. Wont beat 5 hours! Moving along but thinking about that Fresca at the finish. Picturing how I will open the cooler and pour myself a cup, how good it will be. Rationing out the water I have left.
Mile 25.8 - Over the bridge and on to the last bit to the finish. Guy on a bike says that I am really close. Then half a minute later I hear him say the same thing. I look back and a pack of three is finally getting close to me. They are far enough back that I know I can come in ahead of them if I give some effort. Not caring at all about the clock, I work hard to the finish so as to not get passed.
Mile 26.2 - 26.77 on the GPS - So happy to be done. Stick around for a little while to recover and commiserate. A couple of us had rough runs, but we got it done.
Results pending, but I think I was 5th of 15
Marathon or ultra#114