Jun 8, 2011

2010 Grandma's Marathon - 2, Getting it Done

We continued the assault, passing a fast looking triathlete in a skinsuit.  I often wonder if tri-guys are high maintenance.   Is it necessary to wear Breathe Right strips, belts of carbs, yards of spandex, muscle tape, visor and a host of other crap when not partaking in the swim and bike portions?  Simplify, less is better when running (Heb. 12:1, Twinkle Toes).  We threshed him like wheat and bobbed past a couple men from east Africa that had blown gaskets and/or squirted hot brown chunks in their shorts.  An elite lady was grimacing as fatigue cut her thighs like a plow breaking sod.

Lake Superior at Duluth, close to the finish line
High humidity prevented the sweat and water I slung down my back from evaporating.  The sun’s rays poked as hot irons through split clouds.  Aaron said we’ d be in trouble if the clouds broke and the sun fired at us unrestrained.  No doubt about that.   We lucked, as it stayed mostly overcast as the temp needle idled in the 60’s.  Plenty warm, but the lowest temp for this marathon in five years.  I’ll take it.

Mile 17, I struggled to keep the tempo on beat, but forced my legs into submission.  Experience told me it would be easier to run faster with another than to slow down and run alone.  He asked how I was feeling, told him I was bogging down, but insisted he press ahead and I’d hold on for as long as possible.  Translation:  I drafted for awhile.  He pulled ahead at 20, working up a two block lead. 

you can see the finish bridge from the start line 26.2 miles away

Perhaps the extra carbs consumed 18 miles into the dance did the trick, as the barking quads strengthened leaning into Lemon Drop Hill with five miles to go.  A series of head-down-and-grunt-it-out miles closed the gap.  Aaron came back at 24, told him to stick to my shoulder.  He didn’t respond, legs were smoked.    

A few details trickle out as I recount the course.  The quartet stringing clean classical notes at the fish market.  The home for sale on the north side of Duluth for $129,900, sign trumpets move-in condition.  The underage guy with a big grin, running beside at mile 24 attempting to shove me a plastic cup foaming with beer.  The finishing bridge so close, yet so far away.  Body submitting a request to slow down, but mind denying with a command to FINISH IT!

Heavy crowds on both sides cheer us the final miles to the chute.  Normally I’m cranky by this point in the race, but this day I’m in a good mood, feeling solid and high-fiving a string of smiling spectators. 

That’s a Wrap
The marathon glow burns brightly as Kip, Jenny and I reconnect in the finishing area.  Cataclysmic muscle tightness descends, turning our legs to wood as we hobble through the recovery tent.  I snag a cache of Jennie-O turkey sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, iced Coke, strawberries and bagels.  We collapse on a curb and rehash what just happened over the last three hours.  Our faces light as we learn each of us did as well or better than expected.  Jenny was one place and one minute out of the money in her age group.  Impressive for this being only her second marathon.  Kip pushed through leg pain for a BQ.  I ran my best race by a few minutes.  High fives, all around!

We hobbled (where is a Rascal when you need one) to Lake Superior's 45 degrees of shrinkage, decompressing locked legs for 11 numb minutes while sipping Coke.  Kip's stomach was in knots, he sidelined it while Jenny and I gritted Superior's icy wrath.  It helped speed leg recovery, but made us shiver, mylar helping only a little.

Cold Stone Pwnd
We drove from Duluth to Minneapolis that afternoon and dropped Jenny at her sister’s house.  A very nice family.  At the MOA, Kip wrangled down an ice cream abomination as part of his strict recovery diet.  Cold Stone offers “Like It” and “Love It” sizes.  He should have shut it down at the “Like It” size, as the “Love It” scoops piled into the chocolate dipped, nut covered waffle cone put the hurt on his digestive track that was already crowning with fistfuls of soft shell tacos.  He was talking when he started on the cone, getting quieter as he progressed down the waffle and was mute and slightly pale in the face by the end.  He admitted that fighting down that last third was tougher than finishing the last couple of miles in the race a few hours earlier.  He’s a true warrior and an athlete.

Grandma’s turns 35 June of 2011.  So do I.  Let’s dance. 

*Click Here for Part 1*


1 comment:

  1. I bet the calorie count in the Coldstone is eqivalent to what he burned off in the Marathon!

    Happy Birthday, and best of luck in the race!


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