Monday, December 1, 2008

The Final Countdown

With the marathon less than a week away my training is winding down and I'm trying to eat good and stay really hydrated throughout the week. I did a pretty good job eating over the Thanksgiving break, and by that I mean I ate as much as I could and helped myself to a lot of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.

Jen signed us up for a local Turkey Trot in Helena so I took my cool weather running gear (aka tights and a long sleeve tech shirt) thinking that was going to be enough. Chances are it would have been fine if the weather would have been in the 30's like it had been earlier in the week, but it didn't exactly work out that way. It was 16 when we woke up Thursday morning. I borrowed another long sleeve tech shirt from my Step-Dad and my Mom found an old ear-warmer for me to use (she found one for Jen too). Jen had bought some gloves for us earlier in the week so I threw on a pair of those as well. We drove over to Jen's parent's house to park then we ran the five blocks up to the start. There were around 300 people standing around outside many of which were jumping up and down or running up and down the block to keep warm. I did a few warm up blocks to get my legs warmed up and to avoid any side or shin cramping and before I knew it everyone was lining up to start. Since this was a small benefit race there were no numbers and no awards (other than pies given out via drawing at the end) and it was timed with a stop watch so Jen and I lined up near the front to get a jump on the crowd. The first few hundred feet were a jumble of bodies sorting themselves out but after making the first corner Jen caught up to me and we ran together for a little while. She told me to go ahead so I picked up the pace a bit and noticed I was not that far behind the leaders. Over the next mile or so I picked off the runners in the pack ahead of me so by the last mile I was in the string of runners out in front. We were spread out pretty far but I was still able to pick off two more people by the time the finish line was in sight. I picked up the pace a little bit for the last three blocks to make sure no one was going to pass me and I crossed the finish line in 20:34 for 6th place overall. I was shocked to see I had finished sixth overall since that is usually done with a time in the 17:00-18:00 range! I saw my Mom and talked to her while watching for Jen - a couple minutes later she crossed the finish line and we met up with her Dad and my Step-Dad who had been a few blocks down taking pictures. After stretching our sweat started to freeze and we were getting pretty cold so we headed down to Jen's parents to hop in the hot tub.

This week I've got a few easy runs on the schedule but my main focus will be stretching, eating well, and getting mentally prepared for the marathon.


Anonymous said...

Now I have "The Final Countdown" song in my head :)

And I thought the Turkey Trot down in Sherwood was cold. I'll make sure to bring all the warm running stuff I own to Great Falls for Christmas. We usually get the wind there too, which makes it all the more fun!

*aron* said...

awesome job on the 6th place finish!!! the start line at CIM wont feel cold at all to you now :)

enjoy the rest of the week and see you saturday!

Emily said...

Awesome job and close to PR in the freezing conditions. Saweeet.

Have fun in your final week of winding down for the race. You're all ready to go. Again, saweeeeet.

Marathon Maritza said...

Wow, congrats on 6th!!!! Impressive!

Keep hydrated, rested and carbo-loaded this week and see you on Sunday!!!