Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fort Worth Marathon 11-11-12

Happy Veteran's Day, America.  Wanna go for a little run? 

This weekend was the Fort Worth Marathon in, well, Fort Worth, TX (that wasn't really necessary to mention, was it?).  It was an easy course.  It wasn't easy on this particular day, but the course itself is flat and easy. 
I went into the race with a bit of a chest cold starting.  Coughing, tightness, coughing up my lung, etc.  I knew it would be a long race and it was.  But really, what's a triumph if you don't struggle a little, right?

You'd like for me to describe the course?   Well, OK.  It was 9 miles of the suckiest/strongest headwind, on a course that was poorly marked for those doing the early start, a nice 8 mile wind-block through a neighborhood and park, then a great tailwind for the last 9 miles, with a little coldfront/storm that moved in with heavy, cold rain, and really poorly stocked aid stations.  There you have it. Ta-da!!
The aid stations may have been very poorly stocked by the race staff (some had only a bowl of pretzels, others had bananas and oranges, others didn't have anything but water).  The volunteers were AMAZING, tho.  They were out there with smiles on their faces and cheers for us- even in the freezing cold rain! Thanks to the fantastic volunteers!!!

But I still had fun!  Even between the crying episodes I still had fun.  In the end, all the discomfort is worth it.  But this one was ESPECIALLY worth it because this marathon made me a Marathon Maniac.  MM# 6109.  Woot!!
I had to do 2 marathons within 16 days to qualify.  And that's to qualify for the lowest level of Maniac stature.  That's the basic.  So I did a 50 miler and threw in a marathon 2 weeks later for kicks and giggles.  Only there wasn't a lot of kicking or giggling.  Mostly just shuffling, crying, questioning my sanity, and praying that my body would hold up to get me across the finish line.  The kicks and giggles were all in my head.  They had the voices up there to keep them company.

But lets start at the beginning, shall we?

 Ready at the start (what is with this pose?)
 the early start had about a dozen starters
a blurry Fort Worth skyline in the dark
 most of the course was on the Trinity Trails- flat and smooth and fast (except for the 30mph headwind bitch-slapping me in the face)
 ouch ouch ouch ouch   This is FUN!!!  ouch ouch ouch ouch  I really do love running!!
I remember most of the course looking like this: blurry and unrecognizable
Wait... is that Bigfoot I see in the bushes back there??
  the only downhill and uphill part of the course
ruh roh!!!  The storm is moving in.  Heavy cold rain is on its way.  Batten down the hatches.
 My savior!!! There was only Gatorade at the turnound (13.1).  No other stops had any, or they ran out.  And it was REALLY humid and I was super crusty with salt.  I was even taking endurolytes and drinking plenty of water from my hydration pack.  I texted him telling him I really wished I had Gatorade and POOF! There he was.
He surprised me with 2 bottles of the good stuff at mile 22.  I love him!!!
Like the Kool-Aid man said "OH YEAH!!!!"
 Some crazy weird contraptions floating in the river- and there were more- these were just the few I took a picture of

My favorite bridge of many on the course.  It was so giant and majestic.  It also signified the last mile of the race.  Woo hoo!!!
 walking in to the finish.  I really didn't even have enough juice left to pretend to jog across (but I mustered up just enough to wog across the finish line).  A wog is a jog so slow it's almost a walk- in case that term wasn't obvious to you.
 DONE!  This marathon made me a MANIAC!!!  MM #6109 reporting for duty!
Holy Heck, Texas, that's one fine belt buckle.  My first belt buckle.  Pow pow (that's me firing off my pistols).  It's actually one of the cooler finisher medals I've ever earned!  It takes second place to the Tiffany silver necklace I earned in San Fran in '05.
We went back to the hotel right after the race, I took an ice bath and then we checked out and went to find something to eat.  I was starving, but nothing tasted very good, so I nibbled and we headed north back to the homestead.  On the way home we were behind this gem:
Yup, that's a dead deer wrapped in a giant brown tarp with it's hooves sticking out.
Keeping it classy, Texas.
I just imagined the horror of little children passing this thing yelling "Why is that deer riding on the back, Mama?  Is that Rudolph Mama?"
Poor damn deer.