On Friday when we arrived and went straight to the expo to pick up my race packet. I always stock up on free snacks for later :). We then get a bite to eat and called it a night.
On Saturday, we slept in and sooo needed that. We got up and decided to go for a fun 3 mile trail run at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. I always have a short shake off run the day before my marathon. I ran at Eddie’s pace, nice and slow which was fine with me and what I needed. We ran by a lake/ponds with lots of ducks, swans and geese. Oh and we did run into what I thought was a homeless person under a bridge, bundled up in a sleeping bag. He was sleeping and covered completely all over including his head. Eddie thinks he wasn’t homeless because he had his bike and nice hiking shoes next to him. There is no way, I would ever run through that solo and glad Eddie was with me.
Afterwards, we went and got some breakfast at the Tiny Diner. I had the salmon omelette, grits and wheat toast and it was delicious. Everything I eat as soon as I land will be my fuel for tomorrow marathon. I really don’t believe in diet and just try to eat more carbs the week of my marathon. During my training, I do eat clean and more Paleo like, but I do have a cheat day once a week. I don’t drink alcohol much either.
We then decide to go do a little shopping at the biggest mall in the US. This place was huge and it has an amusement park right in the middle of it. We FaceTimed Noah to show him and went and got him a toy as a souvenir. I also bought me some cute boots and jeans as my souvenir...LOL!
We found a Walmart and got my race morning breakfast. I always eat an almond butter, banana bagel for my breakfast before my marathons. I always carb load as my tradional dinner and I like to eat Italian. I always eat either pasta or pizza for dinner. So, we ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It kinda reminded me of Spaghetti Warehouse back home. We call it a night and get things ready for tomorrow.
The big day arrives:
I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready and always take care of business before my runs...or it will not be a good run...LOL! We leave at 6:45 a.m. and get there at a little after 7:00 a.m. My race didn’t start until 8:00 a.m. so, I was good. It was so cold and ready to run to warm up when I get there. I didn’t take a jacket or extra clothes to shed off. I was excited because this is the best weather to run in and I always run way faster in this vs. hot weather. Although I trained in hot summer Texas weather, I honestly think that when we run in this, we always run faster in cooler weather. I asked a couple of girls about the elevation on this marathon while waiting on the porta potty and was warned that mile 21 and up will be hilly. Of course, the hills always seems to come when we are tired and fatigued towards the end. However, I wasn’t going to think negative and just run and enjoy this awesome weather.
At mile 8, I passed the 3:25 pacer and thought to myself, “Wow, I don’t feel like I’m going that fast.” I kept going and felt great. There were a lot of spectators on the course which always makes it fun. I passed by lots pretty parks, trails and several lakes and the Mississippi River which was nice. I was running really fast and thought I could probably get a new PR. My PR to beat is from my Chicago Marathon of 3:24 several years back. But then it happens. My right hamstring wants to cramp up. I thought, “please just let me finish.” I then start to see lots of runners on the side of the road stopped to stretch and some were limping. I told myself, “Lydia don’t you dare stop to stretch, just slow your butt down!” Then that crazy hill at mile 22 comes and it’s a monster hill!! I couldn’t believe it and that’s when the 3:25 pacer passes me up. I wish I could tell the people who create these marathon courses to give us these crazy hills at mile 13-15, but not when we are tired towards the end. Oh well, I just rolled with the punches and kept going. I really tried to keep up, but my hamstrings started to cramp up more. My left hamstring wanted to start too. At mile 22, I had no choice, but to slow it down. I was at a sub 8 pace per mile up until that point and ran to the finish at almost 9:00 min pace per mile. We as runners can’t control the weather or the course route, but we can control our mindset. Stay positive and always listen yo your body! I finished at 3:28:52 and that was my 2nd fasted marathon. I was cool with that and happy to finish!