Wow, one year ago was my marathon PR at Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. Since it’s the anniversary and also since my new friend Terzah asked me, I figured I would jog down memory lane and relive that great day….
|LOVE this medal :)|
As I’m sure many runners did last year, I chose a marathon that would play out on 10/10/10. Kinda cool, right? Mohawk was close enough for a good old fashioned road trip, yet far enough to feel like a weekend getaway. The weather was beautiful as we set out. There were four of us running full or half marathon. We got to Albany safely and without drama, checked into our hotel, took care of our bib pickup, and went to grab lunch. At this point, Sue’s hubby and younger son met us! Kind of a surprise, but not really – you have to know Sue’s husband. From there, we did some walking around the city and more eating and drinking to prepare for the next day. We wandered into the Finish area and got chills (as I am writing this!). The Finish was on the Hudson River and it was very pretty. And it was the Finish….best part of the race!
|Scott, Sue, and Reed with some new "friends"|
|Very cool architecture in Albany|
|On the bridge that lead to the Finish - seemed appropriate for the day before|
Race morning came and it felt c-c-c-cold! I don’t recall the actual temperature, but it was perfect for running. The buses took us to Schenectady and left us in a park. Most of us gravitated to this wonderful outdoor fire pit and got as close as possible to warm up. I definitely remember my toes feeling numb at the start. One dramatic moment with the buses occurred when we heard one of the marathon buses took its runners to the half marathon start. Oops, that could’ve been disastrous! Fortunately, they worked it out and the runners got to their correct starting point.
Then the gun went off…..and a girl fell! Right next to us. Sue and I looked over at the falling girl to see the runners next to her scoop her up as if on cue. Poor thing..what a way to start a marathon. That drama and the normal chaos of a race start got Sue and me separated from just about the beginning. We had different goals, so I didn’t expect we’d stay together the whole race, but guess I thought we’d run together long enough to at least say “good luck”! I looked around a few times, couldn’t see her, so just had to quietly say “good luck” and continue on.
The course was prettiest in the early miles and then covered primarily a bike path route. I felt like I was on fire (in a good way). Maybe 5-ish miles in, I saw Sue’s husband and son – they were in full race support mode. From that point on, it seemed like I saw them every few miles and it was such a lift! I didn’t expect it at all, so having it was such a gift. I remember feeling a little anxious about the mile 17 train tracks – you know, the ones that allow the train to cross the race route? Yep, that one. I approached the area, saw a bunch of volunteers hanging around, but no train!!! YEAH! I’m guessing I got to about the 17.5 mile mark when I heard the dreaded train whistle….. Phew, I had made it without having to stop and wait. And later I found out Scott and Sue had also been uninterrupted. Others weren’t so lucky. Apparently, there were far more runners affected that year than expected. I heard 2011 was going to see some improvements to that situation.
The usual tired and sloppy miles came as they always do when you reach mile 22-ish. I stayed focused, walked a little to calm my dizzying head, and then shuffled my way to
Buffalo – oops, I meant Albany J I knew I had pushed in a way I never had before, so when I saw Scott cheering me on from the sidelines and then the clock that read 3:56:36…..I just about lost it. I didn’t go out to set a PR or qualify for Boston, but I did set out to push myself – whatever that meant – and see what I had. Turns out I had much more than I thought. Wonder what Cape Cod will bring…
(And no, there aren’t any cool marathons scheduled for 11/11/11…I checked months ago L)