I've been meaning to put up a short blog about the marathon I've been going on and on about for the past few months. The only problem is, I didn't take one single picture........not one. My husband has one of me at the start of the race on his phone and that's it. I went to the Land Between the Lakes Marathon in Grand Rivers, Kentucky on March 10th.
Well, needless to say, the run did not go as planned. For starters, I trained on very flat roads. The only 'hills' around were the overpasses going over Interstate 57. Why do I mention hills you ask? Because the marathon was a trail run, and yes, I did know this beforehand. Unfortunately I didn't really get the 'trail' part of it. For some reason, I was envisioning manicured, scenic, flat trails meandering around Kentucky Lake. This distorted vision also involved me leisurely skipping and whistling my way around this beautiful, mythical trail, enjoying myself immensely. No roots, no large rocks, no mud, no creeks...........and NO variation of elevation was involved in these visions I dreamed up in my silly little head.
I immediately became suspicious upon making my way to the starting line. While I've never done a marathon myself, I've been a spectator and there are usually a lot of real runners and also a lot of 'not so real' runners. You know what I mean right? There are the hard core runners that are there to RUN, to make excellent times and maybe even win..........and then there are people like me. What made me suspicious was the fact that most everyone seemed to fit into the 'real' runners category. These people were wiry, tough and didn't have anything on to keep them warm, and it was cold! They were there to kick ass and they weren't taking any names. I think you get it. That was the first clue.
The second clue was about a mile into it. The race started on blacktop roads, went over a bridge then turned onto a gravel road. My hopes were still high until I got to the end of the gravel road and the real trail began. It was about a foot and a half wide, rutted, rocky and went straight down. Oh boy. There was no turning back at this point so I did the best I could. And I have to say, I enjoyed it!! I ran up and down hills, through mud, over creeks and rocks and I actually RAN for eight whole miles before I had to walk a bit for a breather. It really was beautiful too.
I mentioned before I had knee problems while training and I was worried about my knee acting up during the marathon. With all the up and down hills, my knee started giving our around mile 10. It was such a bummer. I couldn't bend it my mile 11. Let me just tell you, it's fairly difficult to go up and down hills without bending one of your knees. I knew at that point, there wasn't a chance of me completing the marathon. There are two loops to the run, so I finished the first loop, then had to drop down to the half marathon. Someone was nice enough to give me three ibuprofen around mile 12 and it helped A LOT. I was actually able to run the last mile of the half marathon, which made me happy. At least I didn't have to limp or crawl over the finish line.
Soooooo, I STILL haven't run a marathon!!! I'm determined to at this point and I figure if I can run that half marathon up and down hills, I can easily run a flat marathon.........right?
And since I have no photos from it, here are a few I took last week.
Wanna see more photos like these? Go HERE