Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OBX Marathon 2008

Here it is the LAST 2008 OBX full marathon medal (until they make more for the true stragglers) and I got it race day. That was fun although less time on the course would have been even better.

I did something funky to my back Tuesday afternoon of race week and I truly thought I would not even be able to walk the course much less run. Donny & I worked on it relentlessly over the next days and by Friday I could see hope. And I really could only roll out of bed with great pain, do no body twisting at all or get out of the car with any ease for days!

Still Sunday needed to be the perfect weather day it was for me to take on the challenge because any less and I would have been struggling too much. I did get to run the first 13 miles with minor walk breaks. I was on my usual pace which I was pleased and surprised about because my back still hurt.

I passed a lot of people in the woods and last year at that point I was already doing too much walking. This year around mile 15 the back said enough and I found myself power walking instead of running taking the biggest strides I could. I felt fine, the back was just the issue and then the pain moved to the front on both sides somewhere along mile 17. Last year I sadly noted that the entrance to the woods is slightly uphill and it defeated me. I never notice these things when we are on shorter runs.

This year I was ready for the woods and zipped through. This year it was the causeway with its gradual uphill climb I have never noticed that got me. It actually is not much of an uphill at all including the bridge except when you are fatigued from pain.

I did run the entire downhill side even through the pain, I cannot waste a good downhill. If I had been able to stay on pace I would have gotten back under 6 hours but it was not to be this time.

I always am but for this race in particular, I am ever grateful for good friends along the way that perked me up at key moments. It really does make a difference! Nancy Atkinson in her adorable fat lady ballerina costume ran me through mile 7 shouting, "Here is our own rock star, Sandy Ball."

I came upon Laurie Donlan and family cheering midway through the woods and she ran with me for a bit telling me a funny story about a guy that passed them and snatched up a bloody Mary thinking it was power drink. She thinks he probably did not finish the race.

Gail Hutchison made me feel humble as I passed her at about mile 17.5 marshaling with a cast on her leg.

Robert Trivette my lawyer friend cracked me up in his prison garb at mile 18.

It is always good to see Rick Gray at mile 25.5+ because it is Rick and it is mile 25.5+.

Bobbie Murray was a beacon at mile 26 and ran with me until the finish was in sight.

I did do my power sprint the last 100 meters and there was Donny, Amy, Robyn, Millie, John, Merry & Bob (who posted a fun picture of D & me on Facebook) all waiting for the last runners, me included. One fun thing about finishing after the pack, you definitely get a star finish because it's just you!

Finish time = 6:34. Surprisingly the back is better now, so perhaps it was anxiety or a cold. Anyway we'll see how this Sunday works out in San Antonio.

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