Sheesh, the run. What can I say about it? I was concerned about the run before I even started the race, and the bike and foot cramps really got me nervous, but I found myself on the run course, trotting down the hill in town and making my way slowly towards the first turn around. Todd ran by me (on his 2nd lap), and we talked briefly before he went ahead. Amy also caught up to me on the 1st out and back, looking strong, but cursing the course. Then MyKaren came along (again all were on their 2nd laps) and she helped me get through a lot of that first out and back. I was feeling like crap, some stomach cramps and general yuckiness, but gamely tried to drink water and gatorade and eat gu every 30 minutes or so, along with more damn SaltStick pills, I think I had about 12 of them overall that day. I was miserable and I made MyKaren promise that she would not make me do another damn IM.
I made MyKaren go ahead after a mile or so, since I really wanted her to finish with daylight left and continued my pathetic trot/walk along the road. I hooked up with a guy name Tom and we trotted and walked along crunching numbers and splits trying to figure out if we were going to make the midnight cutoff. If anyone out there has not been in the real back of the pack, that's what we do, calculate times and distances, and hope that we are not too late! We finally realized that we had done 8 miles in 2 hours and that we had 5 hours left, which made us feel better since we felt we could keep that pace. Going along, I think I saw our entire group at one point or another, and everyone looked good!
As I got to the steep hill in town, ProKaren found me and walked with me up the hill, I was still having stomach cramps and was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep the slow pace I was going at. After some words of encouragement, I trotted off to do the out and back along the lake, and Lisa was kind enough to trot along with me for about a 1/2 mile. At the water stop, I took some cola and that ended up being the difference in my run! I started running at the turn and somehow finally felt good enough to run. It was strange, but some switch seemed to go off and I ran and ran that second loop. I must have passed 30 people as I ran, not a fast run, but an actual run nevertheless. I still walked the hills, but the sun went down, I ran some as well, since I couldn't really tell if there were hills without lights. It was strange running in the dark, from light pool to light pool, aid station to aid station. I kept downing some cola at every aid station, and choked down some more gu and salt pills. The moon that night was very pretty over the Ausable River as I made my way back into town.
At some point I decided that I really didn't want to finish in the last hour and that goal kept me going. Sharon walked with me for the last little bit, and then I took off in an actual run into the stadium for the finish. I had wondered if this finish would feel as good as IMFL, and I have to say it did. I was very, very, very happy and the crowd was great! I ended up running the marathon 4 minutes faster than IMFL, I had a negative split and I finished in under 16 hours. All in all, a hard, but satisfying effort!
Now, I am hoping to join the crew at IM Canada...am I crazy, stupid or just a lemming?