Sunday, April 10, 2016

Martian Marathon 2016 (Cross posted to Facebook; nothing new to see :)

Summary: Time 3:43:30. Pace 8:31 min/mile. 55/199 overall, 48/124 gender, 6/13 age group.
When I run, I like to think; the longer the run, the more uniquely philosophical my ramblings can get. So when I see a sign that says: “Sweat is your fat crying” I can’t help think that isn’t quite true. Really, sweat is the the bodily remains of those fat cells that have been burned in the furnace of your metabolism; a much more violently cathartic image to me.
I thought these thoughts as I ran the Martian marathon this morning; and wish I could have turned up the furnace a little bit higher, because between the temps in the 20’s and the 20 mph wind (that seemed to always be blowing in to us runners- a trick on an out and back course) it was pretty wretchedly cold.
We were served gatorade slushies. I had to crush the cup of water a bit to break up the ice that formed at the top before drinking it. And when I did stop at and aid station, I could feel the cold start to work it’s way into me pretty quickly, which probably meant I was a little underdressed. All credit to the poor volunteers who had to stand out in the snow, wind and cold- it would have been an impossible race without them.
The experience can be broken up into three different mental periods for me. The first 15 miles was me trying hard and taking it seriously, thinking: “I have a goal time I’d really like to do” Miles 15-22 had more of a “this is not my ‘A’ race of the season, if I slow down I might enjoy this whole process a lot more” and finally 22 on where I said “screw it, I’m going to get this thing done ASAP.”
The first two parts were run with my friend Megan, who has more enthusiasm than any two other running friends I know. We were in a pretty good rhythm, chatting occasionally or being silent and thinking about chemistry or fat cells or puppies or whatever. Conversations can get kind of random in a glucose and oxygen deprived brain, especially the fatigue kicks in. When we caught up to a friend of hers that wasn’t doing so hot at mile 22, she stuck with him as I decided to push. We were among the half marathoners at that point, and the roads were getting crowded and I was pretty ready to be done.
When I finally got to the finish line, I had the pleasure of stopping and not needing to run anymore, quickly followed by the pleasure of having a couple of muscles decide to cramp up on me. Walking was what walking usually is after a marathon, but I kept at it. I bumped into a few different friends and chatted a bit, but got progressively colder even after putting some of my waiting around for the race to start clothes back on. I got to see Megan and her friend finish, then decided hot coffee sounded better than anything else in the world. The drive home was memorable. Trying to get out of the car was even more fun. But after a large amount of coffee, food, and a nap, I’m feeling almost normal again. At least, until I try to get up out of the chair.
In any case, I’ve got two weeks till my next race, a 50K. Good times!

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