May 4th 2008 marked my first attempt at the road marathon. It would also put me over the 100 mile mark for races in a 60 some odd day time frame. I was excited by trying something new. but a little nervous about running on the roads. Plus, the marathon marked a huge personal milestone for me, my 30th birthday. Jamie and I arrived in Frederick the night before around 7pm for packet pick-up and then to our hotel for some dinner and some sleep. During my prerace prep, I got a call that my Older Brother was in the Hospital for an unknown reason. With worries on my mind, I tried to get some sleep.
The alarm goes off too early and I am up and getting ready for the race. I get my race ready shorts packed with food and S! Caps. I fill up my bottle. I check and recheck my shoes, my chip, my number. Finally we are in the car on the way to the fairgrounds. We left very early on the reccomendation from the local police and I am so glad. The traffic was packed in and we were lucky that one of the volunteers let Jamie drop me off and turn around in the volunteer lot. I walked my way to the bathrooms and had several people comment on my choice to wear a tank. It was bit chilly, but I knew I would get warm.
I met up with Sir Sweet Cheeks prior to the run and one of his wonderful friends. SSC and I were going for a marathon and his friend was going for a half. The race started and we were off. I went at my usual slug pace and just kept moving along. It was a lovely course and I found myself perfectly dressed for the weather. I made it to the 13.1 mile marker feeling pretty good. Then around mile 15 my stomach started going south on me. I found myself in a portojohn, losing about 15 minutes and finding myself a bit dehydrated. I did my best to catch up, but after yet another 15 minute stop, I was in the weeds with my hydration. I crawled through the miles, with the "run drop" car right on my tail. I picked it up a bit and caught up with some walkers. They were keeping a good pace, so I stuck with them for a while.
Thoughout the hilly portion of the course I pushed uphill and then ran downhill, trying to keep ahead of the run drop vehicles. After a few miles we asked how we were doing for time and were informed that we were 20 minutes ahead of cutoff. Woohoo! I was feeling better at this point and decided to push on, even though my hopes of under a 6 hour marathon were out the window. I slowly, but surely pressed ahead, catching up to runners as the miles went by. The last two miles seemed to stretch on forever, but I was ready for the finish. As I came around to the line Jamie was there with news of my Brother, who had pancreatitis, and was released from the hospital that morning. I was relieved to hear he was okay and pushed myself into the finish. 6:12 and some change. Not too shabby for my first road outing and for some stomach issues. I was still sick with them that night and the next day, I figured I picked up a bug somewhere along the way.
I really had a good challenge with the course and may do it again next year. For right now I have my sights set on a good 10K PR in July, a strong 50K in Sept, and hopefully a PR at the Baltimore Half in Oct. I signed up for the Maryland Double and also signed up to support Team Tiara for that race, so I'll be wearing a lovely crown!