We have all figured out by now that some of J’s crazy has been rubbing off on me lately. Well, it turns out that the El Paso Marathon was scheduled for one month after the MOM. I decided, a week before the race, that I was going to do it. J did, too.
I hadn’t done any real long runs since returning from Maui, but felt pretty good. Once again we were getting up super early so we could ride a school bus to the marathon start. This time, we started at the highest point, the top of Transmountain. The sun was on it’s way up when we started, and I was glad to have my sun glasses. The first 6 miles were downhill, and I probably went faster than I should have.
It flattened out after that and stayed mostly flat the rest of the race. It was hot and sunny. I had to carry fuel with me since the water stations weren’t supplied with food stuffs (some volunteers supplied their own food for us). There weren’t many highlights for this race.
Before the halfway point, I was running a very flat, very straight stretch through desert and past a landfill, when I really started to miss Maui. I had known this would be nothing like the MOM, but it was rather depressing at this point. I kept going. I made the halfway. I made it 2 more miles, and “the wall” was in sight. Uh oh.
I hit that wall around mile 16. It wasn’t fun. I started to wonder if I was going to finish. I was already walking more than just at the water stations. I was hot and tired and thirsty. I started drinking 2 cups of water or drink mix at each water station, which was every mile at this point. I knew I had to get to mile 20 at the very least.
At mile 17, I set my watch for 1 minute timer. I ran for a minute, then walked a minute. Then I ran 2 minutes and walked a minute. Run 3 minutes, walk a minute. Then start over. It started working, and I was doing ok. At the mile 20 water station, some of my Army Wife friends were set up to cheer everyone on. They wrote on the street in chalk for me. They had signs for me. They had frozen Gatorade, which I never would have guessed would taste so amazing. They had skittles. One friend even ran with me for a few feet. They really saved me at this point, and I decided I could finish this.
I kept my minute-to-minute pattern up, and trudged along. It was painful. I was so damn thirsty. I knew I wasn’t going to beat my Maui time. But I did have to finish. I finally got downtown and had the finish in sight. I was glaring at people without realizing I was glaring. I was exhausted, but I kept moving. Just keep moving.
They announced me as I approached the finish, and got my name right (one thing I will miss about the southwest). I came in at 5 hours 30 minutes. J was right there, again. He was still worn out from running his best marathon ever, so we hobbled over to the free beer.
They were out of chocolate milk, and burritos, so I had a beer and a banana. Not the greatest combo, but it didn’t matter at that point. J was pretty beat up from his run, and we were both hungry. I drove us, yes, after my second marathon, I drove us to Sonic for a burger and tots. And cherry limeade. It was super delicious. Then we both napped.
The El Paso Marathon was crap, really, and we only did it because we are getting ready to leave here (finally). However, I feel that after finishing 2 marathons I can officially call myself a marathoner. I even got a tshirt. It says “26.2 some runners go all the way.” It’s amazingly comfy and I want to wear it all the time.
This post is much shorter than the last one, but I just really don’t have much to say about this race. I finished, and that’s as good as it gets this time.