Circular Logic Marathon (read about 2015 and 2014). I will continue doing this marathon for as long as I am physically capable, which this year was a serious concern. Exactly 24 day after emptying out the insides of my bones to beat cancer, I knew that this attempt might be futile. I ran 20 miles three days before my procedure, and the furthest distance I mustered pre-race was eight miles. So I was super well-rested ....
I took a half day Friday and we made the two-hour trek to Lafayette, Ind. It's funny how nonchalant this marathon was versus my first marathon. I had Mexican food for lunch Friday, which I never would have done in the past. We checked into the hotel, which was a weird locale worthy of another blog post, but let's just say, there was some sort of ComicCon going on and Ariel was swimming in the pool. We had pre-dinner beers, then went out for wood-fired pizza before finally going to bed around 11:30.
I languished in bed when the alarm went off at 7 a.m. I wasn't ready. Even at breakfast, I said, I don't know if I can do this. A marathon is always tough. What's a marathon with lack luster training and serious physical limitations?
We set up our table just as the years before and started the plod away just after 9 a.m. There were many familiar faces and super fast runners. I love this race because they tweak it slightly every year. This year featured a la cart pricing. So if you didn't want a shirt or medal, you could race for $26. It's hard to find a 5K that cheap, let alone a marathon.
It was a cool morning, but probably the best weather we've had in the three years I've done this. At the beginning, at least. I ran in a parka for the first 10 miles. Truth be told, I wanted to quit at mile 12. I had to start walking there, despite a modest 10+ minute pace. I thought if I made it to a half marathon, that's a respectable distance post bone marrow donation. No one would fault me.
But we soldiered on. Around 13, we set up our run-walk pattern. It helped to pass the time, and before I knew it, we were rounding out lap 17. I wasn't going to get to 17 miles of a marathon and just drop out. But let's be honest, even at mile 23, I wanted to quit. The wind had really picked up and it was sleeting (the wind later knocked over four port o potties. Gross.).
We kept on by doing things like spending at least two hours talking about laundry best practices. The only reason I didn't quit was this guy. He said we were finishing this thing even if it was walking. When the clock ticked over to four hours, the course started to really empty out. Most people who knew they were slow started early. I'm foolhardy and like living on the edge, so I started at 9 and was left pretty much to my own devices in the last 30 minutes of the race. Which suited me just fine.
This race was pretty meh for me. It was hard mentally and physically, but I will never ever forget this day, and this finish. I missed finishing in under 5 hours because I had to make a very important pit stop right before the finish.
When we finished, it was just us and the race director. We collected our medals, complete with three-year charms, went back to our very accommodating hotel that gave us 4 p.m. check out and the trek back.
This race is so much more than just 26 one-mile loops. I will keep running this forever, in spite of crappy weather and questionable finish times. In all, I'm still damn proud of my performance. Less than a month ago, I was under general anesthesia and unable to take a shower without help. Plus this is the finish line that was just the start.
More on that tomorrow.
Cost: $46 with the medal and shirt, $26 if you just want to run
Pros: Super cheap, friendly people, nice medal, you're never more than 1 mile from a bathroom
Cons: Mentally tough, crappy weather, can be crowded at times
Would I do this race again? Yes, can't wait.