Friday, September 17, was my anniversary. I had asked my husband if he minded if I ran a marathon, since we were gonna be in the area anyway for a wedding. Being the good husband he is, he agreed. Hence, we made it to 11 years. My plan was to leave our house at 1 o'clock, swing by the local running store for my packet for Sunday's race (more on that later), and then head to the running expo in Dayton, Ohio. We left five minutes after, picked up my packet, and headed on our way. British chick, who I've since named Penelope, said it would take us about 2 hours 14 minutes to reach Dayton. Not bad- for some reason I had in my head it'd be a 4 hour trip. Well, it almost was thanks to traffic in Cincy and traffic leading to the Nutter Center where the expo was held. After 3 1/2 hours we pulled in to the Nutter Center with much grumbling about p-ping and ready to divorce before the anniversary was over. We made our way inside, picked up my race packet for the Air Force Marathon, bought a few stickers, and then headed out the doors. We decided to go out to eat before heading to our hotel room. The only problem was, they had decided to run a 5K that night and would not let us out of the lot until the last runner had went through- even though the street was blocked and there was another lane to drive down. Who's dumb idea was that!!! Finally, we're out, we've ate, and we are tucked in our room for the night. The race was to begin at 7:30. My plan was to get up at 4:30 and leave the hotel by 5.
Plan going well- out the door by 5 and pulling into a parking spot about 5:40. A little under 2 hours before the race is to begin, so I try to lay down in my bed I made for the trip. Finally about a quarter til 7, we file out of the truck and make the 1/2 mile trek to the starting line. I stand in line for about 10 minutes for the port-o-pottie, with not much progress. A little frustrated with the 1/2 marathon runners being in line, even though their race does not begin for another hour! Five minutes to go, I give up and tell my husband let's head up to the starting line. We are almost there when the Star Spangled banner is sung and then the jets fly over. This could be a really cool race, I think. Within minutes, the gun is shot and we are off. My goals
aid stations were at (and yes, I am too lazy to look it up). I do know that unlike my first marathon (in my hometown, Derby Festival Marathon), when the 10K runners split from the marathoners, it was not a desolate place with a lone runner way up ahead. This was a much better marathon for a first, or in my case a third. I did meet a guy from Ohio, Ted, who was running his first marathon. We would trade places back and forth throughout the day, until about mile 15 when he was having some problems. I gave him a gel and wished him luck.
They were so cool. I only took a pic of one, but I wish I would have taken a few more pics. We headed back towards the base and it did get a little bit more quieter and another pottie break. Between mile 15-18, I was really crashing a little bit. Trying to imagine why I am possible out there. You make a turn and come out onto an old airstrip, no shade, nothing really to see, just flat land and a controller tower in the distance.
I didn't put sunblock on and was hoping I was getting burnt. That would not be enjoyable at the wedding tonight. Finally, made it back to some tree lined roads. Started feeling okay until the 5 hour pace group went passing by me singing and looking strong. Blech........So I started trying to do my 9 minute run, 1 minute walk, since I hadn't all day. I was watching my time and calculating that hopefully I could get done by 12:30 and hopefully the hotel would give us a late check out time so I could
shower before the wedding. Stinnnnkkkyy!!! Almost there...past the Alien aid station, up the on ramp to the highway again. A lady cussing the F-bomb because she was struggling. Didn't want to hear that. Ahhh....the half marathoners are now mixing in with us. The Nerds high five me, feeling better. Gonna make it. Another pottie break and then on past the Wright Brothers monument.