Saturday I was supposed to be in Nashville for the Rock’n’roll Country Music Marathon, but the adoption of Louie stopped my training and meant that I didn’t want to go away for the race.
I saw lots of pictures from my friends that did go down; their bar adventures and shots from the race. It looks like they had a good time.
So, this morning when I went out I packed an extra clif bar and tried to see how far I could go. My previous record was 18 miles and that was quite a long time ago. It was quite warm today so I headed down a route that would take me past plenty of water fountains and was ‘mainly’ flat.
At mile four I saw one remaining leg attached to the spine of a very dead deer laying in the middle of the trail. It had been picked clean by the animals but it was an odd place to see it as the trail is heavily used.
At mile 8 I felt fine and headed out further towards Phoenixville as I haven’t been that way for a while. It seems that they have done a lot if work on the trail out there and added in a new bridge on the canal and an underpass by a very busy road. All very nice. At mile ten I was stil feeling fine so I went a little further out past Lock 60 and into the great unknown. This really became a trail run at this point with me having to climb across some culverts and ditches, plus wading through some muddy waters. It made a nice change from the pounding of the pavement. I turned around when it got too muddy. While out there I spotted a chap painting a landscape in the wood next to the trail. All very picturesque.
When I got to mile 17 I had a choice: head home for a 21.5 run, or run a couple of extra miles and make it a marathon distance. My legs still were fine so I headed onwards. This is where it all went a little off course. At the 19.5 mile mark I turned around and realised all the remaining distance was uphill. 7 miles of uphill to be precise. Whoops. The climb was gradual but went from 85ft to 312ft. Constant climbing. Nothing for it at that point but to knuckle down and do it.
I didn’t experience any wall or similar. I always knew how far I had to go and can relate that to the distances I run during the week. Eight miles. Six miles. I know how each of those feel, so it was no problem.
When I got home the total distance was 26.41 miles in 3 hours 47 mins. Not too shabby given I missed a lot of training and the profile of the run.
Then I had to get showered and shaved as 1.5 hours later we were leaving for my friends wedding ceremony and reception. I danced most of the evening with my daughter and my legs still don’t feel too bad. That said, I wouldn’t have wanted to go much further than I did. Well, not with anymore hills any way!
So, that’s it. Marathon done. Ticked off the list. Self-supported, except for the omni-present iPhone and my A-ha playlist (don’t judge me). Four bottles of water. Three cliff shot blocks. Two clif bars. One crazy person. No country music.
Surprisingly easy. Or perhaps I should wait until tomorrow before I say such things.
What to do next, I wonder?