Hey All. This weekend, I returned to the North Country for a full marathon. Although I'd done the Half last year, I wanted to do the Full this year, just to get the "Full" experience!
Day before, hung out with a few good friends who were also looking for a winning experience, and we all gave each other just the right amount of positive reinforcement, and then some. Drifted off to sleep with high hopes.
This morning, several thousand people gathered at the starting line in high winds. I wore this butt-ugly sweatshirt I'd been dying to lose, and tossed it right after the anthems were sung, and withstood a few minutes of shivering. Then, we were on our way.
I had sworn to do a nice easy 9:30 pace. Although I did attempt to trot & commute, my MapMyRun told me I was doing 8:30's and 8:45's. Slow it down, Allweiss, you got a ways to go!
Managed to slow up a bit as we went through South Park and saw the lakefront areas, had people from the nearby condos cheer us on. As we made that right turn, which separated the Full Marathoners from those doing the Half, it got quiet. Maybe too quiet. But I embraced it, as it signaled my time to push it a little bit more. We went through some beautiful neighborhoods, with streets lined with tons of volunteers cheering us on. We then trekked through the small piece of heaven known as Delaware Park. Not so many crowds here, but it still felt great to run through someplace that peaceful. As much as I love Central Park, I'd be running here on a regular basis. Felt so at ease, I started doing 8:30's!
Around Mile 20, a phone call came through my IPhone encouraging me to not let up. I told the caller I was "comin' home," and started to do so.
As I approached the last 2-3 miles, more beautiful homes and supportive spectators awaited. I felt my earlier liberties take their toll. Nonetheless, I finished the race with a time that was better than my unfocused training should have afforded me. :). And my local friends were cheering for me at the finish. :)
So, as I finish off a plate of "chicken wings," a local delicacy, I'm happy to have visited this place once more.
Happy Memorial Day, All!