Friday morning started early. All week our plan has been to get up early so we're used to the schedule and race day isn't such an early start for us. Throughout the week, we've gotten up and always had something to do. A couple of days I went into work early, and a few we ran. However, on Friday, I didn't need to go in to work until 8:00 and since we were taking the day as a rest day, we just bummed around the house for a few hours in the morning. Of particular interest was the weather forecast. Earlier in the week it looked like we would have to run in some heavy rain, but Friday morning the forecast began to change. It looked like rain in the afternoon on Friday clearing by the time the 5k would start. We would get some more rain throughout the night but shortly after the marathon would start the rain would break up again. It wasn't mid 40's and low humidity like I'd prefer, but it was certainly better then what we were expecting.
I got off work at noon and headed over to Rick's house. Kim was still setting up for my interview so I went inside and had a chance to chat with Tim, another one of the local ultra gang, who was also there. After a few minutes Kim was ready and I went out to Rick's camper to do the interview. I talked a little about running with Rick, the training class, and a little about the impact Rick has had on my life. Then we got some footage of Tim, Rick, and I walking down the street before Tim needed to head back to work. Rick had volunteered to post some signs along the marathon route and I tagged along to help. It took a few hours to place the 100 signs. It wasn't the most critical job but we were proud of how well we had them spaced along the course. When we were done with the signs it was time to head home for supper.
When I got back to our house, Erin had supper started. Her parents were already here and DeAnna was still on her way here from Bismarck. I helped get supper ready and just as we were ready to sit down to eat DeAnna arrived. We had a carb heavy meal and then tried to figure out what the plan was for Saturday morning. Eventually we settled on DeAnna going with my sister Steph and her boyfriend Jake. They would be moving all over the course and have a bag of extra stuff with them in case Erin or I needed anything as we ran. Erin's parents would join my mom near the middle of the course. We wouldn't see them as much, but they wouldn't have to move around as much as the other group would. After getting all of that straighted out we headed off to bed to try to get as much sleep as we could before the big day.
|Not many cars but a few sprinkles when we first got here.|
|Judy and Trent making signs|
|Erin and Kristy's last minute preparation|
|Cassie and Trent before the race|
|Erik, Jon, Erin, Kristy and Rick before the race|
Rick isn't smiling, it's almost like he knows whats to come
|Jodi, Rick, Cassie and I entering downtown|
The Minnesota side of the river smelled much better. The lilacs were in bloom and very fragrant. The course runs south in Moorhead before looping back on itself and heading into Concordia. This gives runners an opportunity to see friends both in front of them and behind them. I had a chance to see my coworker Matt who was running the first leg of the relay. He was near the end of his leg of the race and still looking strong. On my way back north, I saw Kristy and then Erik and Erin and finally Chris and Maria, all of them looking like they were having fun. When we ran through Concordia, I remarked to Rick that this is where it all began. He and I have run a lot of miles together since first meeting up at that spot. From Concordia we traveled back into Fargo across the Main avenue bridge.
|Returning to Fargo|
|Heading over to high five Sam|
I found myself working harder and harder to keep up with Rick. He had gotten a few steps ahead and I just couldn't seem to catch back up. I pushed a while longer trying to catch him before I made the decision to let him go and salvage what I could from this race. Last year I had stubbornly pushed on toward my goal despite knowing I needed to adjust to conditions. This year I wasn't going to make the same mistake. I felt bad about not being able to keep up with Rick since he planned his race around what I was trying to do, but I think I would have gotten myself into a lot of trouble if I kept pushing as hard as I was. After I slowed down, I continued to feel worse. When I saw my family at mile 17, I had already gone through all of the Endurolytes I had with me and asked for some more. Steph said she would dig them out and give them to me as I came back one block over.
|Steph and I|
Before I saw Steph again, I ran across a runner that I could tell was hurting. He was on his cell phone yelling at his mom trying to figure out where to meet up with her. From what I could tell he started the race in a pair of Vibram five fingers and planned to switch shoes at mile 10. He was still in the five fingers at mile 19 and it was obvious that each step he took caused a lot of pain. I tried to offer a few words of encouragement, but it didn't seem to help so I tried to push on towards my next meet up with Steph where I could get some more Endurolytes. There was a little miscommunication and it was actually 2 blocks over where I met up with Steph and Jake. I took a walk break to swallow the pills and chat briefly with them about how things were going. I told them I was hurting and I felt really messed up but that I thought I could keep going. They offered some words of encouragement and I headed off.
Rachel found me on the course in about the same place as the previous year. I told her how messed up I felt and that I thought I could at least walk to finish the marathon. She joined me and did her best to get a little more out of me then I wanted to give. When I walked she told me that I could walk faster. When I went under a bridge she suggested I run the downhill. I'm blown away by her ability to say what I need to hear when I'm hurting. She was able to reassure me that I wasn't in too much trouble and that I just needed to get some more water in me as well as gave me a ginger chew to try. After traveling a few miles with her, I thanked her for the company and told her I would be fine and that I would appreciate it if she would go back and find Erin in case she was hurting. I continued to run/walk a few miles before I started to feel a little bit better and tried to sustain a slow jog. It was harder then I would have liked, but I was able to keep moving without walking. After turning onto 17th Ave N, I knew I was almost done. I picked up the pace a little and continued towards the Dome. Just before turning onto University, there was a guy dressed as the grim reaper holding a sign that said "The end is near." The sign really helped lighten my mood as well as many of the runners around me.
|Erin and I after her first marathon|
|Look at all those smiles after we finished|