Jackie asked me what my race plan was but to be honest, the longest race for me so far has been a 1/2 marathon and my longest runs were 20 milers (and only 2 of those) so I had no idea what my race plan was or even should be....I was going to be relying on her guidance and advice. My nutrition plan was one gel every 5-6 miles, I was carrying my amphipod bottle with heed and would get water at the stops as needed.
Morning started out cool but within a mile it was heating up already. I'd left my long sleeve shirt with James but kept my gloves on, they only lasted about 3 miles. Good steady pace in the beginning but do not let anybody tell you that the MidSouth Marathon is flat.......It may be in Wynne but the course takes us over and around the edge of Crowley's Ridge. I do believe the only flat parts were the first and last miles.
Jackie's nutrition plan was to take 1/2 a gel every 3 miles with a bit of a walk break so I ended up following that and it worked out great. May continue that routine from here on out for my long runs (I want to stay in 1/2 mary shape consistently).
James surprised us by showing up at the first place along the route that was ok for spectators to drive to and cheer the runners. I was so surprised and happy! Can't believe how much that lifted my spirits up to see him throughout the course :). Unfortunately there is very little crowd support for this marathon except at the water stations. The water stations however were every mile or so and the vast majority of people were very enthusiastic. I do wish they were still doing the themed water stops with costumes like they used to, not sure when they stopped that. A lot of kids were working the stops and they would be so happy when you chose them to take the cups from. Sooooo cute! There was more than one where they looked so crestfallen that you didn't take their cups :).
I had a low spot right around mile 5 or 6, just wasn't feeling great, hills were taking their toll and I was cramping a bit (oh forgot to mention my period started Friday evening, yuck) but came out of it fairly quickly. Maybe I need to start carrying a recorder so I can note what's going on where and when. Would be a great reminder for afterwards 'cause things tend to blur together sometimes. It was so nice to reach the tree-covered part of the course for some shade, but still seemed like there wasn't any corresponding downhills to the uphills, wth?!?
Kristen drove by cheering at one point :), she's such a sweetie! Saw James again at the mile 11ish water stop, hit the turnaround point, give Charity a quick hug and introduce Jackie to Kristen. Feeling awesome, we start meeting the fast runners from the regular start and the runners that are behind us from the early start. Great boost to cheer everybody on and so very, very cool to see and cheer on Ethan and Leah twice, once meeting them and then when they zoomed past us.
Saw James again at the same water stop on the way back but this time he was handing out water and gatorade with the volunteers :).
The turnaround point marked the headwind though, eep.......
Freezing at the start, cute gloves, and Carol to the left.