Last year, I had trained a solid 18 weeks without missing a single workout to BQ for the first time running my 6th marathon (since 2009).
Then I went and got all cray cray--6 marathons in 2014.
5 in Mizuno Wave Elixirs.
4 in tutu:
2 repeat courses.
1 shiny new PR.
When I arrived in Rehoboth, I really couldn't have asked for a better year of running. All signs pointed that it was still possible to PR again after Marshall, but I promised myself to only dig deep in the final miles if it was still possible.
I met up with Steve and Angie at the Baltimore airport and after a few necessary stops, we were headed to Rehoboth! Steve is my virtual RB and Angie has been at every Loopfest I've ever attended. Needless to say I felt like I was hanging out with other family.
We met up with Jenster in the middle of downtown, went to the not-so-organized expo, and made our way to the empty house. But soon old friends and new awesome people came tumbling through the doors and the decibel level grew exponentially. I desperately wanted to meet the clan staking claim at the bar at Dogfish Head, but I knew that couldn't resist having a delicious craft beer. So I hung out long enough for the party to come rolling back and managed to take the few pictures I would take of the weekend Friday night.
Steve, Angie, and I decided to go grab dinner at a local Mexican place. I stuck to chicken tacos--it wasn't pasta, but it was bland enough.
Everyone drifted off slowly when we got back. The nervousness that I felt last year was non-existent this year. I eventually laid out my stuff and made my twin bed.
Anyway, I sleep well enough. I heard people getting up around 5ish and decided to follow suit once I realized that I was awake enough to not be grumpy cat. Coffee, bagel with peanut butter, and more coffee. I loved sitting around in my pjs having breakfast with everyone. It was probably one of my favorite moments.
I got (mostly) dressed and then realized that I hadn't even stepped outside to feel the temperature. Oops. Once I did a quick jaunt outdoors, I realized that I didn't need my arm warmers and ditched them before we even started. The group was getting ready to make their way to the start and I snapped on my glittery tutu outside.
Steve and I decided to run 8:00m/m together until we got tired. So we lined up next to each other at the start while others found a place to hang. I don't remember hearing a gun, but we were only about 30 seconds back and made our way to the start line quickly.
I glanced at my watch around .3 miles in and it read 8:47. I panicked a bit. And picked up the pace. Not realizing that Steve wasn't directly behind me, I started running. I looked around for him, but decided it was really hard for him to lose me in the purple tutu. The first few miles clicked off at a comfortable pace and I felt pretty good.
I saw he was near me at the half marathon/marathon turnaround split so that was reassuring. I was caught up in a small group once the trail narrowed and then started chatting with another Maniac, Heather, who had run 102 marathons. Whoa! Steve caught up to us at this point and we hung out with Heather for a bit until we decided to creep on ahead.
I don't remember the mile moments of this marathon, but I do remember a few bits of awesome:
-Yelling at Paul while he ducked off the course
-High-fiving Ed at the turnaround in the park and trying to make the most of the moment as we caught up to him
-Exclaiming wheeeeeeeee down the one little downhill in the park
-Watching Steve squirt orange GU all over his hand
-Squealing as we saw Mr. Bacon on the highway
-Racing to the 13.1 mat so my half split would be faster
-High-fiving a bunch of people in jester hats spectating
-Skipping after an aid station to ease back into the movement of running
-Emptying my lungs as Rob headed to the finish
-Getting caught by Misti and Nate while in a zombie zone out
Bunny ears, because, well, bunny ears:
-Dancing with a guitar player at mile 22
-Singing Wrecking Ball to the point that Steve had to put his earphones in and counterattack with AC/DC
-Linking arms for a few steps not caring out the ticking clock
-Seeing a smiley happy Angie having a great race
-Giving overanimated cheers to Greg, Jill, and John from the trail
-Pushing the final mile only to realize we were imagining how fast we were running
It wasn't the fastest marathon, nor the slowest at 3:42:XX. (It was the 3rd fastest of 12 for anyone keeping score.)
It was 26.2 miles of funning. Sure, it hurt at times. I mean, dudes, it was still a marathon. My feet hated the rocks, my Achilles yelped, I had to pee for like, 24 of the 26.2 miles, and I was ready to make a beeline for the beer tent when we looped back through town mid-race. But finishing a marathon is always awesome. And running 26.2 miles with my virtual RB was pretty amazeballs.
Once inside the beer tent, I collected a plate of food which I mostly forgot about.
Then I rallied for pizza. And felt a bajillion times better.
Until I went to the Purple Parrot for round 2 and danced like a white girl until the ugly lights came on.
When I woke up, the sun was shining and there were Loopsters gathering downstairs. I had missed seeing the beach last time because of the snow and decided to take a quick walk. It was incredibly windy and the air was bitingly cold. Suddenly, I was well aware of my good fortune that the weather had held out on race day.