The Delaware Marathon(s)

Since I use this blog as a record for my running, good and bad, I am shocked that it has been 2 and a half months since my marathon and I have yet to do a recap. Better late than never I guess.

Coastal Delaware Marathon

I ran my 20 mile long run back on April 22nd.  Besides a case of the extremes: extreme thirst, extreme fatigue, and extreme mood swings, it went well! No looming injury; I was ready, or so I thought.

Then, during my last longish taper run (12 miles, I think)  I had to cut it short for what I thought might be some ITBS.  I rested but just couldn’t shake this intense back/thigh pain.  I foam rolled like crazy and did a ton of exercises for itbs treatment and decided to proceed with the race.

So we headed to Rehoboth the evening before the race and hit up the expo. There was a masseuse at the expo and I got a massage that focused on my right hip/back area.  It really didn’t help and I was very concerned.  The pain was there with just standing and walking around. I bought an ITB strap to use during the race also.

The race started on the boardwalk in Rehoboth with Bill and Gracie seeing me off and headed through a neighborhood to Gordon’s Pond trail.  The trail was crushed stone which transitioned to an “elevated boardwalk.”  It was at this point, about mile 4, that I knew I was already in trouble.   I loved the scenery but the gravel path and the slats on the boardwalk were causing a pang in my IT band and thigh.

I knew Bill would be waiting to see me at the mile 11 water stop but at mile 8, I made the call.  I told Bill (through more than a little tears) that I would be stopping at mile 11.  I felt confident that I could make it another 3 miles with the pain and I did.

There is nothing (running-wise) as disappointing as DNFing a marathon and having to drive the course that you SHOULD be running on to get back to your hotel.  I put in so much work and felt like my body had betrayed me.

I went home and regrouped.  The pain was pretty bad so I called a new to me place and scheduled a massage.  I explained where my pain was and she went to work.  It was an intense massage but by the time I left, I felt markedly better.

I work at two locations one of which is in the city of Wilmington.  I tell you this because this is where the Delaware Marathon is held and happens to be a  week after the Coastal De marathon, my DNF.

So, the day after my massage,  I was driving to work, and there were all these traffic notifications for this upcoming marathon on Sunday. My next thoughts were: “What if I continue to feel better? Could I run it? The training is there, Are you going to let all that hard work go to waste?”

After talking to Bill (he was so excited, he wanted me to sign up that day), I decided to wait till the day before the race and see how I felt.  I certainly couldn’t take another DNF. I also got another massage the Friday before the race.  She did some minor adjustments on the right side of my lower back but cautioned me that it was a balancing act and too much on one side could cause issues on the other.

That Saturday I signed up for the Delaware Marathon.

Delaware Marathon

The course is two 13.1 mile loops that takes you on a tour of Wilmington.  You run from the Wilmington Riverfront to Brandywine Park (past the Brandywine Zoo) out to Union Street, up and down King Street and back to the Riverfront to complete the second loop.  It is a pretty hilly race but I couldn’t have cared less. I spent my time singing to myself and smiling and chatting with a girl who was running her first half, I was downright giddy.

Once I saw Bill at mile 15, I felt like no matter what I’m finishing this thing.  Mile 18 I had some ITBS on my left- go figure?!! I guess it was the adjustment but I knew I could make it.

We had a big climb up King Street at mile 25 which led to a downhill to the finish.  As I made the turn to the finish line I got so excited and actually said out loud to myself, “I freaking did it!!”

A couple of days later I started my usual negative thinking and was disappointed with my time (4:46:07) but quickly reminded myself that for someone who DNF’ed just a week prior I should be thrilled and so I have been since.

I certainly look it here-

Pure joy with a side of “I’m cold.”