end of an era

caution - I got quite verbose here

It was a 14 year run but now it’s over.  Six marathons in those years have made me feel like I actually did something that could be called truly athletic.


1996 - Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon - Anchorage, AK

5:28:06 / 12:26 pace……….age  40

As an adult I hoped to do a marathon before I was 40 years old.  Almost made it; I was 40 when I did my first.  I worked with the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training for this endeavour.  I raised $XX while they led me through a training schedule.  I was flown to Anchorage and housed in a motel for a few days.

My memories include:

  • being warned “bears have the right-of-way”
  • having to walk the last 10 miles because of a blown knee
  • Popsicles along the route (one family’s tradition)
  • the dryness of the air off the glaciers
  • craving po-ta-toes the next day, which I had with reindeer sausage


1998 - Trail’s End Marathon - Warrenton, OR

4:44:12 / 10:51 pace……….age 42

This was really my stomping ground.  I helped mark out the course in Fort Stevens.  I hoped to run for no fee but that didn’t pan out.


1999 - Trail’s End Marathon - Warrenton, OR

4:15:00 / 9:44 pace……….age 43

Again, my neck of the woods which was so nice; no traveling to the event.  In fact I walked to the start and then home.  This was the last marathon locally.  There was not enough interest hence it was not a moneymaker; even running clubs have to make money.


2001 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

4:28:48 / 10:16 pace……….age 45

I don’t even remember how I discovered this event but I’m glad I did.  Jerry and I lived in Newport 1977-80 and loved it.   It was nice to go back after so many years and play tourist, with a little weekend run thrown in.  The big appeal to this particular event was the size limit, 600.  Small is perfect for me as I don’t do well in crowds, that’s why I never did the highly touted Portland Marathon.


2009 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

5:52:01 / 13:26 pace……….age 53

Life got in the way of any serious marathon training so it was eight years since the last one.  I’m not sure what prompted me to do this.  It may have been the fact that I had busted my butt for two years at school, and I wanted to do something that I wanted to do!

My training was not fun; I bummed my leg a couple months before the event but continued conservative training.  And sure enough, the leg was not up to the task.  I walked the first two miles then cautiously ran.  I did some more walking and at mile six, I felt OK.  I started a slow easy run and still felt OK.  1/4 mile later the leg seized up and there was no more run in it.  I walked the rest of the distance.  I figure I walked over 23 miles but really, I had a good pace going!

I did get a HUGE nasty blister on the bottom of my foot and I think it may have helped me stay on an even gait: blister on one side, bum leg on the other.  Swore I’d never do another marathon.  HA!


2010 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

4:54:18 / 11:14 pace……….age 54

The training this year was tough mentally and emotionally; the physical part was no big deal.  However, as the event neared, nerves had major ebb and flow times.  By the time we left town Friday, I was calm - que sera, sera.  I had done the prep, now to execute.

I rose at 5:00 Saturday and had my usual breakfast.  It promised to be a beautiful day so I slathered on the sunscreen for when I shed my shirt (tank top underneath).  Got to the start about five minutes before the start, just enough time to adjust my shoe laces and give Jerry a kiss bye.

I walked the first two miles.  This has been SOP for all my super long runs for years.  Running began at the 2 mile marker and continued until about the 19 or 20, except for walking through the aid stations and drinking.  I then did some walk/run stuff but felt the best while walking, so I walked.  I had no idea of the time; I do distance.  The sun was warm so I took three cups of water at each station during the last miles.

The finish line was just up and over a little hill.  My plan was to continue walking but run the final few hundred yards across the finish line.  And I did.  As soon as I crossed, I was given my goodie bag and “medal” but my legs felt quite wobbly.  I grabbed the arm of one the guys and he walked with me through the chute while another guy opened a bottle of water for me, which I chugged down gratefully.

Jerry was not allowed in the “recovery area” and I didn’t even know where he was.  I knew I needed food so headed right to the food tables.  Also got my finisher’s shirt and more water.  After chowing watermelon and chips with salsa and downing yet another bottle of water, I went looking for Jerry.  He was right there waiting for me.

My goodie bag had coupons for chowder and beer.  Knowing they both would have wheat in them, I boldly got them anyway and Jerry had lunch!  After going back again for more fruit and chips, we walked to the car.

Uh, oh.  Jerry locked the keys in the car.  He was devastated, I was calm.  I suggested he hitchhike to the motel and get my keys but he felt he could break in, with no damage.  I sat down and continued to eat while he went in search of a wire coat hanger.  He got one and went to work.  He really tried hard to get the door lock undone.  As he worked, I remembered AAA Roadside Assistance.  I called them (Jerry had his cell phone on his belt) and had just given them our membership number when Jerry gave a cry of delight - the door was open!  Hooray!!!!

So off we went to get cleaned up and assess any bodily damage.  I am pleased to state the damage was minimal; a few blisters was it and not a problem at all.

Local Ocean Seafood was the next destination.  I knew they had gluten-free items for me and darn good food to boot!  I had a beer  (yum!!!) and a fish taco.  That really hit the spot.  Then back to motel for down time before 5:30 Mass.  There were no sporting events on TV but I had brought DVDs.  LOTR was in the player quickly and we watched until it was time to leave again.

Having had a late lunch, we were not hungry for dinner.  It worked out that after watching LOTR some more, we dug into the picnic basket and cooler and had a “munchie lunchie” for dinner.  This meal consisted of apple, cheese, crackers, wine, and a chocolate for dessert.  Perfect.

Sunday morning we went to the Pig’n'Pancake.  While there we were reading the newspaper sports page and discovered the French Open was on TV right then.  We finished up and went quickly back to the motel to watch.  We were able to witness Nadal succeed in his quest for the trophy.  Well done, Rafa!!

Oh, did I mention the pouring rain Sunday??  The drive home was soggy.  We did the requisite stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory where Jerry got a big ice cream cone.  After driving more miles, the rain abated and we were able to take a dry walk to Short Sand Beach in Oswald West State Park.   This beach is very popular with surfers, and there were no less than two dozen out in the water waiting for the perfect wave to ride.

Home again, home again, jiggity jog.


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