The race started off without a hitch. The first 1/4 mile was a bit harrowing as there were walnuts on the ground everywhere. So I started off a bit hesitant so I didn't ruin my race in the first 200 yards... Once I made it to the trail, I was in around 10th, I slowly picked off most of the fast starters within the next 2-3 miles. The trail was a mix of some sandy spots and hard packed dirt. LOTS of turns and technical portions on this trail. I can't tell you how many logs I had to jump/climb over and fallen trees I had to duck under. There were 3 river crossings, they all had stepping stones fortunately. The course had a last minute change the night before as the back half of the course was unrunnable because of water so instead they made the marathon a double loop course. After the first loop I was in 5th place with 4th place not to far in front of me. I caught him shortly after the turn and held that spot until mile 21ish (my split at mile 20 was 2:31). Around this time I stepped in a depression and slightly turned my left ankle (the good one, not the one I hurt at Pikes). It was minimal and I didn't even stop, within 2-3 minutes after that I stepped on something in a dry creek bed and turned it again, this time it hurt bad. I stopped and started massaging the area in hopes of starting up again. The pain was intense and I tried to start walking to keep it from swelling and tightening up. I kept walking for what felt like forever, but in reality was around 5 minutes. During this time I had 2 people pass me. The pain was tolerable so I tried jogging again, within the next 1/2 mile after that my right calf started cramping up bad, so bad I thought I pulled the muscle again. I stopped and massaged the knot I had it in. Again I tried to start running and again the calf cramped up within a minute. I think it was because I was compensating with my right leg from turning my left ankle. Suffice it to say, my race was pretty much over. I started walking again, with a little bit of jogging thrown in just to make me feel good. When I felt the calf starting to cramp up I slowed to a walk. By mile 25 I was able to keep a steady pace of a slow jog without cramping. But during this time, I had another 9 people pass me before I was able to get to the finish. All in all, I had a good time and learned a bunch. The only thing that's sore today are my calves, mostly the right one obviously. I'm just glad the calf held together and I didn't pull anything. If that happened, history tells me that I would have had to take at least 2-3 days off or more. As it stands now, I'll probably get back out tomorrow for a short one to see how everything feels. Yes, I am contemplating another marathon in 4 weeks (on the road this time), I'll have to see how things go and maybe a 50k in December.
Getting ready to start.. #165