The Countdown to 26.2

November 28, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

You know that marathon I’ve randomly been talking about for the past few months, yes, it’s this Saturday. I’m excited. I’m scared, a little nervous but overall I’m ready to test all my training from this year. Most people brave 26.2 miles for the first time on a road course, with many people cheering, a few hills and endless amounts of smooth pavement. Not me, I’ve decided to compete in one of the hardest trail marathons. No worries, I also question my sanity at times.

A little info about the race:

“The route will take us through Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forest and a major portion of the 40-mile Tecumseh Trail is used for the race course. The trail surface varies from narrow forest trail to wide fire road, gravel, dirt, and paved roads. Several up and downhills of 200-300′ elevation are along the course, along with many smaller hills. The total ascent is approximately 3500′” (Dino series website).

Dino website

Now some people out West may think 3500′ of climbing sounds like nothing, but I’m from the flat Midwest and the biggest hill I first saw was when I arrived in Bloomington for my freshman year of college, had to run multiple hills on my first run and thought the cross country team was trying to kill me. Many days they succeeded. I learned to “enjoy” the hills through cycling but there is something more rewarding after climbing a hill on a bike. Ah yes, that 30-40 mph descent!

No matter my true thoughts on hills, they will be there Saturday. They will hurt, they will make my muscles burn and scream but they will let me know I’m still alive. Maybe it’s the runner in me but the thought that this will be the hardest physical act I’ve ever put my body through excites me! I’ve told Tom that barring a broken bone on my lower half or being unconscious, I’m finishing the race.

Now of course Mr. Winter weather decided to hit this week. I ran in a t-shirt this past Saturday and now it’s supposed to snow on Wednesday, lovely. It’s also been raining non-stop so the amount of mud will be awesome to run in, guess I have always wanted to run the Muddy Buddy (positive thinking). Tom and I have been hiking on the last part of the course for the past three years and I’ve only seen the creeks on the trail full maybe twice. Yea, they are going to be full flowing rivers by Saturday. Luckily my husband rocks and he’s carrying multiple changes of socks for me!

Either way, I’m ready, at least as ready as one can be! I’ll spend this week, eating everything in sight, foam rolling, changing outfit choices a million times and doing a few light runs. Because the thought that this time next week, walking, sitting, moving will be oh so painful, only puts a smile on my face 🙂

Yup, the 2010 race. (Photo: Dino web page).

For any of you marathoning experts, feel free to pass along advice!! Emails would be appreciated!!