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Holy Hills - Marathon #5

After running a marathon yesterday in St. Louis, my main piece of advice:  if you run a marathon that's 80% hills, may I recommend maybe incorporating some hills in your training.  
I did not do this.
This is definitely the hardest course I've run.

The race had every combination you can think of.  Marathon, half-marathon, 5K and relay half-marathon. I decided to run the marathon & my sister, Karen, ran the half-marathon.
I am so proud of Karen.  Before this training she hadn't run over a 5K and she did the training and finished her 13.1 super solid!
start line:  6am
And the hills didn't seem to stop.  I can't tell you how many times in the last 2 miles some spectator said it's all downhill from here and then I saw another hill to run up.  (At least four times.)  I stopped believing them.  (I know they were just helping with the mind games we were all playing with ourselves at that point.  I don't blame them.)
Once I got to the last stretch to the finish (which was flat) I guess my eyes lit up when I saw it (since I was no longer believing anyone and trying to count down the blocks ahead instead).  A spectator said, "Now you can hear it."  I looked at him and said, "Now I can see it!"  He laughed.

The finish was confusing to me.  First they had the overhead photographer people, which if you've run the Chicago marathon they usually have around Chinatown & it sort-of looked like a finish so I was like, 'wait, am I done?'  Nope.  Then they had a guy who gave you five and then since I was alone he announced my name.  I thought that was the finish.  Nope.  Then I saw what must be it.  While the guy announced my name, I zeroed in on the finish & something pulled me out of my zone to hear Karen and her friends cheering for me super loud!  I glanced over to smile and the intercom guy says "look at her smiling."  Let's be clear, it was because I saw people I knew and they drew me out of my zone.  Apparently they were yelling for me a while and Katie, my sister's friend, looked at Karen and said, "She's not even going to hear us."

This should demonstrate the story:
 Finish, finish, finish | (2 seconds later) oh look it's karen + friends

This race was definitely geared towards the half-marathon with probably less than 1/4 of the runners completing the full, but it made the second half pretty peaceful.

Did you know you're supposed to work 30% more running up hills.  I worked hard in that marathon!

At one point I saw a street sign for Holly Hills, but in my delusional state of mind I read Holy Hills and since the entire run I was thinking of titles along those lines for this run, I thought, 'that's appropriate.'  Then I realized I read it wrong.

I went through the typical:  I hate this, I want to call Mom & Dad to come pick me up (good thing I don't run with my phone), I can't do this, I'm in so much pain.  But I did it!  Personally mile 18 on are always pretty terrible, but this one...whew.

I got to mile 25 and saw Mom & Dad.  It was exactly what I needed.  I stopped quickly and said how much pain I was in.  (I was getting ready to walk again before I saw them and they gave me the push I needed to pretend I was not in pain and to keep going.)  They also made a friend they were standing with who, get this, has run 178 marathons.  Yes, you read that right.  He ran with me for a few blocks to distract me.  And I couldn't be more grateful.
the best

I saw Karen's friends' Katie & Eric and their son Sam around mile 8 or 9.  We had amazing fans!!!!  The fans weren't in numbers like Chicago, but I kind-of liked how low-key it was.  I talked to more runners during the race than I ever have before.  It was just a friendly atmosphere.

After the race Karen & I were meeting with Mom & Dad and they were a block away and walking past.  Usually in this situation I would run over to them.  Considering I could not move, I just started yelling their names.  Everyone else looked at me and eventually they did too. 

4:43  I'll take it.  
My PR is 3:54 to give you a frame of reference.

On the ride back to Chicago:
Me:  So you think you'll do another one.  
Karen:  Nope.  I think I'll run further on my runs, but I never need to run 13 miles again.
objects in mirror closer than they appear


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