I am still super excited that I complete the Pikes Peak Marathon, yesterday! I can honestly say, even up to the point where I was toeing the line, I doubted whether or not I could do it. I kept telling myself, "Just be SMART!!"
I listened to myself and started out with an easy run up Ruxton and onto Barr Trail. I would walk when it got a bit too rocky or a bit too steep. There were several times that I felt a twinge in my right foot/ankle and it would make me a bit nervous. Throughout the race I came up with and tested several hypotheses.
Hypothesis #1: Runners are amazing people!
This is true! I saw this over and over throughout the PPM. The words of encouragement echoed off the mountain as runners passed each other whether they were headed in the same direction or the leaders were coming in the opposite direction. When people would fall, whoever was around offered support. We all supported each other, friends or strangers, it doesn't matter.
Hypothesis #2: People are going to think I am strange caring a Marmot.
Still undecided because I do not know how to read minds. I think there are more pictures of Mike doing the Marathon than there are of me! Of course, he did double so he is pretty special! I was amazed at the number of people wanted to discuss what I was caring. I had to explain why I was caring an otter to represent the Mighty Marmots. Some people already knew Mike and would tap him on the head and say "Hello"
Hypothesis #3: I should have worn shorts.
This is false! Yes it was hot, but I fell pretty hard 3 times and if it wasn't for my capri tights my knees and hips would be more scratched up and bloody!
Hypothesis #4: Gravity can be your worst enemy and your best friend.
This is true! As you saw in the previous hypothesis I fell 3 times! The first and third time I rolled my left ankle (which is my good ankle) really hard. I didn't just fall, but the first time I rolled! The pain was sharp and I thought I was done both times. The first fall was at mile 4, the second was about mile 15 and the third was around mile 19. The second time I was partially off the trail. All three times runners were nearby and willing to help me. See Hypothesis #1. Gravity definitely becomes your best friend on the way down the mountain. I was able to relax and just roll down Pikes Peak, until it got rocky.
Hypothesis #4: Apple sauce pouches are indestructible.
This is false! In one of my falls, I must have landed on one and had applesauce all over the inside of my bag.
Hypothesis #5: Everybody's training went perfectly, except for mine
This is false! I spoke to so many people before the race, during the race and after the race that had regrets on not doing their training as they planned. Plus there were several that had been battling injuries, just like me. Before I ran the 26.2 miles yesterday. I had only ran 16 miles since July 9th. I stayed motivated, due to this experience, to go to spin class 3 times per week and lift 2-3 days per week. I am extremely grateful to my spin instructors and all of the squats I did throughout the summer!
Hypothesis #6: I can't run and eat AT THE SAME TIME!
This is false! I found a new skill. I got very good at grabbing a handful of Cheezits and grapes and heading out on the trail. One of those times was right before my 2nd fall. My left hand was full of grapes and my right hand was full of Cheezits. When my toes caught a rock and I went tumbling face first towards a boulder, protected my face, but more importantly I SAVED THE FOOD! The grapes were a bit squished in my clenched fist, but they still tasted great!
Hypothesis #7: Pikes Peak is a beautiful place.
This is true! I ran the Ascent 2 years ago and struggled with fueling and dizziness and I didn't remember much. This time I enjoyed the sights and sounds of our beautiful home!
Hypothesis #8: There is only 1 aid station.
This, THANK GOD!, is false! I truly only remembered one from the Ascent. I was very excited to see every aid station. Not only did they have food, but they had water, gatorade, and some of the most amazing people you could ever meet! I tried to thank all of them. My favorite response, after I said "Thank you for being here!", this woman said, "Thank YOU for being here otherwise we would look a little goofy standing out here!" All these volunteers were cheery and happy to help you with any fueling and first aid needs! THANK YOU!
Hypothesis #9: If I start to feel pain, just take Aleve and that will work!
This is true, but you need to pay attention to how much you take. I ended up taking 10 Aleve to get through the race. My foot was not happy with me. But, for the last 30 hours, my stomach is not happy with my medicating choice. It is important you use them as directed.
Hypothesis #10: If I had not been a Mighty Marmot, I would not have crossed this item off my bucket list.
This is true. I would have given up on myself early on. I would have ran the Garden of the Gods 10 miler, but the Summer Roundup would have not happened and I probably would have canceled doing the marathon. I am one of those people that hate to let others down and I appreciate the support from Tim Bergsten, Pikes Peak Sports, Ron Ilgen, Triple Crown of Running, Colorado Running Company, Mountain Equipment Recyclers and the Mighty Marmots. I truly would not have marked of the PPM from my bucket list without all of you!
Hypothesis #11: I will not do the ever again...
Or maybe I will! Only time will tell! ;)
I am sure I will think of more. If I think they are funny or worth your time, I will share them with you. If you have your own, please share!