This past Sunday I ran the Outerbanks Marathon from Kill Devil Hills to Manteo, NC with my boyfriend Gene. It was my second Marathon following my first marathon last year, Portland Marathon. I’ve been training at 30-35 mpw for 6 months now since I had Ragnar Relay in July.
Though I only did 1 minute better than my first Marathon, I felt a lot stronger on this one. When I got to mile 23, unlike my first marathon, my legs weren’t already feeling shot. I was still feeling pretty good. But, the bridge to Manteo was a hill and pretty much everyone was walking it. My phone GPS was also a little off telling me I was already at 24 miles when I didn’t hit the 23 mile mark for another .75 miles. Ouch. That was a mind trip.
The route was beautiful, mostly along the ocean and then through the woods and neighbourhoods, then out onto the main road and over the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and into the town center of Manteo.
The last two miles compared to everyone else I felt like I was moving pretty good. A lot of people were cheering me on. I was ready to get done with it and really hoping I’d shave some time off. But, I didn’t due to a bathroom break in the woods, taking forever to refill my water bottle, an asthma attack at mile 15-16, and walking up the bridge.
At mile 19 the back of my knee started throbbing a pain I’d never felt before but I just was so determined and doing well I told myself to ignore it and before I knew it, it was gone. Then 20-26, I knew I had in the bag. Just 52 min or so to go. I didn’t think it was that hot but Gene felt it could have been cooler. I ran out of Nuun as I only packed two tablets not thinking I’d drink that much water but I was so thirsty on that race that I started using the Gatorade at the aid stations around mile 19-20. I also did something different and took Gene’s suggestion of having 4 honey stinger packets throughout the race.
When I got to the finish line, I started to realize I was covered in salt when I went to wipe what I thought was sweat under my eye. I tossed the Finisher visor on and quickly grabbed 2 small Gatorades and downed one. Then found Gene. Then found food and boarded the shuttle to head back.
My last marathon, I don’t remember how sore I was following it. It must have been the same. My legs weren’t so bad, just a little hard to walk down stairs. My back though, excruciating pain in my shoulder blades, middle and lower back. Not sure if it was the beds we were sleeping on or the marathon. Though I do vaguely remember back pain from my last marathon training. My legs were swollen until after my run Wednesday night. My ankle bones were no longer visible and puffy. I guess water retention. The epic 12 hour trip home on Tues I got a terrible migraine on the plane.
Despite all my gripes, I still really enjoyed this Marathon too. I think my friends and family were hoping this time I’d hate it so I’d stop doing them but nope, I’m already looking forward to planning my next one. And maybe I’ll get faster and it’ll be even easier, but if not, I wouldn’t be upset. I guess I just love running long distances. I’m still thinking about ultras too.