Saturday, March 15, 2014

Two Down

I did it! I completed my first ever trail marathon, my second marathon to date, and what an adventure it was! Even though snow still ladened the ground the weather was perfect and the atmosphere casual. There were no antsy runners readying their watches looking to PR (personal record), but there were plenty of adventurers readying themselves for what was to come. Initially the trails were snow packed and a bit crowded, but the traditional thinning of the crowd occurred some eight miles in, which was hard to determine because there were no mile markers to indicate how far I had gone. The lack of mile markers concerned me at first, but this only led me into a zen like state on the trails where I simply fell into my running mode without regard to how many miles I was running. It wasn't until the seventh aid station when I gasped after being informed I was at the 22 mile mark; I was feeling pretty good at that point and couldn't believe I had ran that far because it didn't seem like I had. There was a wonderful mixture of great company and beauty on the trails that made the day seem almost surreal. The trail looped around a golden meadow before meandering along the lake's edge. Then the trails ventured into the forest along babbling creeks before catapulting through a series of mountainous climbs while bottoming out into the valleys. On the final decent from the mountainside the view became rather stunning as I found myself perched high above the vast lake below. As the morning wore on the temperature rose causing a significant thawing of the trails, which gradually became grueling. I sloshed through puddles of water and miles of mud, an experience only a kid at heart could love, and I was enjoying every minute of it. The last two miles of my adventure were trying and I admit I had to dig deep and run on auto, but crossing the finish line gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Overall I felt good, strong, and confident believing I could have gone further. Running a marathon at the age of 48 is about experiencing a life adventure and this one did not disappoint. 

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