On December 31, 2013, I made a resolution to run a sub-4:35 marathon. On June 14th, 2015, I became a sub-4:35 marathoner.
Against the odds, I took 38 minutes off of my previous marathon time. I say against the odds, because this race was hillier, warmer, and smaller. Smaller is the key element. A mere 242 tenacious marathoners, the Lake Placid Marathon was significantly smaller than Boston (36,000 runners). After the halfway point, the race became very spread out, and oftentimes, I was on the road alone. Solo distance running is a big mental game. Similarly, the crowds were motivating and wonderful, but few and far between. So, it’s safe to say that this was a mentally tough course.
Luckily, the Village of Lake Placid is stunning. The beautiful views include the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, and the Olympic Jumping Complex that towers above the trees.
You know I love hills, but there was a set of hills nearing the end of the course that were no joking matter. The first, steep and quiet, not a good combo. A fellow runner and I encouraged each other the entire way. Then, we made a slight turn and faced another hill. We talked each other through the entire trek. Then, a final hill before a jaunt 3/4 of the way around the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. I was not expecting the third hill, or the second for that matter, and I cursed the whole way up.
Then, I ran around the speed skating oval, luckily speed skating is not a hilly sport. When I was about halfway around the oval, the emcee at the finish line said, “If you hurry, you can finish in 4:30!” I had no idea what my timing was, and hearing those words put a shocked and overjoyed look on my face A runner who had already finished the race and was standing in the field in the middle of the oval was so elated by my reaction that he congratulated me and cheered me on closer to the finish line. And then, with a lightning burst of speed, I crossed the finish line.
Thank You Notes:
- Thank you to my family for following me out to Lake Placid. I am so lucky to have such a great Support Crew.
- Thank you to breakfast sandwiches for being the best kind of sandwiches.
- Thank you to the butterfly that flew alongside me in the lonely miles around mile 20. There is no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t you cheering me along, Tracey.
- Thank you to the runner who encouraged me up those hills. I know you said that you would have walked the first hill if it wasn’t for me, but I would have walked the second if it wasn’t for you.