WYOMING  -  Casper Marathon
06/03/2012                http://www.runwyoming.com/
State #21
Finish time:  5:41:25
After my warm run at Boise, I tried to get some
warm weather training in before the Casper
Marathon.  The weather didn't want to cooperate.
 I tried to bundle up on my runs to simulate warm
weather, but it just isn't the same.  Finally, two
days before the marathon, the weather got hot.  
Not enough time to acclimate!  I watched the
weather forecast closely, and it was clear I was
going to have to take this one slow.  
I dug out my shorts and tank top, and headed to
the 6:30am start.  Although I hate getting up extra
early, I would have taken an early start if one had
been offered.  
For some reason, this was a big marathon for
Marathon Maniacs and 50 State Club members,
so there were lots of folks in the group picture,
and even more out on the course.   
When I got back to where the truck was parked, I told him I had
slowed down a bit, and re-ciphered, and while 5:30 was still
possible, I would have to push too hard to get it done, and I didn't
want to risk it.  I was still feeling good and wanted to stay that way.  I
was sure I would be just over 5:30, but under 5:40.  That's okay.  
But then the course headed out for a 3 mile loop in full sun.  Up until
then there had been a bit of shade off and on, but this loop had no
trees to keep the sun off.  They were well prepared, with aid stations
every mile, but it was still too hot.  I had to slow way down.  It wasn't
until the beginning of mile 26 that I realized I may not make my 5:40
time.  I wanted to push and get in under that 5:40 mark, but good
sense prevailed (impressive huh?) and I told myself that there is no
reason to push for it, that 5:40 doesn't win me anything, and 5:41
lets me finish without getting heat exhaustion.  So I walked/ran on.  I
still felt good coming into the finish line, so I figure I made the right
decision.  
I headed out too fast like always, but caught myself within the first tenth of a mile and
slowed down.  I walked all the major hills and kept my pace slow and easy, anything I
could do to keep myself from getting worn out and over heated.  When I run, I don't
see anything.  It's hard to explain, I get into a trance, I start daydreaming, and literally
don't see what's in front of me.  Right before mile 7, there was a tree down over the
path.  I didn't see it!  I was 3 feet in front of it before I realized it was there and stopped
and veered around it.  At mile 9 we ran past the finish line.  I saw them setting out wine
and was bummed that I wouldn't be back in time to partake in the festivities.  At mile 11
I ran past where Richard had parked the truck to check on me and give me ice if
needed.  I told him I was doing good and headed on.  Since I the ice from Richard had
melted, I wanted more.  I asked at the next aid station, and they had ice for me!  Every
aid station was well stocked with ice.  I might be able to pull out a good finish after all!  
The heat was picking up, so I was slowing down a bit, but I still felt good.  I got down to
the turn-around at mile 16 and was heading back when Richard showed up on the
path on his bike, checking on me.  Because of the well stocked aid stations, I was still
doing fine.  I told him I might be able to pull out a 5:30 finish.
What I couldn't believe was the finish-line festival.  All that wine that I saw at
mile 9?  It was still there!  Along with every kind of fresh fruit imaginable,
snacks, desserts, sandwiches, pizza, and 8 types of beer!  Normally there is
no one around, and no food left.  Because the finish line was in the parking lot
of the host hotel, everyone who had finished ahead of me had showered, and
come back for the party.  They had a live band, great music, shade, it was
paradise.  For once, I felt like I had finished with the fast runners cause there
they were, hanging with me!  The finish line festivities made this one of my
favorite marathons.  Good aid stations, nice course, and they had a good shirt
too.  Great job Casper.  A+ marathon.