OHIO  -  Columbus Marathon
10/16/2011      http://www.columbusmarathon.com/
State #12
Finish time:  6:04:12
The worst part of a marathon for me is the stress of
picking up the packet.  I had avoided that by getting
my Columbus packet on Friday because we had
flown into Columbus before driving to Indianapolis.  
Otherwise I would have been stressing about
getting back to Columbus after the Indianapolis run
to get my Columbus packet.  With that stress out of
the way, we took our time and got to Columbus just
before dark.  We grabbed dinner, went to bed, and
were up for more of the same.

Columbus had a bunch of people, but I was going
slow so no one was in my way.  The first mile I was
very tight, my legs did not want to go, but they fell
into submission fairly quickly.  It was a bit chilly at
the start, but warmed up to just a degree or two
under perfect.  

The marathon organizers had bands set up about
every quarter mile.  They were perfectly spaced so
that just as we were running out of ear-shot of one
band, we would come into ear-shot of the next one.  
That was really nice and kept me well entertained.

I met and ran with a 50-state club member from
about mile 5 to mile 7.  He had also done
Indianapolis the day before, but I hadn't seen him.  
He had been doing doubles much longer than I had,
and he left me in his dust.  Slightly after mile 9, we
all had to veer off the road and up into a yard
because there was a runner down and the fire truck
was there working him.  Volunteers were trying to
block the view, but I couldn't help but look, and he
didn't look good.  All of a sudden I was having heart
palpitations and shortness of breath, but then I told
myself I was being silly, and I got over it.  About mile
12 I ran past our hotel, and Richard was dutifully
standing guard outside to wave and cheer me on.  I
told him I was doing fine, and was hoping for a 6
hour finish.  Richard takes pride in seeing just how
close he can get the car to the finish line, so my
estimated finish time is pretty important.  A 3rd PR
in a row would have been nice, but I had thrown that
idea out in the first mile, and was starting to have
doubts about 6 hours.  

Then I got to the hardest part of the course.  Mile
13, where all the half marathoners were turning into
the finish, and I could hear the cheers and music,
but I didn't get to turn, I had to proceed on.  I asked
myself if I wanted to cut it short, and answered, "Hell
no!"  The course got more boring in the second
half, and about mile 20 the bands started to pick
up.  I told one of them I needed some music and he
mumbled some excuse about the wind.  Whatever.  I
didn't miss out on any photographers however.  I
couldn't believe how many awesome photos I got for
this race.  Probably the most of any marathon I've
ever done, and I was somehow able to smile in each
one of them, even though I was pretty sore.  

I made it to the finish just after 6 hours, and there
was Richard, proudly pointing to his close parking
spot.  I was sore and had really struggled to get this
second marathon done, so I said it was a bad idea
and I was never doing it again.  After my recovery
drink and having my legs up for the long ride to the
grandparent's house, I had changed my mind and
decided it was super fun.  Besides, it earned me a
fabulous 5-star rating!  When's my next double?  
This is right before the turn to the
finish.  Whenever I try to be "cute"
this is what happens: