IDAHO  -  Famous Idaho Potato Marathon
State #20
Finish time:  5:30:22
I had really hight hopes for this run.  I didn't find an
elevation profile, but since it ran along a river, I
assumed it would be much flatter than Tacoma.  
The weather forecast looked okay, cool at the start,
up to 66 at the finish.  This was one where you park
and take a shuttle to the start, but that would have
meant less sleep, so I had Richard drop me off at
the start line.  He is such a good race crew!  There
was only ONE other maniac at this race.  At least
only one in a maniac shirt.  As she and I were taking
a pic, two more folks jumped in because this was
their qualifying run to get into the maniacs.  Yay!  
Before he sent us off, the race director announced that because of flooding, there was a
change to the route.  Within the first 1/2 mile, I saw some effects of the extra water.  I've never
seen a dam open this far.  Wow!  
I was bundled up, but within 1/4 mile I had already
shed my sweatshirt.  Only 3/4 miles in, I ditched the
gloves.  Uh oh.  This day might be hotter than I
expected.  At least we were running next to a
cool-looking river.  That should keep me cool,
Mile 4 my long sleeve shirt went, and there was nothing more to take off.  
I hate to admit I have such high expectations for myself, but I had started the day thinking that
it might be possible to break the 5 hour barrier.  I was cruising along at a great pace, and
then I got greedy.  I usually walk at every mile mark, but I was feeling good, and sure didn't
want to be over 5 hours by just a few seconds, so I told myself I would only walk at the aid
stations which were about ever two miles.  That, along with the warm weather, hit me around
mile 9.  I was still on track for a sub 5 finish, but just felt "off".  I kept on, pushing hard until the
half way mark.  Yes, still on track for a sub 5 finish, but fading very fast.  Okay, I still have a
good cushion built on my PR of 5:08, so I dropped my goal down to just hitting a PR.  I really
thought that was do-able, but then I got to the course change.  Since the path along the river
was flooded further on up the path, the race director had added miles 14.5 - 19 by sending us
through a boring neighborhood (no shade) and around a bank and school parking lot - out back,
by the dumpsters - on a hot parking lot - in the heat.  Uggh!  It wasn't even that hot, but I had just
spent the last 3 months in cold weather.  I hadn't even seen the sun until about a week ago!  So, it
was kicking my butt.  To make things even worse, the ice cream truck rolled by me at about mile
16.5.  I swear if I had been carrying cash I would have bought a damn popsicle.  Since I had no
cash, I just yelled at him that he was being mean.  His charming jingle drowned out my weak
hollering.  If he had slowed down, I would have asked if he took credit cards.  Oh well.
It was about this time that I realized a sub 5:08 was now out of reach.  Okay, no problem.  I'll go for
an easy sub 5:30 finish....  nope.  That wasn't in the cards either.  I walked, pushed, cussed at
myself, walked some more.  There were all these little floaty things coming out of the trees.  
Cottonwood seeds maybe?  Of course I'm panting along with my mouth hanging open, and I
sucked one of those damn things into my throat around mile 21.  So on top of being totally worn
out and hot, now I'm gagging, which is bad enough by itself, but I was so worried someone would
think I was sick from running and send a medic or something.  So from then on I tried to "bob and
weave" through the stupid floaty clouds that were every 1/2 mile or so.  Finally I just started
running through them with my hand over my mouth and nose.  That was sure helpful to getting
oxygen in.  I thought 5:30 was far out of reach.  Finally got some energy back around mile 23.5.  I
was watching the clock closely and thought if I pushed hard enough I just might make it.  Those
last two miles were so tough, and I pushed as hard as I could.  I rounded the last bend and saw
the official clock just as it turned 5:29:57.  Damn it.  I sprinted to the finish, hoping that just maybe
there would be a chip start time, even though I didn't see a starting mat.  Nope.  Gun time.  
Officially went down as a 5:30:22 finish.  Those 23 extra seconds really piss me off, but I honestly
don't think I could have gone 23 seconds faster.  I clearly could have done some things better,
and I need to acclimate to this heat.  I'm planning to run a marathon in July that has a 5 hour cut
off.  That doesn't give me much time to get this figured out.   Worse yet, when I finally got my
garmin plugged in and looked at the course profile, it was a nice gentle downhill course.  Totally
should have hit a PR today!