DELAWARE  -  Fortitude for First Descents
State #15
Finish time:  6:04:54
I would have never planned to run Delaware in December, but
since Hurricane Irene had cancelled the run in August, this was
the date of the reschedule.  Most runs don't allow refunds or
transfers, but because of the uniqueness of this issue, the race
director was allowing us to transfer our bib numbers to other
people.  I was about to send her an email telling her I would like to
transfer my number, when Southwest posted a one-day-only fare
sale.  How bad can it be, Delaware in December?  Besides, we
needed to see Jessie for Christmas anyway.  

I did not want to get a hotel near the race for two reasons.  One -
I'm cheap, and Two - since it was winter, most hotels near the
race were closed, so I would still have to drive about half an
hour.  The race start was 9:00AM, and it was only a 3 hour drive
from Jessie's house, so that's not too bad.  

But then the race director offered an early start for slow runners.  
Dang it!  I emailed all my friends to see if they were taking the
early start.  They all were.  I didn't want to be the last runner out
there, holding everyone up, so I was forced to take the early start
too.  7:30AM.  That means we have to leave Jessie's house at
3:30AM!  Oh well.  That's what we did, and the drive time ended
up being 2 hours 15 minutes instead of 3 hours.  Man, 45
minutes of sleep I could have had.  The good news is it was chilly,
but not too bad.  There was a cold wind, but by the 7:30 start
time, the sun was starting to come out, and it was looking like it
would be a good day for a run in the park.  Besides, I had my
race crew to keep me warmed up.  
I like, and dislike loop courses.  I like that it makes it easy to break down the
time and goals.  I like that you get to know the course and know what's coming
next, how far to the next loop, etc.  But I dislike that you have to pass the finish
so many times.  Makes it too easy to think about quitting.  This loop was
gorgeous.  We were running right along the ocean in several spots, and on
scenic trails.  About half the folks there for the early start were maniacs, so I
was luck to have access to lots of friends' photos.  

I think this was the beginning of the second loop.  Sun is out and I already
have my gloves off.  Warming up.  
I was only about a half a mile into my second loop when the runners
from the main start caught up to and passed me.  That provided
some entertainment as I tried to gauge just how fast they were going
each time they passed me.  I was doing very good, keeping a very
stead pace, on track for a 5:20 ish finish.  Just after starting my third
loop however, my legs started getting sore.  Really sore.  I tried to
run through it, but nothing was working.  Dang it.  I was finally
healthy, I had put some miles in between Tulsa and now, what was
the deal.  Aleve.  I forgot I used to take Aleve.  My last two marathons
had been so bad I had put them out of my memory, and I had
forgotten to take any pain killers.  I know, I shouldn't need them, but I
usually take one or two every marathon, and I had forgotten that very
important step.  I was about a mile into the third loop, and since
these loops were conveniently 6 miles, I wasn't carrying my usual
pouch with Gu and salt and pain pills, which meant I would have to
either backtrack a mile to get them out of my pouch that Richard was
holding to hook me up every time I passed him, or I would have to
run 5 miles until I got there again.  Dang it.  On I went, in pain,
cranky.  I even had a guy ask me how I was doing, and I told him I
was in the 'cranky part' of my run.  He completely understood and
proceeded on.  None of the aid stations or other runners had any
pain pills, so I finally got my Aleve around mile 20 when I passed the
finish for the 3rd time.  I started feeling better just about a mile later,
and was able to pick up the pace for the last loop.  I still finished well
behind where I thought I would, but felt like I had a really good run.  
Sunshine, cool, but not cold, weather, and I re-learned that I need to
take an Aleve to get through 26.2.  I was smiling again and out of my
"cranky part" by the time I got to the finish line.