ARKANSAS  -  Little Rock Marathon
03/06/2011                 http://www.littlerockmarathon.com/
State #3
Finish time:  5:54:09
After dropping almost a half an hour off of my time at Disney, I had high
hopes for Little Rock.  I was also excited to be running with friends again,
since I had done Disney solo.  Here is the group of us at the start.  
Deb, Cynthia and I all run together on Saturdays.  Cynthia is our pace
group leader and Deb and I tag along, laughing at Cynthia's jokes, so
like any other Saturday, we planned to run together.  Here we are in the
crowded corral before the start.  Cheese!
Even though Cynthia is our pace leader on our regular Saturday
runs, she kept reminding us that we were all supposed to run our
own races.  Yeah, yeah, whatever.  Deb and I happily tagged along.  
Here we are at mile 4ish, coming back over the bridge.  
Still looking happy about mile 8.  We were on track for a 5 hours finish, and I
was very excited to be taking another huge chunk off my marathon time.  
Wait, what?  I think I can knock another 20+ minutes off my marathon
time.  What am I, crazy?  Off Cynthia went, she CAN run a 5 hour
marathon, clearly I'm not there yet.  Deb and I pressed on, quite a
ways behind Cynthia, but still on track for a good finish.  Mile 12ish.  
My coach is very clear - do not start out too fast.  What was I thinking?  
Those first 12 miles at a pace I could not maintain started putting the hurt on
me - or was it the big hill in the middle of the course?  Either way, I was
clearly slowing down and starting to hurt.  I managed to put on a happy face
for the photographer in front of the capitol building around mile 14.  
It just got worse from
there.  I was hurting
and cranky, but Deb
kept being cheerful.  
Daffodils were
blooming and she
said, "how nice, we
get to see spring
here, and we'll see it
again when they
bloom in Kansas
City."  I just shook
my head and
wondered how she
could continue be so
positive at a time like
this.  She and I split
up at about mile 17,
and I full on hit the
wall at mile 18.  I did
NOT want to go any
further.  I even stuck
my tongue out at a
photographer!  The
next picture
accurately
expresses how I felt.  
Can you see the
pain and
disappointment?
The good news is I finished.  Cynthia ran back and found me with about a
mile to go.  She cheered me on the rest of the way, and I finally got Little
Rock's famous huge medal.  I was very unhappy with my finish time.  It took
me longer than at my first marathon in Kansas City, with no heat, only one
hill, nothing I can blame but myself for going out too fast.  
The run was a bummer, the shirt was a bummer
(It fits great, but to go along with the theme of "a
medal of epic proportions" someone thought it
was okay to make the logo on the shirt "A
Marathoner of Epic Proportions." - I would rather
be a marathoner of slim proportions, thank you!)
and as we were getting out of the van at the
hotel, Richard dropped my medal and it broke.  
(The globe in the middle is on posts and spins,
one of the posts broke.)  I even got a huge, nasty
blister, right between my toes, on the same toe
that had just lost a toenail from the Kansas City
Marathon.  Damn bummer all over.  Will this
break my marathon spirit?  Nah, probably not.  
(Richard took my medal to a jeweler and got it fixed, and my Little Rock shirt is still one of
my favorites because of the fit, so I wear it all the time, despite the stupid logo.)