Bass Pro Marathon Race Report

Let me just start out by saying “We kicked BASS in Springfield, MO!!” Well, at least Tammy did. Our race was run and we finished it with smiles on our faces!

We trained very hard, hours upon hours of hot, humid, cold, wet, rainy, windy training runs and it paid off on Sunday, November 1st, 2009. It was definitely not what I had planned and I’m not sure where I went wrong, but I did PR by about 17 minutes and met my goal. Finish time was 4:57:51. I will link you to Tammy’s blog and you can read about her most amazing PR of 4:37:xx. Kim and I both were very proud of her! She’s the one who always says “you guys will run off and leave me” or “I’m not running that fast!!”. HA!! Yesterday morning when we were just starting our marathon Tammy said, be sure and take pictures of me coming across the finish line and I replied “just watch, you will be the one finishing before me and Kim” and that is exactly what happened!

We arrived in Springfield on Friday, went to Branson for dinner with Josh and Kim, had a great time. Up early on Saturday and off to breakfast, Starbucks, Health Food Store, Tanger Outlets and back to Springfield for early dinner at Panera and pre-marathon clothing choices! It was supposed to be about 39 degrees with 10-20 mile per hour winds! We made our choices, too warm of course, but I am getting better at deciding what to wear in the cold. Luckily it was about 42 degrees and the wind was about 10 mph.

I think Tammy and I slept pretty good! At least I did anyway, except for the trips to the bathroom, we were will hydrated! My alarm went off at 4am, oops forgot about DST ending so we got to go back to sleep for an extra hour until we were aroused by a scream “NOOOOOO!!” Tammy was dreaming and talking out loud, at least it was just 5 minutes before we were supposed to get up :). It was pretty funny and a joke all day long.

Tammy and I ate our breakfast in the room, mine was 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich and then about 1/4 of a granola bar, got all our running garb on, skirt, tech tee, long sleeve warmer top, headband and I also put a fleece headband around my neck, mistake. I brought a throw away shirt which I also put on top of all that, it was great until mile 2 and it came off, I should have just kept the t-shirt and the throw away because I ended up tying my warmer top around my waist and more than once I almost threw it away.

Okay, here is the race, holy hell, that’s what it was, boring, boring, boring. Tammy and Kim may have seen it differently. It wasn’t bad until I lost Kim, which was about mile 5 when I had to make the FIRST of FOUR bathroom stops, count them FOUR! From that point on I just wanted it to be over, it was just blah, the miles went by very slow, we had split off from the 1/2 marathon group about mile 3 and we were on the Greenways which is similar to the River Trail here, but more secluded. There were many times when I was running all by myself, no other runners anywhere in front or behind me. I did not have an iPod, and the trail was just that, a trail, nothing to see, for one, it was an out and back and once we turned around, I think about mile 9, that’s when it really got lonely and boring. Usually the crowd, other runners or the sites will get you through, but not this race, UGH!!!

I finally came off the trail and into a residential area, it was so nice to see things other than trees! But there was a point where I didn’t know which way to go, I came up on another girl and asked her, she replied “I’m following the cups”, LOL. It was nice to see houses still in Halloween garb, I had made two bathroom stops by this point and was trying to make up time. I was still on track to finish about 4:48 and not feeling bad, some tiredness was setting in, foot kind of hurt, one hamstring was hurting for some reason, this was around mile 13, half way done.

I kept looking for Josh, Kim had said he might be on the course somewhere, I was hopeful, I really wanted to ditch all this extra crap, two headbands, gloves, extra shirt. It had warmed up and the weather was perfect for running, except for the occasional burst of wind, for the most part it was always blowing against my side, not in front.

While I was on the street the miles ticked off a little faster, but damn it, we were getting on another trail, holy cow, I did not want to go on the trail and this time it was concrete. Up to this point it was mainly asphalt. We had to cross on some grass and then onto the trail, kind of a weird set up. At this point I started seeing Half Marathoners and I was thinking “what the hell are these people still doing out here?” I didn’t realize they were walkers, I was confused, it was about 3 hours into it and I couldn’t calculate anything!

I realized we were on another out and back, holy shit, not again, this sucks, the miles started slowing again, I was drinking my cytomax and eating like I should but not feeling great, things were hurting, all over. I got a weird cramp in my calf, it only happened one time, but OUCH!! I have never had that happen before, but knew if it continued it would definitely sideline me.

I remember being at mile 20 and this volunteer saying only 4 more miles to go, I said WHAT??? I have 20 on my Garmin, he said Really? I said yes, I have 6 miles to go not 4! Oh, he said that’s what they told us, and right there was the 20 mile marker too! It aggravated me, I hate all that “you’re almost there” crap when you still have an hour to go!!

Did I mention the concrete?  No, oh it must have slipped my mind.  We had come off the trail and were in residential streets for a while and then we were on the West side of Bass Pro on another greenway/trail and it was all concrete, forever.  This may be the cause of some of my soreness in my quads, but maybe not too, maybe just 26.2 miles on my poor baby feet.

I kept seeing these runners coming toward me and I was desperately searching for Tammy and Kim, where the hell are they?  Why haven’t I seen them yet?  I knew when I saw then the turnaround would be close, but I just kept stinking running, UGH, it was never going to END!!!  Mile 21 or so I see Tammy FIRST!  Holy COW, what happened to Kim? did I miss her, impossible, right?  Was she in a port-a-potty somewhere, WTF??

I finally see Kim and she is smiling too, I smile back, we high five it, but don’t say much, not sure why.  I’m really dragging, REALLY dragging, my quads are stinking killing me, my feet feel like they are 3 times the normal size, STOP the madness!  Finally I’m at the turnaround and right now I can’t even tell you what it looked like, seriously, a blur.  All I know is we are headed back.  I have to make one more lousy stop at the stupid port-a-potty, no tears, just totally pissed off at myself, I ate what I was supposed to, drank what I was supposed to, this day was mine, I hate my stupid self at this point.

Off again, at least I’m still seeing runners headed toward the turnaround, I’m not last!  YIPPEE!!  I was talking to probably only the 2nd person on the whole run, this young girl, I said “this is the worst part, wanting to run to the finish and I can’t” we were both walking.  I look up and low and behold there was KIM!!  OMG!!  What the Hell was she doing there?  She said “waiting on you”.  Awww, I so needed her and I think she needed me too.  I was lonely, tired and miserable and misery loves company and that’s exactly what we had!

Thank God for her, we suffered those last 2 1/2 miles in together, we walked, we ran, we bitched about our aching body parts, we thanked the friendly volunteers.  We got a text at 4:37, Tammy was in, we were so proud of her!!  She really kicked some BASS!!

With still a mile to go we could hardly muster a .10 of a mile run at any given time, we would run, slow, then walk to that car or that tree and then start again, it was the longest mile ever.  People were trying so hard to make us feel better, “it’s right around the next 2 corners” “you’ve made it this far, you can make it”, the volunteers and other runners were great!

When we finally saw the sign 26 miles down only .2 to go I started tearing up, Kim said she was too.  We could hear the crowd on the other side of this long strip of store front that lead to the Finish, we could hear the announcer and as we rounded that corner EVERYONE started yelling and clapping FOR US, just me and Kim, and we felt so proud of our selves even though we didn’t have the perfect race.  That crowd make us feel incredible, I said to Kim “they’re cheering for us”, it was overwhelming, as I’m typing this there are tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.  It felt different from other marathons because they were so close to us, we could almost touch them and they were ALL just cheering their hearts out, amazing.

As we were nearing the Finish I could see the clock and knew we would make it under 5 hours, at least I met that goal.  I saw Josh and Tammy over to the right, Josh had the camera going and Tammy was cheering us in, that’s when I almost bust my ass, it was hilarious, tripped over the mat for the timing chip!  I’m sure the professional photographers will have THAT photo for me to purchase!

I hugged Kim, I was so happy she waited for me, I was very emotional at the time, but I also wanted to sit down, it was a little chaotic, finally got out of the chute and over to the curb, Kim, Tammy and Josh took all our crap to the car and we finally got some grub and a Diet coke.

The race was okay, I will not do it again, too desolate, I need stimulation if I’m not going to use an iPod or run with a group, and out and back, twice? No thank you.

Here are my miles, I was on track for a great marathon, you can see where I fell apart.   I will post some pictures when I download them from my camera.

  1. 10:45
  2. 10:27
  3. 10:26
  4. 10:20
  5. 10:46
  6. 10:20
  7. 11:57  1st bathroom stop
  8. 10:21
  9. 10:17
  10. 10:31
  11. 13:39 2nd bathroom stop
  12. 10:24
  13. 13:10 3rd bathroom stop
  14. 10:40
  15. 10:26
  16. 10:37
  17. 11:04  The downward spiral starts here
  18. 11:17
  19. 11:27
  20. 11:23
  21. 12:24
  22. 13:50 4th bathroom stop
  23. 10:59
  24. 11:57
  25. 12:57
  26. 11:58
  27. 11:27
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4 Responses

  1. Hey Cheryl, I enjoyed reading your blog…got most tickled by ur near fall at the end, hehe! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Awesome job girl and congrats on your new PR! Like someone told me a few weeks ago, anytime you can PR it is a good race and you have nothing to be disappointed about. Ahhh the fade, good old mile 17 was your number. If we could all only figure that one out but that’s the mystery behind the marathon. So many what if”s. Your story sounds like every marathon I have done or read about. I’ll probably be telling a similar one after Saturday. Just hope I can run as strong as you did.

  3. Congrats on your PR, that’s awesome. Great report

  4. A 17 minute PR is a great accomplishment! I do understand having a disappointing race (my 1st (and only) marathon was disappointing, nothing terrible, just not what I’d wanted).

    And what a great friend Kim is!

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