Two days ago I ran the Twin Cities Marathon It was the hottest October 9th on historical record in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We knew as soon as we walked out the hotel room door that it was going to be a warm day. Who knew that it could be 77 degrees at 8 am in October in Minnesota? Who could have imagined that it would be 85 degrees with extensive humidity by 10am? And what kind of lunatic would go ahead and run a marathon in that weather? Yours truly and my DH of course!
I set off with lofty goals of that ever looming BQ time, 3:40. The RP and I had trained so hard to try to maintain this pace and then hopefully at least salvage something under 3:50. But alas, the weather got the best of me. Come mile 13 came stomach cramps, nausea, quad cramps, and a lack of mental clarity. Past me went the 3:40 pacer, the 3:50, the 4:00…..and around mile 20 the 4:15. The amazing, fantastic, caring, and gracious TC residents provided hoses of water, extra salty and sweet treats, music, cheers, and general joy as me and 7500 close friends held on for dear life for 26.2 miles. As I was walk-running my last four miles, I made a determination to run the last mile w/o walking and to pass the darn guys dressed as beer bottles (seriously? how were they not dying of heat). I made that goal and finished in my worst time in three years, 4:22. 42 minutes off my goal. Reading blogs later that night and on Monday, it appeared that many were in my same predicament.
But…..we had water at every stop and our course was not closed early. Running colleagues in Chicago, facing the same weather conditions, did not have enough water and many were diverted off the course and after months of agonizing training, not allowed to finish the entire marathon. Two runners, in Chicago and D.C. doing the Army 10, perished in the heat of the races. We, in Minneapolis/St. Paul, were blessed with no deaths and an amazing EMS crew that cared for 250 participants who were brought to local hospitals for various illness, many heat related.
At the end of the day, DH, several friends, and I were able to finish a marathon. A feat we had trained for since July. We were blessed as the Lord saw fit to help us cross safely and without any major health problems.
I am counting my blessings this day for the safety I experienced, for the crowds who gave of themselves for us, and for a city who embraced us.