Sunday, September 26, 2010


 Many know that I've been training for a marathon for quite some time...and the big day was September 19, 2010 in Valmiera, Latvia.  The forecast for the day "possible thunder storms"...Great!  Two weeks ago I ran my "long run" of 29 km (or 18 miles) in the rain.  At the end of the rain, I had a blister on my toe (I could barely walk on it) and I had patches of eczema all over...and it took me the two weeks to finally get that eczema breakout under control.  So needless to say I was a little worried.
 I rode a bus to Valmiera with fellow runners and while it was cloudy, it didn't rain.  So my hopes were higher that I'd get to run the marathon.  After arriving in Valmiera at 10 and getting registered, I walked around taking pictures because I didn't know if I'd see anyone I knew who'd be able to take my picture. 

The marathon was four loops of about 10.6 km (6.6 miles) around the town.  Much of Latvia is flat but the Valmiera marathon actually had quite a few hills dotting the marathon trail.  Along with 160 other marathon runners and 600 half marathon runners, I congregated near the start in preparation of running.  Minutes before the race started, as we are all standing there at the start, the sky opened and it started sprinkling.  You could see the sun and that the sky wasn't blanketed in clouds, so I was hopeful that it would stop raining. 

At this point I had to make a decision, run or not run?  How could I come all that way, through the training and everything, and NOT run?!?!  Well, the answer was: "I couldn't".  So I braved the elements and started off running.  My pace was good, I felt great!  Even up through the hills and everything...then it started to rain harder about 1/2 way through the first lap.  But I had started, I couldn't stop! 

It was an interesting run, here and there the sky would open and I'd get rained on, but I kept running.  Then the sun would come out and I'd get dry.  So I was thinking, "Yeah!  I'm going to be able to do this!"  Lap one, my split was 1:04!  Better than I was expecting and I felt great!

On to lap two, which I was able to run in almost no rain!  My time was 2:12, perfectly placed in my timing!  Better than my half-marathon in Kuldiga in August, so improvement! :)  And I still felt great!

Here comes the third lap, I started into with great enthusiasm, feeling great, my pace is perfect...AND THEN...THE SKIES OPENED UP AND POURED DOWN RAIN!  That lasted the whole entire third lap.  By the time I got to the half-way point, I was SOAKED!  I couldn't have been more wet if I were in the ocean!  This meant that by the end of the third lap I had a blister on three of my toes of my right foot, making it SO bad I could barely run!  I tried everything, running on only my heels, running with my toes up, running with my foot pointed in, pointed out...nothing worked!  As I neared the end of the third lap, I knew that there was no way I could run with these blisters on my foot....If I could've changed my shoes, physically, I would've been able to run the entire thing...sigh...

I guess I'm just not meant to complete a marathon in Latvia.  So the goal is to perhaps run the PF Chang's marathon in Arizona in January.  If not, then one down the road.  I'll still run because it makes me feel good and it helps me look great!

Sometimes we don't actually succeed at our goals, but these are the times that we just have to keep working at it...and eventually we will finish the race. ;)

1 comment:

CeeJ said...

Yes, but you would have succeeded at your goal... had you not been rained out. I think that's a worthy accomplishment!