I do have one regret about how things went down and the choices I made at the Bear. I regret that I didn't carry a camera. One, to show how stunning the scenery is and two, to show you how crazy some of the terrain is.
I've run some hilly courses but none like this one. I don't think there was 1 mile that was flat. Either up so steep you couldn't run it, or so steep downhill that my knees wouldn't take it. But it was beautiful.
It was such a treat just to be there and I tried to soak up as much as I could though after hours and hours of rugged terrain, a couple miles on gravel is a welcome treat.
All too soon it would become treacherous again. There were many times I said to myself, "Really". "This is what we are suppose to be running on"?
Imagine running on this after being on your feet for 20 hours, in the dark with your headlamp fading.
It was awesome. Can't wait to do it again.
A week after the Bear I ran the Twin Cities Marathon. I had signed up for Twin Cities event before I decided to do the Bear. Knowing they were a week apart, I figured I would just let the TC event go. My recovery from the Bear seemed to be going well so I decided to drive down to the cities Saturday night and run the marathon at an easy pace. Not often do I get a fully supported 26 mile training run so I thought I'd go down and have some fun. I was looking forward to running and not having to carry 5 hours worth of food and water.
All was well until the half way point when I slowed down to take off some clothes that I would be handing off to my sister Judy who lives in MPLS. When I slowed, I started limping and couldn't get running again. It took me about 3/4 of a mile to get back up to a jog. When I did see her I said I couldn't stop and took off my sleeves and tossed them to her. I kept plodding away the last half trying to enjoy it. The course is so nice as well as the spectators it was easy to keep a smile on my face though it was by far the most pain I have ever experienced in a 26.2 mile event. I've had to work harder at some, but this one was just painful. I was fearful what it would be like after I crossed the finish line and stopped running. I felt a cramp coming on the last 1/3 of a mile and had to focus for all I was worth to keep from looking like "that guy". You know, the one that barely limps across the finish line.
It felt wonderful to finish this one and I was so glad I toughed it out. The refueling afterwards and the bus ride back to the dome were pleasant. And then to my sisters for some Tortilla soup before heading home capped off a very memorable, gut wrenching, most rewarding 26.2 mile day so far.