Friday, April 27, 2018

Delaware is Done!

The Trap Pond marathon in Delaware is in the books! Delaware is my 12th state in the quest to run a full marathon in all 50 states, and my 25th marathon overall. It's also my first marathon since October 2016, when I tore up my right foot. I really wasn't sure that I would be able to marathon again, or would have the motivation to marathon again.

Saturday we drove up to Southern Delaware. If I didn't know I was in lower Delaware I would swear it was Eastern NC. We had to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge both ways, and it cost $13 in tolls each time. The bridge is about 8 miles long, but only about 6 miles of that is above the water. The two times that we had to tunnel under the water was really cool - the whole thing is an expensive feat of engineering. Kelley was not a fan. After that we got into Maryland for a bit and then crossed the border to DE.

Packet pickup was at the hotel we were staying at so that was easy. When I travel I like to eat at smaller local restaurants and find local breweries. Funny thing about (what they called) the slower lower - they didn't know they were in Delaware! We ate dinner at a Texas Roadhouse, but I did get a bottle of Dogfishhead 120 minute IPA. A BOTTLE! There are no local restaurants and no local breweries. I'm reserving the right to go back for the Rehoboth Beach marathon just so I can hit the DFH brewerpub for some decent eats and draft local beer.

heading into wal-mart looking for local sweatshirts
Kelley wants me to bring her back a sweatshirt from a college from every state. The University of Delaware Blue Hens should have some pretty cool gear! Nothing. We couldn't find a single thing. There wasn't even a Target unless we went back to Maryland. But it did snow when it was 45* outside, so that's something we'd never seen before!

Marathon morning was uneventful. Got dressed and ate breakfast at the hotel, made it back to the starting line at the Trap Pond State Park on time. Then when we were all at the starting line I noticed the legend himself - Chuck Engle the marathon junkie was running! Which means he's going to win. Sure enough, he only lapped me once and won with a 3:05

Kelley and I before the start
The race was all on the Bob trail around a lake. It started with a 1.75 mile out and back spur, then kept on for 5 loops of the 4.5 mile trail. I carried the phone with me for loop 2

struggling already

Kelley was cold

Got him! There's Chuck passing me

Beautiful day, beautiful lake

This was the trail most of the course. Gravel, wide, flat. Perfect.

There were a couple of cool bridges

and a swamp

This was the only stretch of pavement

Coming in to finish the lap
Each lap took about 50 minutes to complete. After the spur and the first lap, Kelley thought I was almost done - I got a kick out of that. She was really just tired of sitting in the cold waiting on me to finish. 1:23 into a marathon and I'm almost there, yeah.

Everything felt ok until the last lap. That one was mostly walking. And it hurt pretty good. But at the end, I was done.  I had finished my first marathon in a year and a half. Only took 5:01, good enough for 15th place of 25 finishers (small race!) and 5 of 6 men 40-49 and 9 of 15 men overall. It's not the 4 hour marathons I was churning out when I was 40 lbs lighter, but I finished. And that felt great.

Arthritis sucks, my hand swelled up so I had no knuckles left

Got my medal!

Kelley is happy I'm done!
After I finished, I changed clothes in the parking lot and we drove directly the 6 hours back to Raleigh. I still wore the medal the whole time. I am so glad to have Delaware complete, and got to have a fun road trip with my sweetheart.

1 comment:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Congrats on having another state checked out! It looks like a beautiful course! I think you did great considering how sick you were this spring as I know that messed with your training. Plus I think it's harder to run a fast marathon on a looped course like that. I feel like I need new scenery to stay engaged in the race and on my pace.