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Mississippi Blues Marathon - RunMarathon

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Jackson, Mississippi
United States
Mississippi Track Club
20F / -7C
Total Time = 5h 31m 24s
Overall Rank = 471/558
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 39/45
Pre-race routine:

On Thursday, our local running store hosted a meet-and-greet with several of the elite runners, including Bill Rodgers. It was the highlight of the weekend for me to actually meet and speak with "Boston Billy." Since I began running in 1976, Bill Rodgers was one of my early heroes. He is a delight. Funny, chatty, and was totally freaked by the predicted weather for Saturday. He didn't believe me. We also chatted with John Piggot from Williamsburg, VA. It was really fun to talk with these very, very fast guys.

Friday we headed to the expo. Found a lot of friends, which was a good thing since my car battery died, and we ended up hanging out quite a bit longer than planned while we found someone with jumper cables. Got a new battery, headed home, and then met my co-hort, Billy and his wife for a nice dinner at Rossini's.

Saturday, I got up early so I could make sure to stretch and warm up my foot, get something to eat, and pile on lots and lots of clothes. Morning temps were in the mid teens. I ended up wearing tights, a long-sleeved tech shirt with a mock neck (similar to long johns), a fleece vest, hat, fleece ear muff, wool socks, and 2 pairs of gloves. Hubby dropped me off at the Marriott and headed back home to wait it out til the end.
Event warmup:

Warming up was simply not possible. Billy and I met at the Marriott, pulled our attractive garbage bags over our heads, and headed over to the start with a bunch of folks about 15 minutes before the gun. National Anthem was a blues guitar version that was fabulous. Right before the start, the big screen switched to the runners in Iraq who had participated in the "first wave" run a few days before (they ran the marathon in Iraq). They counted down to the gun, and we were off (sans bags).
  • 5h 31m 24s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 39s  min/mile

This marathon hadn't been shaping up to be the run that I really wanted. Some disappointing long runs, a 2-week cold-from-hell, and then the downright cold and miserable temps forecasted for the day. So, rather than muddle through for a mediocre time, I figured a much more rewarding day would be had if I ran with my friend. He is 55, and it would be his first marathon. I had been helping him with his training, so it seemed like a good idea to continue to help him reach his goals.

It was cold. Something like 18 degrees at the start with a wind chill of 8. The temp never got above 25 degrees. We started in sunshine, so it didn't seem too bad. But about 75 minutes into the day, the clouds blew in, the wind picked up, and snow flurries fell from the sky. It was cold.

Based on his training and some previous races, we estimated Billy could finish right around 5 hours. We started with a good pace and held to a 10 minute/1 minute run/walk schedule. We hit the halfway point right on schedule: 2:30.

We made sure to get water at most of the aid stations. Despite the cold, we still needed to ensure we hydrated. But, man, the water was cold and the Gatorade was slush. Those poor volunteers. But they were the best in the world.

(My foot behaved with only minimal soreness at the start. Now, it's just my left upper hamstring that complains.)

Shortly after the halfway point, the cold and the hills started to get to Billy, and he needed to walk a bit more, so I reset my watch to 6/1. About mile 16, I needed a porta-potty break (cold!), told him to keep going, and I would catch up. It felt good to run "fast" for a few minutes, but it still didn't warm me up at all.

From there, we just walked and ran as Billy felt he could. We walked up most of the hills. I would try and encourage him to run to the next light or to the mile marker, counting them down as we got there. When we saw 26, he managed to find his legs and run all the way through the finish line. Smiling.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It's humbling and wonderful to hang out at the BOP and encourage someone through their first marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

Never got warm enough to require a warm down. Put on more clothes as soon as I finished.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just a choice to run with someone else.

Event comments:

The best volunteers anywwhere make this race a fabulous experience (among other things).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-05-21 12:00 AM
05:31:24 | 26.2 miles | 12m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/45
Overall: 471/558
Performance: Good
Hit halfway in 2:30:05
Course: Started and finished in front of the old capitol building. Ran through the local neighborhoods before heading out on Lakeland toward the airport. Back through the neighborhoods and into downtown to got hilly here.
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-01-12 10:34 AM

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Madison, MS
Subject: Mississippi Blues Marathon
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