Fargo Marathon Race Recap – Part 1

Fargo Marathon 2017 Race Review Part 1

For me to say I wasn’t ready for this marathon would be a blatant lie. With all the miles I’d been accumulating up to this point, how could I not be ready? Granted, I only had one long run in this training period, and even that 17.49 miles was a reacher, to say the least. I wasn’t even prepared to undertake the long run that morning. I just let it happen because it had to happen, and the opportunity had presented itself.

So, can one run a marathon just because they can? At some point last season, I stumbled upon a few of my former running buddies at a local race. One of the women had commented, “You could pretty much run a marathon at any time, being that you run as much as you do, right?”

Perhaps, I thought.

But, no…not just perhaps. The answer should be an emphatic YES. It isn’t necessarily a question of whether I could run 26.2 miles on any given day. The question is how well I could run 26.2 miles on any given day.

That, my friends, is the million dollar question.

Run New Prague 2017 Top Ten Women's Results

Run New Prague 2017 Top Ten Women’s Results

A few weeks ago, I ran the New Prague Half Marathon. I pretty much fumbled through that race. I didn’t feel physically capable to run it, let alone place. As it turns out, I did place 1st in my age group, but I was beaten by a 55 year old and a 62 year old! However, they weren’t in my age group. Regardless, it was a less than stellar performance, on my part. I just got lucky.

I had planned for that to be my last true effort before Fargo, and as it turns out, it was. I managed a few 10 milers between that run and the marathon, but much like before Boston in 2016, I felt burned out from the training. It wasn’t until the final 2 or 3 runs I had just before the race, where I concluded that this was as ready as I would ever be for Fargo. And what would happen on race morning…we wouldn’t know until race morning. Because I had no idea in hell how I was going to run 26.2 miles.

Karmic Screen Shot

Karmic Screen Shot

We arrived in Fargo at around 5 pm the previous evening and decided to head straight to the Fargodome to pick up my bib. In fact, as I waited for my husband to finish his phone call as we left the building, I happened to look down, and the time on my phone read 5:29 pm. I took a screen shot of it, because that number represents my birthday, and I thought perhaps it was a sign. I’m not sure of what, but it seemed like good karma. My bib number for the race was 526. Pretty dang close to 529, too.

We did circle the expo more out of curiosity to see if we should have brought Charmed Running there. That was the original plan, but in the end, we just decided I would run. There weren’t too many vendors selling any kind of bling. We probably would have done pretty well, and with the experience we had with this race, we just might come back next year!

Both the packet pickup and race expo were a premier experience. It was all well organized, and despite our late arrival, there were no crowds and no waiting. There weren’t many marathoners registered, it would appear, since the bib numbers just went up to 2000. And as it turns out, the race results quoted a total of 1301 marathon finishers. That number is just a bit more than that which finished the Kansas City Marathon.

As usual, my husband rolled his eyes when I asked him to take some photos of me with my race bib, but after I reminded him, “Hey, it is publicity for Charmed Running!” his attitude quickly changed.

As I said earlier, we were out the door at 5:29 pm, and immediately set course for our downtown hotel room.

We arrived at the Scandia Hotel near 5:45 pm, finding it rather close to the Fargodome. This would be great for our early morning drive, as well as for my husband to get to and from the dome on race day. It wasn’t a fancy hotel by any stretch of the imagination, but the price was right, parking was free, and we were close enough to do some walking downtown. We decided that we would leave directly after the marathon, although I was rather disappointed. I was so looking forward to spending the evening in Fargo, enjoying the restaurants and getting some milage in after the run. I always do better if I keep those feet moving afterwards. Circumstances had changed for us, and my husband wanted to get home as soon as we could. But, should we return, I would have no hesitation staying at the Scandia again.

My husband has some business to attend to as soon as we checked in. I was getting anxious to get out and fetch some dinner because I was hoping for an early bedtime. As it turned out, we didn’t get out of there until about 7 pm. But we did get a few miles of walking in, plus had a nice meal at a local restaurant called “Twist”. I even had a cocktail, which I usually don’t do before a marathon, but I truly wasn’t anticipating running a good race, so I figured what the hell.

 

By the time we arrived back at the hotel, it was close to 9 pm. And it took me a full hour to wind down and crawl into bed.

With the start line being as close as it was, I decided a 4:45 am wake up would leave plenty of time for me to get it all together before a 7 am starting gun…or at least I hoped. I didn’t even bother taking a “flat me” photo. I’m not sure why, I just wasn’t feeling this marathon. Maybe because I felt so unprepared for it.

I didn’t get the best night’s sleep. The room was warm, and my husband closed the window early to keep out the street noise. But, apparently I got enough since I was able to function in the morning. Not being able to poop pre-race, however, was my biggest issue. And although it stressed me out at first, I decided if I have to stop during the run, well, then I’d have to stop. It wasn’t going to be a stellar event for me, in my honest opinion.

We arrived at the dome with plenty of time to spare. And, parking was ample and free. Starting the race inside the dome was a Godsend, as it was rather chilly outside. The temperature was hovering around 48°. I was grateful I brought my throw away sweatshirt for the run. I was going to need it.

Where’s Waldo?

Only the runners were allowed down in the starting area, so my husband bid me farewell at about 6:40 am. “Have a good run!” he said, as I looked at him disparagingly. I hugged and kissed him, he asked me what was wrong. I asked him to pray for me.  He chuckled and said, “Of course.”

I entered the starting corral and made my way to the front of the line. I settled in behind one of the pacers, but I wasn’t sure which since I already had my sunglasses on, and I couldn’t see worth a damn. My husband texted me to tell me he made his way into the stands above me and to look up and wave, which I did.

They said The Lord’s Prayer (a nice touch, and rarely heard at an event of this nature), and sang both the Canadian National Anthem and our National Anthem. Then the wheelchair racers were sent off, and we followed some 3 minutes later. It was 7:03 am.

Time for marathon #8…

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Fargo Marathon Race Recap!

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