Got to the start on the 6am ferry and was FREEZING COLD, teeth chattering, muscles shivering. Fueled up my race belt, got some water and decided to head out on a quick 1-2 mile warmup just to get some blood flowing. Went up the road to the first right turn, headed out past tennis courts (interesting to see on a wilderness island) and the few houses on the main road by the dock. About 6 minutes out I rounded a turn to the spot where the houses end and what is coming towards me??????? a small black BEAR!!!!!!! Awesome. He stopped, looked at me, and ran off into the woods. Pretty cool. Have seen bear 3 times out running and all have been in the UP. So, i turned around and headed back to the start, not scared, just figuring that the adrenaline had warmed me up enough.
Race - mile 1 in 8:20 was ok, felt good. But from 2-10 i felt like crap, just not feeling good. Kept hydrated, fueled with GU and gel blocks. About mile 12 I was running with two gals who were NMU grads (like me) and I started to feel better. Picked up pace and passed maybe 6-8 people. Mile 16 they have the bridge in so the beach section was omitted, nice touch, making it easier. Mile 17-19 downhill and I passed another 3-4 people. Held my own up the hill at mile 20 with some walking then caught Jeff Gaft at mile 21 or so. We went back and forth just chatting and running together to the end when he pulled away to catch a guy he thought was in his age group. 3:56 and change, exactly 9:00 per mile, and 39th place.
I had fewer miles and ZERO speedwork for this race. Fewer miles than I've ever had for a marathon but I finished respectfully and by today (Wed) i feel great. No muscle soreness really at all after the race and today I ran 11 miles. In 17 days I have a tough 50k so will just keep the mileage up now and then really rest in the days before the next race.
Pics below are from our week of camping in the Munising, Michigan area the week of the race.
This is Grand Island, with a perimeter of 26.2 miles it is the perfect place for a July marathon, the cooling breezes of the largest freshwater lake in the world are amazing.
Miles and miles of beaches with shipwrecks and relics everywhere.
Miners Castle, one of the most photographed places in the state taken from 4 miles away during our day on Sand Point beach.
Crystal clear water usually around 55degF, but in Munising bay its been up to 72F = good swimming for our kids.