Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Wrap Up

Three days after the event and I'm still reeling from all the excitement. Some of the best parts of the day I really didn't get to write about yet. Which the best parts were the people, and especially all of the Cabot Country Cruisers that were there. At last count we had right at 60 club members participate in one of the races in some form or fashion. We had members in the 5k, in the relay, in the half and also the full marathon. It's really hard to put in writing the support this group gives to one another. We almost get to the point we feed off each other. We keep each other motivated. If one of us is down or having a bad day, there is always someone there to cheer you on. I could go on and on about the Cruisers as a group. We have members that have been written up in runners world and we have members that hold state records in varying distances. We have iron men and iron women. The list goes on and on. I can't say enough good things about all our running friends.

There is something about doing marathons and half marathons that is just hard to describe. It may be the large crowds, the distance or just the fact that you see all kinds and shapes of people doing it. It's not easy by no means. Especially a full marathon. The time it takes to train for a full marathon is hard for non runners to understand. But when you cross that finish line, there is nothing in the world that compares to the personal satisfaction that you just completed a marathon. Even a half is a big achievement for some. Last year when I ran my first half, it was almost as hard as when I finished my first full marathon. I was pumped for weeks afterwards.

It was a lot of fun and very rewarding watching as many of our friends finished their full marathon. The best was seeing Cheryl finish her 1st marathon. Annette, Bailey, Michelle and Kelly went and ran with her for her last two miles. I wanted to be there too but my foot was hurting so I waited on the sidelines with 6 or 8 other Cruisers to cheer her in.

The stories continue from each runner that ran Sunday. And I'm sure they will continue for a while. But, these stories give us something to talk about on our runs and lets us dissect the race so we can figure out what we did right and wrong.

As for me, Coach Dennis told me I probably made the fatal error of starting out too fast, and then getting burnt out before the end. He is exactly right. His philosophy is to run the first 1/3 of the race slower then let the race come to you at the end. One of our men did this and finished very well. I plan to try this pacing strategy this weekend when we run the Chase Race 2 miler. It's short and fast but my first mile will be slower than the second. Weather permitting. Forecasts are calling for SNOW tomorrow night all the way through Friday. This is unbelievable weather! No wonder its so hard to run when it changes so fast.


Susan said...

I agree, Arland. There is no way to describe how good crossing a finish line feels!

Kirsten said...

I love the Cruisers, they are an awesome group of people to know and train with. It's so different from when I lived there, but the kind of people and general chemistry of everyone is the same. I will never forget my first running group!