07.09.2018 Well, I’m glad I was up and out the door early. I thought for sure Chattanooga was in the Central Time Zone. It is not, and instead of getting there with and hour and 20 minutes to spare, I pulled up, got my bib number and started running shortly after. It was actually pretty ideal. Like I wrote yesterday, I knew I was better trained and better prepared for this race than any other previously, so there was no nervousness, but still, I didn’t sleep great. I was up every hour and a half or so, and finally woke up at 2:30. The Burn Your Half Off had 5K, 10K, half and full marathon, and 50K options. The course ran alongside the Tennessee River, and consisted of two out and back loops each about 1.5 miles out in each direction. This meant the centralized aid station was every 3 miles. The race director is an ultra runner herself and did a great job keeping morale and food up. There was a big spread and I found myself hitting the liquids hard with several energy gels and miscellaneous high calorie snack foods. At my request, there were even Smarties! The best, THE. BEST. thing was the shots of pickle juice. Turn your nose up if you will, but when you’re running a marathon in 85 degree weather, you’re sweating pretty hard and your body needs the salt. The weather certainly could have been hotter, but it was partly cloudy all day with a nice breeze most of the time. It was as ideal as it could be for a Summer race in the South.
I’ve been running for over 12 years, and at this point in my life, it is all about the fun and the challenge of whatever I’m running. I do not run for time or speed, and I certainly do not compete. The Burn Your Half Off is so laid back, you actually keep track of your own miles. When I finished, I actually forgot to check the time, but think I finished somewhere around 5 hours and 30 minutes. This may be my slowest marathon, but again, I run for fun, not for speed. After the two and a half hour drive home, getting out of the car was a struggle, but within 20 minutes, I felt good, and could have gone back out and run 10 more miles. That was surprising, and also a testament to the thoroughness of my training. Even this morning, the day after, I’m a little sore, but feel good. I’m going to spend a few more days recovering, but start will start building up again for Challenge 2. I will run a 26.2 mile training run. This will be the first time I have run that distance outside of an actual event. Thanks for reading. Have a great day, and go live your own great adventure!