Welcome to Detroit Lakes, a small town in western Minnesota. I had not slept much (probably because I drove some 750 miles the day before to get there) and woke up tired. I did not feel like having breakfast either.
I only took my food supplement Immun’Âge® and, a few minutes later, drank a fruit juice.
I drove one hour in the early morning to get to the start of the marathon fifty miles away. It was cold but the sun was shining and we expected the temperature to rise. I picked up my runner’s packet in the Detroit Lakes Pavilion and got ready. I stayed there as long as possible to keep warm, then went out to take a picture of the sun rising on the lake. I went to the starting line and listened to the national anthem. It was really cold. 7 a.m.: the gun went off for the full marathon. There were about 100 of us.
The course took us around Detroit Lake – one loop in each direction: first counter-clockwise, then clockwise. We had to “take the lake” twice! We started running up a slight hill, which was OK as all we wanted was to warm up as fast as possible for the run. We headed downhill towards the lake and ran on the lakeshore until km 5 which I passed in 30 minutes.
The course went on flat and fast until we hit some heavy-duty leg-killing rolling hills. Nevertheless, my pace remained OK despite the fatigue and I reached km 10 in one hour. We ran through the residential neighborhood on the lakeshore. The sun was shining (but not hot), mansions were magnificent, the course flat and fast despite the hills, I felt great.
I reached km 15 in 1:32, which was good when you take into account how tired I felt and the fact that I had run three marathons the week-end before. I went on. We were basically alone on the street. The few cars in this residential area were very careful. We reached the starting area and turned around. I passed km 20 in 2:04 and the half-marathon in 2:10. I was not doing that badly, I thought. The weather was beautiful, the paved road course fast and I felt good. I decided to psych myself up to finish in less than five hours, something I had not managed to do for a while.
I reached km 25 on 2:37. My pace was steady and I kept focusing on my goal. The rolling hills were as hard running back clockwise as they had been during the first counter-clockwise loop.
I reached km 30 in 3:15. My legs were getting quite heavy but I went on. I knew for sure that I could finish in less than five hours if I did not weaken.
I reached km 35 in 3:55. My legs were very stiff, and I could feel how much the three marathons last week-end were taking their toll. But I held on.
I reached km 40 in 4:25. The long and steep last hill killed me. I walked up the steeper stretch. I ran down the long final stretch to the finish line that I crossed in 4:55:20.
I picked up the very beautiful finisher’s medal and got something to eat.
I am very happy with this marathon: I ran it at a steady pace and managed again to finish the run in less than five hours despite being tired. The run was very nice; the paved course was mostly flat and fast despite a few rolling hills, and the weather was ideal for running: beautiful but cool as the sun was not too hot. The atmosphere was good even though there were not many spectators but fortunately quite a few volunteers that were, as always, cheering us up.
A nice run and a beautiful day to ‘take the lake.’
Wishing you a great week. See you in a few days with more surprises.