When blazerman travelled with me to Nashville for my 50 miler last November, I thought he only pretended to enjoy the trip. But, it seems he actually didn’t think accompanying me to race was too horrible….how about that? Of course, I plan on him going with me to Alaska, Hawaii and whatever #50 is, but figured he would not be drawn to other marathon weekends. Apparently the excitement of Idaho was too much for him to resist as he made that trip with me .RACE STATS: 47th race of Marathon or Beyond, 30th state (30? Now we are getting somewhere!)
In honor of this being my 30th state, here are 30 random thoughts about the Coeur d’Alene Marathon weekend:
1. A few years ago, I mentioned to blazerman he may want to come to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with me as there is a nice golf resort there with an ISLAND GREEN surrounded by mountains. And since the race is on Memorial Day Weekend, this could be a nice, long, weekend getaway. Of course, the first 2-3 times I spoke of this race, he completely ignored me. In his defense, I talk constantly so of course he tunes me out from time to time #mostofthetime
. But for the love of God……I mentioned GOLF and ISLAND GREEN in the same sentence as marathon, so I thought he might have listened! Anyhoo, a few months after I first spoke of Coeur d’Alene, he saw a segment on the Golf Channel about the ISLAND GREEN surrounded by mountains and pointed it out his amazing discovery to me. SIGH….
2. We both had $400 flight vouchers on American we needed to use this year. Since getting to marathons in the middle of nowhere, like Idaho, is always expensive, it made sense we use the vouchers for this race. We flew to Spokane and made the hour drive to Coeur d’Alene. For only the second time in my 30 states, I had to take a connecting flight as one can not fly directly to Spokane from Dallas. I hate connecting flights!
3. The connecting flight thing is problematic if one person wants to bring golf clubs as you have to check them and hope they follow you. (I NEVER check a bag.) Blazerman decided he wouldn’t golf because he didn’t want to risk his clubs getting lost and he doesn’t like to play with rented clubs. Why wouldn’t he rent clubs? The answer is….would you want to borrow shoes for your marathon? It is truly the same thing. The fact I understand this, is the main reason we are still married after 20 years.
4. Our total travel round trip, in the air and including layovers, was about 13 hours. Do you know what else is about 13 hours? A season of House of Cards. I was very irritated season five was not dropped until the day after we returned!
5. Idaho is the perfect example of why I am committed to this 50 state thing. I am fairly certain I would have no other reason, nor the desire to visit this state which is so far away, but am so glad I went there. CdA is very beautiful “seasonal town”, the people were friendly, and there were tons of great restaurants and a few brewpubs.
6. We were amused? curious? covfefe? with the numerous signs in businesses which indicated the proprietors do not appreciate the government regulating their business.
This attitude is apparently carried over when it comes to zoning in CdA as it appears to be a bit “loose”. Illustrating this was the fact the brewery we went to, which had outdoor seating, was located in a residential neighborhood, next to a day care facility.
7. In our running community, we are aware there of the marathon and IM in Couer d’Alene. In blazerman’s world, his posse knows of CdA because of the golf course. The day before the race, we spent about two hours relaxing on the patio at the resort which overlooks the Par 3 with the island green. I think only two people hit the green while we there and all shot from the blue tees, not the gold. (This information is for XT and the Beast, in case he is lurking.) Blazerman would have played the gold tees so he wanted to see how someone played it from there, but he didn’t want another overpriced bloody mary, so we left.
8. This was the first great weather weekend in CdA so EVERYONE was out. As we walked around the town and had dinner on a street front patio, a lot of tattoos were observed. I am considering getting a small, discreet tattoo in the coming year to mark my 50th marathon. After seeing the number of Not Small, Not Discreet tattoos, I am rethinking the whole thing!
9. In case you haven’t heard, Airbnb is kinda da bomb! This was the third time I have used it for a race and it was perfect. The start/finish was within a mile of the place and the course looped through the neighborhood twice. Blazerman walked to me the start, was able to go back, grab a bike our hosts provided and ride to meet me at mile 12, 14, 23 and get to finish area before I completed the race.
10. Having run OZ just five weeks ago, my past month of training was basically a reverse taper, two weekends of stuff, then a short taper…..I really had no idea what to do between marathons. Since the HOTT had already arrived in north Texas, my training miles were mostly slogs so Checking The State was the goal.
11. When I read reviews of the race, a lot of people whined this race was really about the half as the full was “too small” (239 marathoners). People also did not like the fact this was a double out & back course. As we all know…..I Hate People….so 239 marathoners is perfect. And for those who have been keeping score at home, I LOVE out & back courses. The fact I could do it twice thrilled me!
12. The reviews on marathonguide.com were a bit blah about the organization of this race. Overall, it seemed fine to me except for the porto-potty situation. We had walked to the start area the day before the race and I noted there were only 10 porto-potties. Between the half & full, there were 1,147 participants…..there was also a 5K, but that started an hour later. I have never been an RD, but 10 portos for 1,147 runners starting at the same time seems like crazy talk! On race morning, I encouraged blazerman to buy a coffee at a fancy coffee shop near the start so I could use their restroom. I was fine, but am guessing all participants were not as pleased.
13. This was the 40th anniversary of the race so there was nice swag. Instead of a shirt, we received a decent jacket along with a buff and a pint glass. While wouldn’t say I collect them, I do have tons of pint glasses from races which is fun. If you were at my house and wanted a glass of milk, it would be served to you in a pint glass from a marathon.
14. Living in Texas, I forget how early the sun rises in the north. Waking up at 4:30 for the 6:30 start wasn’t a problem as the sun was already up at 4:30!
15. Even though I have been training in the HOTT the past few weeks, that did not make the fact the temperature was well into the 70’s by mile 13 and about 80 at the finish on this hilly, shadeless course EASY. I think it just sucked less for me, than for those not from Texas.
16. I wore a Texas A&M tank in the race. Even at this small race in Idaho, I received two “Go Aggie!”, a “Gig ‘Em!“, and a “WHOOP!” (These are all vernacular of the Aggie cult.) And as it turns out, the winner of the marathon was an Aggie…..they are everywhere! I am proud we send our money, I mean our daughter, to Texas A&M.
17. The day we arrived in CdA, we drove the course. When we got the BIGLY HILL which we run up & down on the out, then up & down on the back and then repeat again on the second loop, blazerman actually started laughing. The hill is only about a half mile long, but it has a 6% grade. As I don’t have access to a hill of this grade to train on, I was covfefe that I had to run up it 4 times and down it 4 times!
18. The good thing about the BIGLY hill is that it made all the rolling parts seem not awful. And they really weren’t bad. Mostly because I ran this race a very “manageable” pace.
19. The first 1.5 mile, we were in a neighborhood then we turned out onto the road and ran along a bike path to the turnaround. Most of this portion was along the lake and was beautiful. We then returned to neighborhood and looped around back to the park where we started.
20. Blazerman was waiting for me at about 11.5 with a cold bottle of Tailwind, so I could refill the bottles on my waterbelt.
I had been dealing with a bit of lower backpain for which I had taken some Aleve at 4:30 when I woke up. It was returning and I asked him to go grab me three more and meet me in a few miles.
21. Once we left the half marathoners, the runners were much more spaced out, though I was always near at least one person.
22. Blazerman was at mile 14 and gave me the Aleve which helped my back tremendously. After about a mile, I felt like I was running much more relaxed. When I looked at my HR info on Starva afterwards, it ranged from about 135 to 155 in the first half and rarely went over 130 in the second half. I don’t train nor race with HR in mind, but I found it interesting that when you are relaxed, you run easier. Who knew?! Well, I guess everyone, but it is fun to look at this info now that I have a fancy watch and app to track the information.
23. While the heat was beating me down, I ran conservatively the entire race and from maybe mile 17 on…..just after the third time on the BIGLY hill…..no one passed me and I passed a number of people. Most were walking. I felt bad for them as I know how those first few times in the sun and heat suck the life out of you.
24. Given the heat, my “goal” was 4:30. At about mile 15, I caught up to the 4:30 pacer, who went well ahead of me with her group on the first loop. She was running WAY TOO FAST at the time, but whatever, I wasn’t using her. I thought it may be smart to run from 15 to the end with her as her runners had all fallen behind, but she was done because of the heat. On my final “back” miles, she was at least 3 miles behind me.
25. As a I plodded along in the heat & sun, I was shocked my mind never went to Bad Place. Sure I was running slow, but it sucked out there. I think it was because this was an out & back, double loop course. My weirdo brain enjoys the monotony.
26. Blazerman surprised me at mile 23.5. While my Tailwind was warm, I still had enough to get to the end, so I just enjoyed I had a cheerleader and kept moving. I wanted to be done! While I am fine without a personal spectator, it sure is nice to have someone!
27. There were aid stations every 2-2.5 miles. For me, it was not nearly enough considering the conditions, so I am glad I carried liquid. Since I am used to carrying water on basically every run in Texas, it isn’t an issue to carry in a race……I can’t remember the last time I raced without my waterbelt.
28. I crossed the line at 4:33:37 and ran a 2:05 positive split. I was pleased with the time given the heat and even more pleased the split! There really is something to running conservatively when the conditions suck!
29. When I crossed the finish line, a Boy Scout presented me my medal. That poor kid was then bombarded with questions as to how far he was from Eagle Scout and if he had his project planned. Even when I am hot, tired and stanky, I still have energy to annoy the youth of our country!
30. Since there were only 239 who started the race and it was hotter than most runners were used to, my very mediocre time was good enough to win my AG. I was 27/89 women and 117/205 finishers.
The next day, we went for a 4 mile hike in the woods along the shore of Lake CdA which was a nice way to shake the legs out. It turns out the marathon was just a thing I happen to do while enjoying a nice weekend in a lovely town with my husband. I think he was relieved I didn’t expect to run well so when I didn’t, he didn’t have to deal with me being cranky!
I am following Eric’s advice to get the “weird” states out of the way as soon as possible as they have fewer races and can be tricky to fit in. After completing 30 states, I am finally optimistic I may actually get a marathon in all 50 states!
Next Up: Oregon Marathon in July