I Am a Marathoner? – Part 6 (Random Thoughts on the Race)

June 22, 2012

Aurora De Lucia tying her shoe at her first marathon - Mohican Marathon 2012 Picking up from yesterday

My dad was really antsy to get me back on the trail. I understand and all. I mean, I do want to finish before the day is over.

And I don’t want to take breaks that are too terribly long. I am trying to do a full marathon here, and I want it to at least sort of feel like one. (Which it does in the sense that my legs are killing me!)

I slipped on a different pair of shoes for a change of pace (one of the perks of having your own supporters with a van). I drank a whole bunch of water and Gatorade (yet again from my prepared super team – the race served Heed instead of Gatorade).

Finally, I slowly made my way back out on the course. In this one area, there was only about a mile until the next stop. (The stop where I currently was wasn’t an official stop. It was just a place where the trail met a parking lot, and people gathered).

My mom actually jumped on the trail and went the mile with me, which made it go faster. Thankfully for everybody, it was, for the most part, the easiest, flattest mile out there (other than the hill going down to start it off).

The next aid station was the last time I got to see my parents until the end of the race, which at this rate we figured would be sometime on Thursday.

A few more random thoughts from the day:

There was a time when an official race crew person was walking the course (in the opposite direction). As he passed me said, “Hey marathoner, how you doing?” Now, I know I am pretty much the sorriest excuse for a marathoner. However, it still made me feel special when he said “Hey, marathoner.” ‘Cause you know. I’m a marathoner. Or something.

As I continued to feel lost in the woods (since they never stopped), every time I heard people talking and laughing, it was such a fake out. I’d think that maybe I’d be close to the next aid station. Nope. It never ceased to be more woods and yet another family enjoying a nice Saturday hike.

I’m curious what the deal is with bandanas. I know why I had mine. Every single person who passed me had one as well. People had them in all different places on their person or their bag. I started to wonder why everyone had one and no one was wearing them in the same place. Is it so they can help control the bleeding if they get an awful dog bite? Is it to protect them from the sun (if it ever makes it through the trees)? Is it for both? Who knows. I still don’t know. The internet probably knows somewhere, I’m sure…

As much as I loved climbing that root wall, there definitely came a point where it was kind of like, “So, am I doing a marathon here, or am I acclimating to my new life in the jungle since I am never going to finish this race?” Balancing along fallen trees, jumping over little brooks, climbing walls. It was fun, but a little silly. I suppose that’s just the nature of the race.

Speaking of a little silly, how silly is it that I’m rattling off random thoughts? I like to (for the most part) try to keep my thoughts about races chronological ish. Sometimes space constraints or my memory or whatever other factors will keep me from doing that. But especially in this race, things blurred together. Oh so much of it was all the same.

I have a general idea of what happened between each stop, and during various stages of the sun being up or down, but I do not have a good enough appreciation for nature. The forest felt like a vortex to me, and every single time I made it to any rest stop alive was a miracle.

People who are cooler than me know the difference between all trees and plants and would be able to tell you all about their hike. I might be that cool someday. Today is not that day.

I’ll continue with my stories (or random thoughts or whatever I’m talking about now) tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “I Am a Marathoner? – Part 6 (Random Thoughts on the Race)”

  1. Marathoner!! That’s awesome you got to do a marathon. I was at the “run with the devil” race and noticed a girl wearing a shirt with checkboxes for the 52 races in 52 weeks she was running. I was in shock to discover there was two of you out there. But after speaking with her, she said YOU convinced her to take the 52 challenge. Lol, youve inspired me. To run to read and now to write:) thank you can’t wait to finish the story and hear how Seattle went. I really wanted to be there

    1. Aw, thank you! That’s so sweet.

      I love Wendy (the girl you met at Run with the Devil)! I can’t wait for the next time I get to do a race with her. How did you like that race?

      1. I was on support team that day which I am proud of. I cheered my runners in which I know means a lot when you’re out of gas. And I don’t think I could of hit Vegas that night if I had just ran 13.1 miles with the devil. Next year tho, it’s on!!

  2. If you were curious about the bandanas, why didn’t you just ask? (Us trail runners love talking..about anything, really) I never leave home (for a run) without my bandana 😀 They are good for just about anything like sopping up sweat, tears, dirt and blood. They hold ice cubes around your neck really well for hot days, make great booger rags and keep your hair in place when it gets too wild. I also wrap and unwrap mine around my hand when I need a distraction from everything late in the race. I’m sure other runners have different uses other than listed above…we’re pretty creative with “stuff”.

    So there ya go. Mystery solved!

    One more thing, I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience with the race. It was very, very hot and that was one of the more difficult trail races I have run. That being said, I cannot imagine how difficult it was not being an avid trail runner and taking on such a challenge. There’s a lot more prep and training involved (mentally and physically) when taking on these types of races versus road races (I know, I run both, a lot) and if not properly prepared for a race, things can be miserable. However, per my own experiences, long trail races can often be the most rewarding. I can easily blow through a road marathon with people cheering for me, music playing and constant company. But when it’s just you, your mind, dirt and soggy bandana, things are a bit more difficult.

    I hope you consider an ultra in your future, the journey is definitely a different one, but still equally amazing and rewarding.

    Sorry for the long note. Good Luck in your races this season!

    P.S. Tell your parents hello and that I enjoyed chatting with them at the start finish and I apologize for not saying good bye. I was the girl wandering in the dark looking for my friend & boyfriend who were running the 100.

    1. Thank you for solving the mystery. 🙂

      And yes, things are a bit (a million bits) more difficult on a trail! Kudos to you for being able to handle it. I didn’t actually have all that bad of an experience. Sometimes when I’m writing, I think people will read the blog and go, “Hardy, hardy, har. Oh that Aurora. Having silly adventures as per usual.” Instead, it’s seeming as though some people go, “Oh, poor girl. She was so upset.” But, I’m hoping people will think parts of the crazy day were funny. I know my family and I laughed a whole lot at my ridiculous struggle!

      It could’ve been way worse. And I knew 100% what I was getting into. Not a single bit of it was surprising. I went in willing to torture myself to get my first marathon over with, and I deserve any punishment that came along with it.

      I would definitely consider an ultra in the future. But, I would not want to do one on a trail. I’ve heard that there are ultras on pavement, and I would have to do one of those.

      Please, no apologies! I love long notes. It’s very nice of you to take the time to look up my blog and write something! 🙂 Thanks!

      I’ll pass your message along to my parents. I hope your friend and boyfriend had a great time in their 100!

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