However, I'm not an Olympic Marathoner.
I ran my first half-marathon today and was extremely happy with my time in the Elroy Tunnel Half Marathon.
Thump, thump. Thump, thump.
That's what it sounded like in the first few miles as I was pretty much surrounded by other runners. Then as the race went along, it was mostly the sound coming from the beat of my own feet and the music going through my head (couldn't find the shuffle this morning).
I was able to average 9:50 miles, which certainly won't qualify me for anything, but my goal was to finish in less than 2:30 and the closer to two hours, the better.
There was a 287' train tunnel (hence the name for the race), in the fifth mile and a volunteer handed a flashlight as you entered to provide a little bit of light for the foot falls. I wrote about train tunnels a few weeks ago, and this one was similar, so the extra flash of light helped me keep my pace as I ran through it.
There were nine water stations, and while my style of trying to drink from a disposable cup while running resulted in water on my shirt and not so much in my mouth, I was able to stay hydrated and felt good throughout.
The race is part of Elroy, Wisconsin's Apple Dumpling Day - and all finishers are welcome to enjoy an Apple Dumpling. Oh, it was awesome! Soft and flavorful apple inside a baked crust and topped with real whipping cream. Oh yeah, that was worth it!
After standing up from the snack was when I noticed a bit of pain in my knee... but that will pass and I can enjoy this accomplishment for sometime.
No marathons are in my future, though - if I want to travel 26 miles - it will be on the back of my bike!
I'm thankful for my wife coming along and cheering me on and taking pictures of the race... and for the health God has blessed me with into my advancing age.