Tupelo Marathon 2013 Race Report

I did it!! I finished!! I finally tackled the infamous Tupelo Marathon. It’s a death defying 26.2 mile marathon not meant for the faint of heart . Okay………maybe that’s a bit much BUT it’s a tough one!!!

The best race shirts ever!!

The best race shirts ever!!

It starts at 5 a.m. on a very dark road that has rolling hills and little to no shade, on Labor Day Weekend!  Can you say 85 degrees at 9 a.m.?!?!  There’s so much I want to tell you all but I keep jumping ahead.

Alright let me back this boat up and start over………….

3:15 a.m. wake up.  It was a hard wake up too. For 2 seconds I wanted to say, screw it, I’ve lost my mind. However since my hubby made this trek with me as pit crew, skipping was not an option. So we slowly got moving and made our way downstairs to the hotel lobby. It amazed me at 4:00 a.m. how chatty people can be. I can function at 4:00 a.m. but don’t expect conversation. However, these people who all had on race bibs were chatty and chowing down.

The race site was about 15 minutes from the hotel and easy to find. Parking was a breeze and plenty of pre-race port-o-potties were available.  From there the start is in the middle of the road and there’s NO street lights. None. It’s dark!!

pre run

The very early and dark starting line.

Here’s a video of the race start……very quiet and dark!

So from there it’s 13 miles out and the first half is my favorite part. The camaraderie on the course is great. People are chatting, swapping tips and stories. It’s great! Literally my favorite part. Then the great divide comes. The half marathoners go one way and we (marathoners) turn back to recap the course we just left.  Only this time , it’s HOT AS HELL!  The sun is up and there’s no shade. Seriously people, it was hot!!  

Now, the people putting on the race did a FANTASTIC job. Plenty of port-o-potties, water stations and the course was well marked.   Every other mile  (I think) was a water station with all the other stuff a marathon needs. Really, this was well done.

Back to the heat. The best way I can describe it is rolling farm land with no shade on paved roads. By 9 a.m. I would dare say it was 85 degrees with 100% humidity. Rough stuff.  The last three miles of the race will make you feel like a bad ass just because you lived to tell about it.  The fact that I’m sitting here alive and recapping the last three miles of the race is a miracle!!  IT WAS THAT HOT!!

RESPECT THE HEAT!  Mississippi heat on Labor Day weekend will put you in  your place folks. The marathon’s slogan “Trample the weak and hurdle the dead” is there for a reason.

With all that being said, the last three miles is rolling hills with no shade.  The last quarter mile expect to go up a hill, slight down hill, followed by a slight up hill into paved parking lot and on to the finish line. PAVED PARKING LOT AT 10 A.M.   (I.E. HOT AS HELL)

I narrowly escaped with my life with finish time of 5:15:04 and a sweet finishers medal.

finish

Will I go back? No. I got my skull and crossbones bling and I’m done.

bling

I won’t be back to Tupelo for a Labor Day Weekend  race. If it was cooler weather, absolutely. However………..that’s the lure of the race. It’s a ridiculous early start,  hot, hilly and it just makes you feel like your ten times more bad ass than any other runner that day.

So there you have it folks.  Do I recommend you do it……… YES!! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! 

12 Days Left & I’m A Headcase!

12 days left!

 

12 days!!

Physically I’m holding up. No shin pain, very very minimum hip soreness, hamstrings and calves are great. I’m not achy. Quads are staying healthy. I’m physically good.  Next go around I probably should do non-weight bearing back exercises to help strengthen to go along with ab exercises but overall I would give myself a B+ (always room for improvement!).
 So what is going on in my head right now…………..
“OH MY GOSH!!!”
 headcase
Okay seriously, at this point I’m feeling:
*Apprehensive
*Anxious
*Nervous
*Excited
*Mental Exhaustion
*Irritability
It’s all natural to feel this way and I know that I’m ready. I know that I got this and that I’ll finish. I’m mentally tough and physically. I’ve beat this body over the last 12 weeks into submission. It knows that at 5 a.m. September 1st  that it will run 26.2 miles and like it!!
force
I’m also starting to taper. No it’s not a new craft project, it’s where my mileage is cutting back so my body can store up energy and repair itself for the big day.  I also have to cut back on my calories. Since I won’t be running as many miles in the next 12 days I have to scale back on the calories so I won’t gain weight going into my marathon.  What does that look like for me? Going from 2000 calories to 1650.  I don’ t mind. It’s also a great way for my body to get the signal that I can’t eat as much after my 12 days is up. Once this round of marathon training is done I’ll need to scale back on my eating or otherwise I’ll eat us all out of house and home!! I’m such an eater.
OMG! I love food!! Anyways………..
With all the stuff going through my head (Am I ready, did I run enough, will I fall as flat as a pancake on my face from not training enough) just a barrage of different thoughts but I’m actually okay. Nervous but okay. Anxious but okay.
I’ve told myself if I can complete this marathon in the time that I want to finish (or just finish) then I’m going to be okay.I’ll be okay anyways but I NEED this marathon. I need this finish. If I can do this (which I know I can because quitting is not an option) it’s like a universal sign that I’m going to be okay. That anything from that moment on is just chump change. It’s like a letter from God saying “Brandy, you’re going to be okay.” Crazy, I know but it’s the best way I can describe it.
okay
Have you ever needed something so badly you felt like your life depended on it?
I know my life doesn’t depend on this. I know the world will not stop turning. In my little world, in the spec of dust that I am in this universe, it matters to me.
I didn’t mean to go into all that!!  Whew!  Serisously, the mindset going into these type of events will make you a little crazy. Some people are just all like “Whatever” but not me. I’m all headcase, need a xanax stat! Maybe instead of Pounds to Miles I should be The Headcase Runner.
Okay kids, till next time!
Cheers!
dreams