Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Every Marathon Should Have a Beer Stop

(Here's Holly's report from the Go! st. Louis Marathon on April 15th)

Yes you read that correctly. I feel every Marathon should have a beer stop, keep reading and you will see why.

I signed up for the GO! St. Louis Marathon just a month ago. I decided to try and get one more state out of the way. It was in driving distance and it was two weeks before the Derby Marathon in Louisville. The course was hilly so it would be good training for Louisville since that is also hilly. We got to St. Louis Friday night and of course continued the microbrewery tour that Dave is trying to accomplish. We enjoyed Schafly Tap Room, and had an awesome Oatmeal Stout and great food as well.

Saturday involved going to pick up my bib at the Expo. While at the Expo I tried on a pair of Newtons and liked them. They had a good show special going on so I bought a pair and proceeded to wear them for the marathon (Just kidding). I plan on trying them out after Louisville. Dave won a pair of Brooks shoes! This was great news for me since I wear Brooks.

After the Expo we went to the Arch, where I had a major panic attack in the stupid little pod that takes you up. Dave videoed the whole thing so I’m sure that will be a You Tube hit soon. Lunch was at Morgan Street Brewing in Laclede's Landing.

We then went to the Budweiser Factory. Nice tour and cool to see all the old buildings. We got two free beers and we drank half of one. Still don’t like the Budweiser products (and they weren't offering Goose Island).

We had a nice dinner in downtown at Gio's and got to bed early.

Storms were predicted for the race and I was watching the weather like a hawk. I am terrified of lightning due to being stuck on a field hockey field back in high school. Luckily the weather didn’t look bad. There was a chance of storms around 10 am. It was extremely windy and warm though. This could be fun! We got to the start super early and waited around in the swirling winds. Pretty soon I was in my corral and we were off again!

I have been going out way too fast the last few marathons and I hoped to start this one off at a better pace. Well the first mile was downhill and I of course was so excited I went faster than I liked. But I slowed it down. However the mile markers were off. Like a quarter mile off. I knew there was no way I was off that much on my Garmin already, so was thinking that I really slowed down, too much so! So I then sped up. By mile 6 the mile markers were back on with my Garmin. Great, so I just did the first 6 miles way too fast. I just didn’t feel great the whole race, not sure if it was mental or what, but I was battling myself the whole way.

The course was way hillier than I thought it would be. And the wind always seemed to be in my face. I was hungry. Saw Dave around Mile 15 and asked for a banana. He would meet me later with it and it was great. Now for the explanation of the title of this report. At mile 18 I saw a “Stag” beer sign. There were the most wonderful people handing out cold cups of Stag beer. Oh my. It was the best. The icy cold beer made me feel great.

I picked up the pace until Mile 22 or so, then I crashed. I needed another beer, lol! Took a look at the clock and really wanted to stay under 5:30. I would have to push it, but it was all up hill, UGH! I could see the finish line, but it was uphill into the wind and I swear it kept moving. I finally crossed 5:29:04. I was exhausted. I never want to sit down after a marathon, I like to keep moving. Not today. I saw Dave and said I need to sit down. We found a bench and I sat down and ate a bag of chips. Dave ran back to the finish area and exchanged my medal, because mine was all scratched.

Overall I’m happy with my time, due to the hills, wind and heat. It was one tough day. I’m hoping for better weatherthis Saturday in Louisville. Fingers Crossed. Oh and I hope there is a beer stop!


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