Saturday, February 6, 2016

Philipsburg Waterfront Marathon, Sint Maarten

I don't know which was a greater factor today, the overwhelming heat, the long 6 mile steep uphill that began the race, or just the desire to jump in that beautiful cooling Caribbean Sea. The first 6 miles nearly killed me.  We ran along the roads up a fairly steep mountain because the local race directors wanted to show us the beautiful view.  But after so many days of running, it was just too much for me.  I felt like I was crawling up that hill!  Once back down on the back and forth loop along the beach I felt fine though.  But the heat was unbearable with no breeze at all.  When I reached the half marathon point, I started to stagger.  Maybe if I could have just taken a short break I might have been able to go on, but that's where the mental attitude kicked in.  I could hardly walk, let alone run, and I kept looking over at that water and wishing I could just enjoy that beautiful beach.  I don't know if it would have been possible to struggle through to the end, but I simply decided that I'd had enough.  I stopped and settled once again for a half marathon finish.  Then I plopped down beneath a palm tree in the shade for a while.  Once I had a little strength back, I took off my belt, watch, shoes, and phone and jumped into the water in my running clothes.  Honestly, I think that wonderful swim was really the highlight of the trip.  That water was perfect.  While the others who chose to run the full marathon continued to suffer in the heat, I just kept jumping back in the water.  I had a very good swim.  Am I a little disappointed that I didn't finish the marathon, well yes, I suppose I am.  But I would hate to have missed my time finally enjoying the Caribbean Sea.  That was wonderful.

So instead of completing 6 full marathons in 7 days, I have to be satisfied with only 3 official full marathon finishes, and 3 more official countries under my belt.  Plus two half marathons and a great experience with some awesome friends and very inspiring marathon runners for company.  Will I do another marathon cruise, oh probably of course I will.  But I know I need to work on my speed work and really increase my performance.  I know I can do it, but I need to devote my spare time to doing proper training.

Me and my cabin mate Jane in our swimming clothes!
All of the medals!

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