It's over, I endured and my wife and daughter excelled.
Our day started out great, getting up at 3:30 am in order to get to the buses in time, we drove over from our campsite at Pattison State Park, parked quite easily (much to my surprise) and we had no problems getting the girls ready and onto their bus. I meandered a bit since I had extra time before my bus would leave, I double checked what I needed for the race as the weather looked to be low 50's, mist with a chance of rain. I headed over to get on my bus and instead was directed to the train, I thought this could be cool and proceeded to the front of the train where I was able to sit quite comfortably. It was a totally different experience, relaxing and enjoyable all in one. I was thinking that maybe we should come back in 2014 as this had worked out pretty well logistically.
My wife and daughter both went into the Gary Bjorklund 1/2 marathon under-trained with some concern over how their day would go. My wife has had a slower recover from her knee surgery and had been slowly trying to increase her mileage but she had continued having trouble with a bakers cyst which caused additional knee pain. As the race neared her other knee was having issues so I was asking if she thought she should run it. Of course she brought up my foot and I said that was different as I don't think it will get worse by running, it just might not get better. Long story short, she ran and did great and seems to be recovering quite well.
For my daughter she was originally thinking she would shoot for running it in under 2 hours that was until she had her wisdom teeth removed followed by a vacation with no running (this affected my wife as well). So my daughter had modified her thinking to slow down and instead was thinking she should go for 2 1/2 hours. She did much better than that, finishing in 2 hours 2 minutes and 25 seconds. She ran a negative split and just missed out on her original goal. A great effort and her consistent mile times were impressive.
As for me, after the good morning to get to the start line my day fell apart fairly quickly. I ran mile 2 or 3 with Londell and then we separated. Londell had his plan, I had mine. Mine was simple, walk .1 miles or 2 minutes every mile whichever came first. So when I did my walking break, Londell kept going, I must have passed him a little later.
During the first 6 miles I felt good, after mile 6 though my foot was getting sorer and sorer as I went. At mile 10 I was thinking I should drop but instead thought about why I was there and I tried to step a bit more carefully with the hope the pain would ease. Another thing that was getting me off track is the wet mist was turning into a light rain and I could feel hypothermia coming on, not even 10 miles into the race I was struggling with everything. I was still ahead of the 5 1/2 hr pace group which was my plan, I was thinking if they caught me at mile 18 then maybe they would help me finish it out. Instead they ended up catching me by mile 13 although it was there that they were passing out foil blankets. I tied the blanket around my neck and slowly started getting warmer. Miles 14 to 18 were pretty much mental and physical agony, I had to walk much more than I ran as the pain was kind of intense. The only good part was that sometime around mile 17, it hurt as much to walk as to run, so I decided I should just go ahead and run. It was about then that Lisa (Wildnits) yelled my name, she walked along with me for a ways and helped me get back into a "I can finish this thing" mindset. I was able to run fairly well from mile 18 to 22 but the impact of running in pain for so long had me pretty well worn out. I knew I was going to finish and tried to keep going as best as I could, part of what I was able to do was simply look around, chat with people, pick off the runner in front in me and just soak it all in. I finally finished in just under 6 hours and was glad to be done. I was a bit nauseous after I finished, I think it was more from pain and being chilled then anything else. Today my foot is a bit swollen and tender but otherwise I am good.
One thing that I did conclude is that running long distances on injured lower legs is probably stupid I have been beating myself up for the struggles I have had in races over the last 2+ years, the reality is I should be beating myself up for signing up for those races in the first place when I am injured. As once I sign up, well I just have to try which have probably perpetuated the injuries longer. My one defense is the latest issue is the fourth issue I have had and the other three issues seem to be ok now. Yes that doesn't change that I have signed up for multiple races with an injury and thus far none of the injuries got better during the race.
So for the moment, I am done with marathons and beyond. I will figure out something or someone that will help me get my current foot issue resolved and will hope to be healthy by fall.
Who knows maybe I still can do Twin Cities and Surf the Murph :-).