This was my third running of the Missoula Marathon. I don't quite know what it is about Missoula that keeps me coming back. Is it the beautiful 8 hour drive from Salt Lake City? Is it the race organization? Is it the volunteers? Is it the course? Is it the bling? I know I don't come for the fast course as I have NEVER run a good time at Missoula (and this weekend kept the streak alive), but I ALWAYS have a good time and I guess that is the reason I come back. I LOVE this race!
If you follow my blog, you may recall that last year, my friend Teota and I made made the trip. This year my friend and neighbor Galen wanted to go and since I am easily influenced when it comes to any road trip, it didn't take much to convince me to tag along.
The past week at work had been crazy as I was on the committee that organizes our huge summer event that was taking place on Saturday. Since we would have to drive to Missoula on Saturday, I would not be attending the event and thus I had to bust my butt, putting in extra long hours to make sure all the i's were dotted and t's crossed before I left. By the time Galen and I got on the road at 3:00am Saturday morning, I was EXHAUSTED with a major headache.
Galen was a gem and drove 7 out of the 8 hours it took to get there. Once we got there, we headed to the hotel just long enough to check in and drop our bags off. Then we headed to the expo to pick up our packets and meet some of the Maniacs and 50 Staters!
It is always cool to see the "Expo Dude" Ray Shaw!
After the expo, we headed to the 50 States Marathon Club reunion meeting which was held in the basement of "The Runner's Edge"(a local running store in Missoula). Meeting in the basement very much resembled an Al anon/AA meeting as one by one we all stood up and introduced ourselves. I so wanted to say "My name is Angie and I am a runnaholic and I would have died to hear everyone to say "Hi Angie!" It was great to see some so many Maniac/50 Stater friends there!
After the meeting we had some dinner and went back to the hotel to get some sleep!
Race morning we all got the buses to the start around 4:30am. When we got there, we hung out took some photos and we were off!
Maniacs and 50 Staters at the Start!
Cute friend Kate and I at the start! We had a blast running in Tulsa together last year!
I am still battling this foot injury in my left foot (which I am pretty sure is a stress fracture), so I took it nice and easy going out. My foot felt fine, but all the time off trying to rest it between races took it's toll. I was feeling out of shape!
The donkeys with bangs were still there from last year, but they were a little shy this year.
I was doing my 3:1 Galloway intervals and still struggling, that is until I noticed my new friend Danny from Alabama running different intervals leap-frogging me. I asked him what intervals he was doing and he said 1:10/:30! I was amazed! I started running with him and we ran to the half together, just talking and having a nice time. Now I have been a great believer in the Galloway method, but no matter how many times I hear Jeff Galloway say to shorten the intervals, there was still a part of me that did not want to run less than 3:1's. Well I can tell you I am a believer! I made it to the half much faster doing 1:10:30's than I would have doing my 3:1's. I was struggling and on track for a 2:30 half before I "ran" into Danny. I hit the half at 2:22!
My new friend Danny and I!
I lost Danny at the big hill right after the half. He was going strong and my legs were feeling really tight, so I walked the hill. I was glad I did because I saved my legs for the second half. I wasn't running fast, but I felt much stronger. I went back to 3:1's (since my Garmin was already set), and finished in 5:04. I was happy with it as I was expecting a 5:20ish finish given how I felt and my history with Missoula. 5:04 turns out to be my fastest Missoula Marathon to date! I would have broken 5:00 for sure if I didn't have the 10 minute line at the potty!
Missoula gives you your race photos FREE!!
Coming into the finish!
I met up with Olympian Jeff Galloway at the finish and told him I would never doubt his method again! It freakin' works!!!
After the race Galen and I headed back to our hotel, took showers and got back on the road home! We stopped a few times a long the way, but I laughed when we pulled into the gas station that saved Teota and I last year!
This place was a sight for sore eyes last year when Teota and I almost ran out of gas!
It was a quick, but great trip! HUGE THANKS to Galen for doing 99% of the driving! Who knows if I will do Missoula again. 4th time's the charm?