J has just been itching to walk the marathon route, but our training walks weren't really long enough to justify the trip up there (over 68 miles round trip). Saturday's training walk was 11 miles, so we decided it was a good weekend to walk the first half of the route as a loop. Unfortunately, J read the schematic of the route backwards and didn't understand what I was saying when I was trying to explain where she was wrong, so she parked at the uphill end of the route. Which, of course, meant that the first 5.5 miles was downhill, and the second half uphill. My hips began to hurt quite bad at 9 miles, so I can't even imagine what pain they would have been in had we not trained the first month 4-5 miles up and then down the Canyon.
The good news is that the entire 11 miles, half uphill, with a 10-minute break, was done in 3 and 1/4 hours. I think we're in good shape to do the entire 13 miles, all downhill, somewhere around my goal of 3 and a half hours. Yea! And it'll be so stinking cold at 7 a.m. (shuttle buses from the parking area to the course are 5:00-5:30 a.m.!) on Marathon Day, when the walkers start, that we'll be walking the first mile pretty briskly just to thaw our frozen limbs. It was 41 degrees Farenheit this morning at 7:00 a.m. here in town, and the route is about 1,000 ft higher than my house, and out in the desert, surrounded by state trust land, so no city to block desert winds. It's going to be cold that day.
Note to self: pack a Tylenol for Marathon Day, just in case.