Tonight, we joined a few thousand others watching on-line as the Tevatron powered down. Goodbye Tevatron- thanks for the top quark and for walks around your 4 mile ring.
What else is good for marathon recovery? Lots of hiking. Today we started out at Tiocan, Climbed to Reculet, Cret de la Neige, along the ridge to Crozet, down to the high road, and back to Tiocan.
The familiar climb upwards.
On the ridge.
Looking back at Reculet.
Overlooking Crozet and remembering the weekend morning training runs up here.
After the steep descent, a flat 4 mile jaunt back to the start in the last bit of daylight.
Besides rest, easy runs, and wine festivals, long walks through the Suisse countryside are great for marathon recovery. Today we set out to wander, and wandered along a few new roads for five and a half hours.
We walked through vineyards, forests, and towns, enjoying the warm autumn sun.
And picked up a few apples from an orchard, a nice sugary pick-me-up, on the way home.
It's time to celebrate the harvest...of grapes...for wine. The parade in Russin is one of my favorites, with marching bands,
drag queens, banners, clowns.
The town, Sergy, from neighboring France, rode in on a huge tank, spraying the crowd. Lucky we all had umbrellas and jackets from the not so sunny start to the day.
But the best part of the parade, wine served direct from the floats as they pass by...and they pass more than once.
Every Suisse parade ends with the huge clanging cow bells.
A post-parade duck procession through the town.
A huge serving of tarti-fete anyone?
After the parade, there's time for more wine, wandering clowns, and happy painted faces.
Wine and relaxing with friends while our shadows grow long.
Headed home through the vineyard.
After many weeks of training, our strong men are ready to run their first mountain marathon. We traveled to Interlaken for the start and stayed in a mountain retreat in Wengen for the Jungfrau Marathon.
Race profile. Yikers.
Once we arrived, I decided to join in on the fun. I knew I couldn't watch the race and not be a part of it, so I was able to buy a start position from a runner who decided not to run. I've been running this summer, and tagging along on their weekend morning mountain runs, but am I ready for a marathon? I wanted to commit to the marathon at the February sign-up, but after thinking things through, I decided marathon distance was beyond my ability...until the night before the race.
So...here we go.
The first half of the race was flat, and the kilometer markers passed quickly as we wound through towns of cheering and bell ringing, through cow fields, and along a misty river over wooden bridges. This was also my first half marathon, and I was happy to pass this section in 2h15 without any trouble. Things are looking good, but I'm estimating a solid 4 hours ahead and straight up.
We reached the midpoint in the beautiful Lauterbrunnen valley. Steep cliffs and waterfalls and knowing it's almost time to start the climb.
After a long, tough climb up the wall, we can look back at the valley below. We've come a long way, but there is plenty more to go.
The scenery is a great companion for the hours.
After this first big climb, there is still Wengen to pass through and a few small towns, but we are now mostly left to the quiet mountain trails.
Wengen, kilometer 30, after climbing the wall, is where I hit my physical wall. My knees wanted to buckle and legs turned to noodles, but they kept moving. My goals for the race kept changing, not only do I plan to finish without stopping, I want to finish within the 6h30 time constraint.
I enjoyed this long stretch of wide gravel trail. Then, after turning a corner, the final accent appears: a long line of colorful dots up the side of the mountain.
Mountain goat time.
Alp horns! I know we are getting close to the high point of the race. I got a photo of the Alp horns, on the run (of course I carried a camera in my fanny pack and snapped a few pics on along the way).
We reached the highest point of the race Eigergletshter at 2205 meters and now for the hard part...descending to the finish at Kleine Sheidegg. The downhill is the part that hurts.
I never expected to run a marathon...but the guys' enthusiasm was contagious. So, here I am, across the finish in 6 hours 7 minutes, happy tears starting in my eyes, and a shiny medal hung around my neck. I think I smiled the entire way.
Derek, Dan, and Jim all finished with fantastic times and no injuries. We are a happy bunch.
We're ready to head back down to celebrate, but not before taking a little time to enjoy the views, soak in a little more sun, and swell a little with satisfaction.
I know many of you have run marathons because you've been a huge inspiration. Do you have any favorite marathon memories? Did running change you? Can you hardly wait to do it again?