Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? I'm kind of freaking because I'm so behind on Christmas shopping. Next year I WILL do better. (I said that last year).
On to my race recap. This is going to be painfully long FYI.
Wednesday:I woke up, got my hair done, and ran some errands. When I got home from running errands at around 4:00, I started feeling really tired and had a sore throat. I feel asleep on the couch until around 7:30. I woke up with a full blown sore throat, fatigue, and congestion. Great!
Thursday:Woke up with the same sore throat, and started to feel more and more like death. We left for Alabama that afternoon, and I had a minor breakdown in the car. I had been working towards this marathon for so long, and now I'm sick? I was incredibly disappointed. This is where I started popping cold medicine.
|In the car, on the way to AL|
Friday:Woke up with very little appetite, still taking Sudafed, Mucinex, Aleve, Doxycyline, Phenylephrine (worthless), and Tylenol. I was trying to regain the ability to breathe through my nose. I went down to the expo to pick up my packet and went straight back to my room. Just going downstairs and walking around for 30 minutes made me want to take a nap, so I did. After that, I got up, took a shower (which was exhausting) and went down to the pre race spaghetti dinner.
I was sitting there and thinking of how I could figure out another marathon. It was so close to Christmas, and I wouldn't be able to travel somewhere to do another one. If I bailed on this one, it would be at least another month before I could do another one. All the time and money spent traveling to Alabama would be wasted.
|Bart speaking at the dinner.|
I wrote all of the water stops and porta potty stops on my arm. I also wrote some encouraging words. :)
|I was praying that all of that rain would pass.|
Saturday:Sadly, this is probably the worst I felt. I completely threw out my time goal and made it my goal just to finish. This is really disappointing, but I knew that it was one of two options. I could not run and always wonder if I could have, or I could run and just try my best.
I got to the start line feeling really tired and run down. I just wanted to crawl back into my bed with a mound of Kleenex and cough drops.
|George took this pretty pathetic picture of me.|
|I did take a smiling picture at the start, though. Joanie and my aunt were feeling great!|
The gun went off, and I knew I was in trouble. The first 5 miles or so were pretty rough. I was feeling exhausted already and was secretly planning in my head when I was going to quit. Joanie and I were running together, and she was helping to keep me motivated. I felt bad that I wasn't much of a talker. My chest was so congested, it was hard to catch my breath.
Around mile 8 or so, the pace group started to get more and more ahead of me. I was trying to take my first applesauce packet, but I was feeling really queasy. I took a tiny bit and told myself that I would go for it at the next water stop.
I was careful to take in a lot of Gatorade during the water stops because I knew that I was super dehydrated from all of the cold meds. Around mile 9 or 10, Joanie had to stop and use the restroom. I told her that we would catch up to each other eventually, and I would slow my roll.
|Starting to feel like I was going to quit.|
In the next few miles, I started looking behind me to see if she was coming up. I saw her (I thought) and kept running. When a figure in black tights and a purple tank ran up beside me, I screamed, "JOANIE!!!!" It wasn't Joanie, and I definitely scared the crap out of the poor girl who came up beside me. Oops...
At this point, George was driving the course, parking, running to where I was and cheering me on. He was AMAZING. He kept telling me that I looked good, I was doing fine, and offered me extra snacks.
The gloves that you see in every picture in my hands served as kleenex. I was blowing my nose every 2-3 minutes, making my nose and upper lip really raw. I'm SO GLAD I had those gloves.
At mile 15, I told myself that I HAD to try to get some food into my system. I wasn't hungry, more like nauseous, but I couldn't survive this whole thing on a packet of applesauce. I took a bite of my protein bar, and immediately puked on the side of the road. It was disgusting, and I didn't even think of trying to take another bite. I then designated one glove for my nose and one glove for wiping my mouth after I barfed. I started to cry for a second but realized that it was even harder to breathe while crying, so I quit.
The miles between 15 and 20 are a total blur. At this point, I was taking walking breaks, and I was really upset. I think at one point I was even cussing really loudly. It was way too late to quit now, so I was just trying to finish.
I saw George around this time, and he warned me that a race photographer was up ahead, and that I should smile. I tried my best to look like I wasn't dying. I remember smiling and feeling like my upper lip was cracking from it being so chapped.
Between 20 and 23 are pretty much non existent in my memory. I feel like I may have started to get a little confused at this point. I remember thinking that I was on mile 21 during miles 20, 21, 22, and 23. When I realized that I only had a 5k left, I became a little more relaxed.
I knew that I was far from being kicked off the course, so I just kept going. I was running as much as I could, which was very slowly.
With two miles left, I put in my headphones and listened to some music. I picked up my pace from a slow crawl to just a regular crawl. I saw a big giant H and got really excited that it was the Holiday Inn, which meant finish line!
Wrong! It was some hospital. So, I kept going... praying for it to be over. I finally saw the finish line and ran as hard as I could.
I crossed the finish line, and immediately started vomiting. Not just a little "spit up," but any and all of the fluids that I had had sloshing around in my stomach...like projectile vomiting. The poor volunteer went to give me my space blanket as I'm yacking into the grass. I would tell him sorry, and that I was ready for it, and then he would start to give it to me, and I'd turn around and keep vomiting. This probably happened 6-7? times.
He asked me if I needed medical, and I said, "No, I'm fine." <big mistake I went to find George, and he had thankfully missed my barf-tastic finish. I remember seeing him and starting to sob. I was sobbing because I was upset with my time (5:22), I was sobbing because I had wanted to cry the entire time I was running, and I was also sobbing because my body and electrolytes were so f*cked up.
I felt like SERIOUS crap for the next 6-7 hours.
|Immediately after finishing, G helped me change into dry clothes and put me to bed.|
If there's one thing I regret about this race, it's not getting some IV fluids when I finished. For the following hours, I had trouble keeping down clear fluids, super nauseous, dizzy, shaking, my hands swelled and my rings became really tight and uncomfortable. It was not good. Eventually, later that night, I was able to hold down some Sprite and eat some mashed potatoes, but until then I was pretty miserable.
The one thing that I CAN say about this race is that I honestly tried my hardest. At the end of every race, I always think, "I could have run that part harder" or "I should have started out 10 sec/mile faster." This race was honestly the best I could do considering the circumstances.
I really can't wait to do another one and be healthy. I know that if I can do it sick, I certainly can do it healthy and meet my goal. But, for now, I'm going to take it easy and get back running when I feel like it.
All in all, I'm very pleased with how my running has gone so far. In January of this year, George and I were in Hawaii. I tried to run with him, and I couldn't even run a mile without stopping and gasping for air. I was so sick of it, and I decided to make myself into a runner. While the couch to marathon in one year may not sound like the best idea, I've certainly had fun... and to me, that's what it's all about.