Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fort Worth Marathon

I've thought for several days about what happened and how to best express my experience. When you decide to sign up for a race - any race - you train for months and months in all kinds of weather, moods, energy levels, etc. If you've been a runner for any length of time at all, you know that some days you feel unstoppable and are a rockstar and other days are just sluggish or crappy for whatever reason. Your hope is that on race day it all comes together and you get great weather and have a great run. For me at this marathon, it didn't come together.

It just wasn't my day.

First of all, the weather was not great. 70 degrees and 98% humidity for the first 17 miles of the race. Not to mention the 30 mph sustained winds with 40 mph gusts coming from the south which happened to be the direction we were running the first half of the race.

me and my dad.

Note the craziness of the hair with the wind blowing.

Teresa was our picture taker (I'm waiting on more pics from her) and she also ran the last 6 with me!!!!

So I started and immediately I didn't feel right. My breathing was off and I had a side cramp right from the get-go. At about mile 5 I decided to check my heart rate (my pace was perfect so far) and was shocked to see it up at 185!!!! I decided right then that I needed to bring it back down so I walked every water stop until the end of the race. I would walk until I got it to 170 and then start going again. it would shoot back to 179 within 30 seconds but I couldn't walk the whole race, I just tried to keep moving.

By mile 9 I knew that I would make none of my time goals and that I didn't care anymore. The goal was to finish and not be those 2 people I saw laying on the ground with 5 EMT people around them. I had been drinking 2-3 cups of water at every stop and could not quench my thirst.

By mile 10 I was cursing the wind that was making it so hard to move forward.

By mile 13 I was rejoicing that I was halfway done and the wind would now be at my back. Only 7 more miles until I saw Teresa.

At mile 15, the water stops had run out of cups so instead of walking through I had to stop and pour water into my mouth from gallon jugs.

Mile 17. FINALLY the wind shifted and the temperature dropped 15 degrees in 5 minutes and it started to rain. My heart rate went below 175 while I was moving for the first time the whole race. The relief only lasted a mile because by then my legs were shot. The depth of pain and knowing your muscles are going to cramp at any second if you aren't careful is just excruciating. 

Mile 20 - Teresa. Being excited to see her was combined with the frustration that in my 20 mile training run 3 weeks ago I finished in 3:24. I reached mile 20 in the race in 3:48. In case you are horrible at math, that's 24 minutes slower than I have gone already. That's more than a minute/mile slower. Obviously I was not having a good race.

At mile 22 there was a man handing out candy and things to the runners and he had a full ice cold water bottle that he gave to me and it was a life saver!!! I didn't have to stop at the water stops anymore!!! It is so hard to stop when you hurt like that and you are limping to get going again. 

Mile 25 Teresa left me to cut across a field to take pictures of me at the finish line. It was pure torture to keep going.

Mile 26, I knew I only had .2 left so I lengthened my stride while trying to not cry. mustered up a 9:30 pace for that last little bit.

finish line. I've never been so relieved in my life.

4 hours 58 minutes.

I did the best I could with what I was given and left it all on the race course. You can't ask anyone to do any better than that, no matter how slow they are.

My dad came through about 50 minutes later.

He is proof that you can run a marathon without training for it. Crazysauce, that one.

The aftermath:

I started throwing up about an hour after the race. I didn't stop until about 6 hours later. I could keep NOTHING down. not water, pepto bismol, nothing. I felt like I was dying. Talk about overexertion. 

FINALLY I felt better and we went to eat at Abuelo's. so delicious.

What next?

My dad has decided that he wants to run NYC Marathon in 2015. I said ok.
But for now? Heal my feet and then work on speed.

I did a marathon, y'all.


Amy said...

Sorry that the race wasn't what you expected or wanted out of it. I know that must've been a bit disappointing. As a reader of your blog I think you did awesome to even do a marathon! I'm proud you kept going and got your belt buckle, it is awesome! You can only go up from here!

A.J. Dub. (Amy) said...

I agree with Amy! and YEAH!!! YOU DID A MARATHON!!!!!

A Mormon Mommy said...

YOU.DID.A.MARATHON!! You are my hero! From not running to doing a Marathon...that's pretty amazing!