Saturday, July 28, 2012

Around The Lake Marathon: Am I Boston Bound?


Hard to believe that it was only 24 hours ago that we (Danielle and I) embarked on our Marathon adventure.
For me, things got off to an inauspicious start, as I locked my keys, phone and purse in my car at a gas station. This required a bit of futtering around as I trolled around for a phone to borrow and a lock-out service to come to my rescue. I was, in due time, able to get on my way and hoped that this was a sign that the drama was out of the way. It also confirmed that I'm a bit of an idiot...
All of us arrived at a very decent hour and proceeded to become very bored and jittery (oh, that was just me?) Luckily Eric was there to capture our bored moments.  

We are very intimidating runners in HUGE shirts.
I wish for shirts that fit.

Stylish. No foolin'.
I have pants on for REALZ.

Pre Race. We were still able to smile and laugh and function at this point.

So many fans, so little time...
This is what you do when you have 3 hours to kill.
Update Facebook 300 times...

We had a legit tailgate party!
Well. Our support team did, as we struggled and suffered for our insane sport...

My cousins came to watch and brought me a FANTASTIC sign.
ER. MA! GERD!!!! Is all I have to say.

As time wore on we tried to snack, hydrate and use the porta potties a million times. I was nervous but feeling like my non-plan-plan was going to serve me well. My "plan" was to run at what felt like an steady pace, not pushing it too hard 10K style but to try to keep it moving along with that 8:12 pace in mind. I knew that given the 90% humidity this might be tough but I felt like it was a reasonable way to head out. Per the norm, my nutrition plan left something to be desired but I knew that at certain laps I could expect to snag certain food items at certain times from my epic support squad.

And we were finally OFF!!

Lap one felt good. Really good. I was a little tight in my shins but otherwise felt really comfortable and like I was keeping a steady and reasonable pace. And yes, reasonable pace is subject to opinion...

You can tell that this is early on because I'm busting out the Jazz hands and showboating like a geek. These behaviors ceased around the 13.1 mile mark or so...

Danielle after a couple laps with her SUPER TALL hubs.
Her faces always are excellent.
And her hair always looks perfect, GAHD!!!

For me, the race was a pretty steady and normal feeling workout for the first 9 miles or so. At that point darkness took over and that presented a minor challenge. My legs continued to feel good, my silly stomach was behaving for the most part (15 second port a pottie break at the 1/2 way mark) and I was feeling very happy to make it to the 13.1 in 1:44. I was getting progressively more tired though, and was VERY glad when Eric confirmed that I was indeed halfway there.
I knew that the final 4 laps were going to be tough. It was dark, humid and there were creepy clouds of tiny bugs that were getting stuck to my sweaty face. Yuck.

Just before darkness took over.
Helloooo leg muscles.
After this picture taking got a bit tricky...

Despite the minor factors of buggy darkness, and the ever growing feeling that a blister was forming on the bottom of my right foot all still felt ok as I ran in for mile 17-ish. I had more or less lost my ability to form a coherent sentence at this point so was communicating with ridiculous grunts or monosyllabic un-helpful words. Excellent.... My ipod had shit the bed. I was wondering how Danielle was doing but had asked for a status update around the 10 mile mark and was told that she was doing well!

Then.... With two laps to go.... I got EFFING EXHAUSTED. My poor little brain checked out. I wanted nothing more than to stop, sit down, sob, and go to bed. This was not a good way to be feeling with a 10k still left to go and I expressed my feelings to Eric with a slightly teary "I JUST... WANT... TO... BE... DONE!!!!" as I ran by, like a little cry baby. Luckily he responded with a "you've got this! you're flying! you're just having a rough patch and you'll work through it!" Which I thought was completely logical and well reasoned so I manned up and got on with things. Jeesh, me and my fussing and whining!

This is the best tweet ever.
And so factual!!

I continued to slog along, slapping my feet down laboriously but knowing that I had a tiny bit of time to play with. ....tiny being the key word.... Coming in under the clock for my last lap I saw that I had 30 minutes to finish in order to snag a BQ and I thought that was totally manageable.
What I did not account for was the epic, projectile vomiting that I would have to stop to do at mile 25.5. NO SHIT. With the finish line almost in viewable distance I was flat on my face, hurling up a ton of water and energy drink onto a poor unsuspecting tree. As soon as the retching passed I jumped up to run again and after 3 steps was struck with the voms AGAIN. BADLY. It took me a minute to get back up this time... I lost a couple, if not a few minutes in this disgusting episode of "what did I eat/drink today..."
When I got back out on the road I gave myself a huge mental shake. I decided that I felt alright, I still cared enough to go for it and that I was going to run like hell. Which I tried my best to do..
And I ran under the clock in 3:34:10 (still unofficial. but whatever!)

I expected to feel thrilled, emotional, and like all my efforts and hard work had paid off.
Honestly? All I could do was stand there, with poor Eric basically holding me and my vomity self up as I went on repeat with "I. Am. So. Tired." while sniffling a little, feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted beyond all effing reason.
I was led/guided/possibly carried back to the tailgating area, sat down, un shod (and my feet cramped up in the most painful way possible causing the salt pills to be passed around...) I drank some water. Took off ALL my sweaty clothing in a stunning display of parking lot nakedness. I threw up AGAIN  all over my feet and some shrubs... I might have visited the medical tent really quick...
Danielle ran in right before I hurled all over the world looking like she wanted to do the same. Instead of being a good friend and asking how she had done I just sat there and kinda waved at her a little, while she lay on the pavement and wished for death to come.
It was a bit of a messy way to spend the evening.
Fast forward to the next morning.
Or 4 hours later since this was a 7PM marathon 2 hours away from home...
Ice bath!

I woke up this morning and was much more excited about my successful finish and feeling an awfully lot better. I ate pancakes. Tried to walk around. Took an ice bath (hate.) The good news is that I was coherent enough to be pretty damn happy about my results.
Danielle and I might have texted a few times about out imminent retirement from all things running none the less, but the wheels were more or less back on my bus.

So, to sum it up: BQ BABY! If my BQ time gets me in, I'll be there ready to roll in April.
I felt like it was a solid first Marathon effort, definitely some things that I need to work on but I have time.
I'm going to take a little running break for the next few days to heal and rest the old legs then I'll be moving on to the next big thing.

So... Thank you all! Thanks to my friends, family, ringers of cowbells, makers of signs, passers of water bottles, and ALL of you who gave me encouraging words, texts, and tweets yesterday. Every little bit of support helped me to keep moving when things got tough (and tough they got, it was NOT all unicorns and sunshine!) I don't have the words to thank all of you as meaningfully as I wish to but know that I thought of all of you out there on that long, dark course during the highs and the lows. Thank you for the well timed pep talks, the sherpa skills, for pushing me when I wanted to stop and for being there...
This has been a long road. I'm so happy that I met my goal and it took all of you to get me here!


  1. Just read this out loud at the dinner table to the family!! Even the vom part... We are all very excited to hear of your qualifying time and can't wait to watch you in Boston!!!

  2. I can't wait to watch you in Boston wearing Blue!! I will NOT be watching the horses that day I will be in B-town!!

  3. Wahoo! Congratulations! I had a feeling that you would qualify for Boston! I just hope it's not another 90 degree day! I look forward to reading about your runs through the winter. Let's hope it's another mild winter! :-) Congratulations again!

  4. Congrats! I did this one last year and vomited the whole way home. :) See you in Boston!

  5. YAY!!! This is the best ever! (no shit talking from me today).....:-)

  6. Congrats on the BQ!!!! That is terrific!

  7. Sending you lots of super hard hugs and very very happy for you! I am so sorry you had to puke. Must have been all those bugs you inhaled while you were running like the freakin' wind! Congrats!!!

  8. Wow, that is awesome! BQ? You rock! So happy for you!

  9. Having done the 5K around the lake previously, I know that course......I'm so happy for you for nailing a BQ in a night-time run! WOW!!!!

  10. ahhh congrats! that bq means even more with the vom part, I say. Go celebrate, you are a freaking marathoner!

  11. THIS IS SO AWESOME! Congratulations, you are a rock star!

  12. Amazing! Congrats! BTW LOVE your blog!!!

  13. Way to go on getting your BQ!!! You literally blew by me while I was running the Ultra. Vomiting during a marathon is awesome, remind me to tell you my Boston Marathon story.