Monday, February 25, 2013

Hyannis Marathon, where I almost drowned...

The race was on, we had made it to Scituate, we had eaten ALL the carbs, game faces were intact and we were ready to get the hell out and run a damn race! I have to give a big thank you to my Aunt Annie, Uncle Bill and obviously, Evan. They housed us and did not care that we pretty much ransacked the place... They fed us SO much food and I drank ALL Bill's beer (after the race...) Love you guys!

                                                The world knows not to mess with US...

We awoke close to 5, planning to arrive in Hyannis around 8:30. Though the rain had let up for quite a while during the night it was back in full force. Absolutely down pouring in a most apocalyptic fashion. 
Even though I was significantly more nervous than I had expected to be I ate two breakfasts (after years of competition I don't worry about nerves- they do not affect my performance but are a nuisance!) Evan and Eric looked pretty calm and we managed to get our acts together and hit the road right on time. The rain continued to come down in buckets. It was cold- around 40 and we had heard that it was going to become progressively colder and windier. I can honestly say that despite the fact that the weather was pure shit none of us were letting it get to us. You can't change the weather but it doesn't help to cry about it! 
We arrived to a pretty quiet expo (which did not last long!) registration was easy and well run and it was nice and warm inside.We were able to meet up with some awesome new blogger/twitter friends. I love meeting people from the internets in real life so this was great!
Hello Carpe Diem Crystal,  Couch to Ironwoman and friends!
Way to rock it out in your FIRST marathon, and Sherpa/relay :-)
We loved meeting you guys!
The race started right on time, it was a big congested crowd at the start but that's to be expected in a fairly big race in a not-so-large town. I was pretty much stop and go for the first mile but was cool with getting off to a calm start. It still clocked in at 8:15 so all was well. At mile 2, despite the steady rain I pulled off a layer of disposable clothing. GOOD BYE "First Run" shirt from 2011...For the first half of the race I was right on target and running a super steady, totally maintainable pace which felt terrific. I followed my nutrition and hydration plans perfectly and really felt good. The weather did not feel good but I was trying my best to avoid thinking about it, and to avoid drowning in gigantic road covering ankle deep puddles or the equally bad mud pits (that we ran thru to avoid the puddles? good choice?) 
At mile 13 things became a bit interesting. I had noticed my legs getting cold at mile 10 and at mile 13  I was basically brought to a halt as my right hip cramped up to the point that I inadvertently exclaimed out loud. I eased up for a little bit and gave consideration to calling it a day at the Half. I hadn't come to run a half though and decided to run a couple more miles and see if it worked out. I had, at this point made it to the halfway point in 1:45. Right on target.I had no choice but to ease up for a couple miles to let the cramp work out. I felt like I had enough gas in the tank to be able to accelerate with little to no difficulty once I felt better. Around mile 15 I tried speeding back up to the 7:50ish pace that I had been consistent at and found that it was close to impossible. My cramp returned forcefully but when I eased back (to 8:30) it went away.Trying to do math in one's head isn't easy in real life much less at mile 16 or so. I knew I had a few minutes to play around with. I also knew that the weather had become much worse, the rain was coming down hard and cold and the wind had picked up miserably. And I was getting cold. VERY cold. At mile 20, with cramps now in my hamstring, hip and foot, so much water in my eyes that I couldn't see, mud in my shoes and so cold I couldn't feel my hands, feet or face I just had to LAUGH. Because what else can you do? I basically said, screw it. I don't have great legs to run on at this point but I'm gonna finish this damn marathon strong. This, for the first time in my short marathon career actually made me think that I've got the balls to do this shit. I ran my first marathon on pure adrenaline, my second on a day of good luck that my training did NOT account for and now this- less than ideal conditions but on a day where I really fell back on the fact that I trusted my training. I went to the bad ass place in my head, blocked out any bummed out feelings I wanted to have about seeing my pace fall off a cliff, I manned the fuck up and ran my damn best. And honestly, despite the fact that each step was basically brutal for the last 4 miles I kept it around 8:30's, thanked every suffering volunteer and knew that in each DAMN STEP I was giving 100%. 
                                         Finishing with encouragement from a stranger.
I've never hurt so badly in my life.. Did I BQ? Hells no. Did I totally crash and burn? HELLS NO. 3:38:08. Awfully damn close but not a heartbreaker. I ran my best. I could not have done anything better under the truly horrid conditions. I have NEVER run a race in worse weather (and I hope that I never do again...) To my friends who ran MDI last year- THIS race made that one look like a dry sunny day... 
Evan found me at the finish. He had rocked is first Half ever in 1:54 so had been getting warm for quite a while... He was able to get a pic of me finishing and then had to listen to me try to talk- between being very tired and having a terribly frozen face my words were poor. The poor kid had to help me out of my number, shoes, gloves as I was a worthless box of rocks. I paid up the $20 for a shower and in the time it took me to struggle out of my dripping wet clothing developed wracking chills. Gross. since the shower wasn't that warm the shakes continued, literally rattling my brain (not that it made any difference to my mental state, haha!) I ended up jumping into the 200 degree steam room and it saved my life. Unfortunately, this whole process took so long that I straight up missed Eric's finish....

Eric finished strong. REALLY strong. 3:56:31

I was so bummed to miss his finish that I kinda cried the whole way as I showed him how to find the gym and showers.  Luckily, Evan had seen him finish, let him know that I was alive and snagged that picture too! Eric ran a kick ass race but he's going to write a whole guest-blog post about it this week!
Needless to say I was really proud. His training has been solid and I knew he could do it- but it was such a shit day that the variables kind of take over. 
Evan and I waited around for Eric to thaw and we had a big race recap. The poor kid had been sick for weeks, a horrible cold, bronchitis, tons of antibiotics and next to no running. He did a hell of a good job and I can't wait to see what he can run healthy and trained. He's gonna be solid...
We moseyed on out after a bit, demanded that Evan chauffeur us back to Scituate where we demanded that Bill buy us Pizza and make us snacks. Heehee!
We proceeded to fall onto the couch and watch a strange hodgepodge of Game Of Thrones, 60 minutes and the Oscars. Good times! 
Then we ate ALL the Advil and went to sleep. The End!

Our typical post race winners picture.
Great race you guys!


  1. Great job to all three of you!! It was so nice to meet you all, will you be at MDI this year? Mike and I are running it!

    1. YES! MDI is THE BEST :-) Can't wait to meet again and awesome job!

  2. I totally understand how it feels at mile 16, 18, or 20 when you just have to decide to finish and throw your time goal away. Good work! And that SUCKS that the $20 shower wasn't even hot, but the steam room sounds amazing! Way to go. Not many people would have continued after 3 hours in pouring rain.

    1. Thanks so much- I'm really glad I finished. I actually see it as a huge confidence boost! :-)

  3. great running on what was a really terrible day. it was good to see you guys!

  4. My God, girl! You can now officially do pretty much anything. What courage, huge balls, and sense of "fuck no, I won't quit" you have! Congrats on proving that even in the worst of conditions we can all strive to do our best.

    I think a vaca someplace warm should be a must after Boston for you. I would still feel like a popsicle inside if I ran that race!

  5. I can't imagine 26.2 in that. I did 13.1 in the pouring rain and I can't believe I survived. IT WAS HORRIBLE!! The next one can't be worse :)

  6. Epic race! Congrats! I probably would have whimped out and stayed in bed. You definitely have more balls than me!

  7. Almost drowned?! That happened at MDI...sheesh! I'm glad you got to run the race and it looks like you ran strong. Don't tell Eric (actually, you probably will so whatever) but I secretly hate him for going sub-4 in his first marathon when I have run 5, yes FIVE and am still 1 minute and 6 stupid seconds from breaking 4 hours.

    Umm you should still come run DC Rock & Roll =)

  8. Congrats to all of you in such horrendous conditions. I done halves in freezing rain but not a full. Yikes.

  9. I cannot imagine running in those conditions! That is an impressive time with all you had to deal with. Just think how strong you will be on a good weather race day.

  10. These are the kind of races/moments that my husband would refer to me as "Gutsy". So to you, I say...

    Way to gut it out and OWN that ridiculous race!!! You finished and you finished in a terrific time. Awesome. Pure awesomeness :)