Gosh, I’m terribly inconsistent on posts. I promise to get better as I have a wealth to share including a new cleanse (I’m not looking forward to this), thoughts on diet and training details. But, before I get to all that – here’s a race report from last Saturday’s little race.
In 2012 I ran the St. George marathon on severe Achilles tendinitis. I went in having not run for 3 weeks, but pounding out hours on an elliptical. Combine that with not really looking at the course map (except knowing it was a net downhill) and I didn’t have the best race.
But, I praised the organization and beauty of the race and wanted to do it again – right. I knew it was downhill but had a few sneaky hills. I felt OK – not perfect – going in on Saturday, but good enough to have a good race. And, I did. It wasn’t quite what I expected however.
No matter how well, or not well, I’ve trained, I always hope for the Boston qualifying time. It was within reach in this race, but it’d be a stretch.
At 9 miles in, I was on pace, and even at the half marathon – it was a possibility. I felt good at the outset – taking advantage of the downhill, but not going too fast. I started to slow around mile 16, was revived briefly with a bottle of coke handed out by a bystander (why don’t they offer cold coke at aid stations on a marathon???) but by time I reached the top of the small, but notable, hill on 18-19, I knew I was off pace for qualifying in 3:52 (my qualifying time is 3:55, but you need to be about 2-3 minutes faster than your qualifying time to “win” a slot). I still had a shot at a decent time (for me) and plodded along – feeling still relatively good. Of course a marathon hurts, but I knew it was, literally, all downhill from here.
At mile 23, however, I saw out of the corner of my eye, my friend with whom I’d traveled to the race. She’s a faster runner than I and had a faster Boston qualifying time. In fact, she was in no way going to make it given when I found her, so I assumed her walking was a sign of her defeat. I came up beside her and immediately realized she was gasping for air. She was in distress. She carries an inhaler, so I assumed it was asthma – but I couldn’t completely understand her, she wasn’t terribly coherent. I could get that she couldn’t see out of her left eye, but thought she could make it to the next aid station (probably 3/4 mile away or so).
I walked with her, talking to her the whole time, holding onto her back and shoulders – there was no way I was going to leave her, and was ready to call 911 if needed. Bystanders cheered “you got this ladies” “you’re almost there” – I really wanted them to go away – we weren’t at the cheer-able stage. At mile 24, she was dumped in a chair at medical and given O2 and albuterol. Her blood pressure was extremely low. She was definitely not well, so we waited for paramedics who were called, and when they (finally) arrived, they decided to take her to the finish line for an IV (she didn’t want to go to the ER).
By time they’d get her there, I figured I could run and at least finish the race, regardless of my time. I’d bowed out of a marathon in 2015 and took the sag wagon due to hip and back pain – I didn’t want to start a precedent and not finish another race, even for a good reason, if I didn’t have to.
Running after standing around for 30 minutes or so was no joke. My legs hurt, but flushed out a bit after about 1/3 of a mile. I reveled in passing lots of folks in those last few miles – heck, I’d had a rest! I was so excited that I even managed to catch a pacer…the 4:30 pacer, but it was a pacer nonetheless.
So, my time of 4:32 would normally make me sad and feeling defeated. But, I’m proud of it. You never know what a race will bring, and that’s part of the adventure. I wouldn’t change anything (well, except to make my friend be well – we returned to Colorado and turns out she has a case or pericarditis, or for an easy explanation: a virus of the heart – nothing that will cause long term damage).
Onwards. Now to do the Dopey in January at Disney World. Four days of racing with a marathon at the end — sounds like fun to me! I love a spectacle – and the family will have fun too. I have no hopes at a great time, just to have fun. Well, maybe a little piece of me hopes for a great time….
Training will be a little different – more volume and consecutive days than anything else. Looking forward to it.
Leaving St. George…..a beautiful place.