Finding the words to write this post was difficult. I guess the best place to start is the beginning.
Sunday morning I woke up at 5am to get ready, eat breakfast and head off to the start line. It had been raining on and off all night but thankfully let up as I was getting ready. My parents wished me good luck and sent me off to the race...alone.
After picking up my timing chip, I headed to the start and found some friends that I knew. I was hoping to see Rebecca, a friend from my running group and I actually turned around and she was right there. We walked to the start together and waited for the race to begin.
We did a lot of weaving around people as it was quite congested and after mile 1 we settled into a good pace. It started to lightly rain as we continued on to mile 2 and 3. I felt good as we ran along. After mile three, we made a right turn and went straight up a hill. I worked to stay with Rebecca, my right hip began to ache and once we reached the top of the hill, I hoped my breathing would go back to normal. I worried that I was slowing her down and just wanted to stay with her so I would have a buddy for the race.
Halfway through mile 4 we started a long gradual incline and I just couldn't keep up. The distance between Rebecca and I started to get bigger and I just tried to keep her in sight. I knew this was going to be a long race as I hadn't even reached mile 5.
I pushed on and told myself that once I reached mile 7, I could walk. I felt extremely slow especially as more and more people began to pass me. I just kept telling myself to get to mile 7 and then I could stop.
As we came into the water stop around mile 7, I stepped off the course, ate a gel and drank from my hand held. I knew I was already half way done and saw that my time goal of 8 min/mile was slipping away.
I continued on, having moments when I felt great and then moments when I just wanted to walk. It was a constant mental struggle to keep going. I started walking through the water stops, drinking Gatorade, hoping that it would give me some energy to pick up the pace.
Miles 8 and 9 just slogged together as I tried to keep it together. Runners kept passing me and I felt like I was going so slow, I just couldn't pick up the pace. By the time I reached mile 11, I tried to tell myself that I just had 2 miles left. It didn't seem like a long way to go, but my legs were not happy. My right hip continued to ache and my knees were beginning to hurt. I was hurting in places I had never hurt before plus I was feeling the cramps in my stomach on both sides!
Reaching mile 12 felt good, but I still couldn't see the stadium where the finish line was so I had no real sense of the distance. As I continued on, a spectator said only 0.1 as I must have missed the mile 13 maker. I just kept running, hoping that I would come in at 1:52.
Rounding the turn and coming into the finish line, I heard the announcer saying my name and I didn't want to hear it. I just wanted to sit down and hide. I saw the clock and it said 1:52:XX. A volunteer gave me a medal and took off my chip. I grabbed some water and search to see if Brian had come to the race.
My legs were in a lot of pain and I tried to sit down, but my right hip cramped up so I stood back up. I grabbed a banana, more Gatorade and walked to my car. I drove myself home in a daze of disappointment and amazement that I had just run 13 horrible miles of torture.
Once I reached home, I immediately took off my soaking clothes and showered. Then I made my way to the couch to lay down. My stomach was feeling horrible and continued to get worse. I started to sweat and was extremely hot. I started to gag and then threw up the contents of my stomach.
I called Brian who had been at a bachelor party the night before and so I had told him to not try and make it to the race but was still maybe hoping that he had. He came over and thought I had a fever so he drove me to the immediate care center down the road. We waited only a few short minutes before seeing the doctor where they tested my urine, took my blood sugar, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Nothing seemed unusual except my high pulse and the doctor said my urine showed I was decently hydrated for just running a race.
I had begun to feel better but the doctor still gave me anti-nausea medicine and told me he thought I didn't have enough salt/sodium to absorb the water I had drank on Saturday and then during the race.
The rest of the day was a daze as the medicine made me drowsy and I ended up sleeping 12 hours straight. It all seems so far away now and completely fuzzy. The only thing that reminds me that I actually ran the race is my sore quads.
Overall it was a pretty devastating race and I was very upset at having mentally and physically quit on myself only a few miles into the race. The only thing I can assume is that I was not prepared for the race and didn't have enough experience with the longer distances. It is scary about what happened after the race and that I have had similar symptoms although less severe after the Boilermaker 15k this year.
Today (Tuesday) I am doing well. Glad to have the race behind me and looking forward to a break from running for a bit. It just seems like I need to take a step back.
Thanks for reading.