So, it's been almost two weeks since my marathon. What can I say; I've been in a sugar and beer coma and just haven't had time to write about my marathon. I would really just rather wallow in my beer, but people have been asking about my race report. Soooo, here we go.
Ok….this is long, so for some of you, here’s the short version: I had really bad stomach issues, but it was one of the best freaking days of my life!!
Or, for those of you who are really bored:
Marathon morning, I got up at the most lovely hour of 3:30 a.m., so I could be on the bus that would take us up the canyon by 4:15. My nerves were already screaming and I struggled to take in a banana and some dry cereal.
At 4:15, my husband dropped me off at the bus depot and I walked around until I saw Beth and we loaded the bus. She was a bundle of nerves too and I am so thankful that we were able to ride up to the canyon together, I would have probably been much worse off had she not been there. We sat there talking quietly until the girl in the seat behind us barfed up her breakfast. I was totally done after that. I sat there in my seat trying to hold in my Wheaties Fuel for the remainder of the ride.
We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere in this totally gorgeous canyon; we looked around in awe and then made a beeline for the potties. I dropped a load that could have competed with an elephant and felt really bad for the sorry sucker who went in after me. I should have known right then that my tummy was not going to cooperate. We heard the words “Five minutes to start!” and we lined up. Beth and I hugged, cried, and wished each other well in our races. I knew she would do well, hell the girl was in a cheetah skirt!!
“Runners on your mark! Get set! GO!”
It was a beautiful morning and I really just tried to relax and take it all in. At the mile two aide station, I tried to take a gel and a little water since I wasn’t able to before the race and my stomach rejected it and I threw up on the side of the road. Don’t worry; I managed to save my shoes. I felt pretty defeated, how in the hell was I going to run a race when my stomach was in knots at MILE TWO!
I managed to smile for a lot of my photos, but the camera caught a couple moments of pain when I wasn't looking. Check out those chicken wangs. Don't tell anyone that I stole these photos.
I told myself to calm down. I had the normal pre race jitters and fear over whether I would be able to complete that daunting 26.2 distance and make my time goal, but I was more nervous about the fact that my 6 months treatment on blood thinners was complete. My hematologist had taken me off of my blood thinners just two weeks before the race and I had been freaking out all week. I was scared to death that I would have clotting issues again and while I knew that running would not cause a clot, running would release it a clot if I had one. Then, three days before the marathon I had tight painful calves and they did an ultrasound on my legs. Nothing.
I think I might puke.
Sometimes the mind plays horrible tricks on you.
After the puke, I sort of gave myself permission to let my time goal go and just run and yet by mile 13.1, I was still on track to come in at 4 hours, but I knew that I had to eat something to keep my energy up. I tried to take in some HEED energy replacement at the next aide station and I walked a little to keep it down. It did!! However, I was in the shitter again by mile 15. Bummer.
Miles kept flying by and I was now hopeful that I would finish. I had been trying to take a little bit of HEED in at every aide station and I also knew that Jill was meeting me at mile 19!!! The thought of a friendly face kept me going!
Then came that long hill at mile 19. I mean, where the hell, did this thing come from?!?!! At the top of the hill was Jill! She had her camera, so I smiled for a picture and then I started to cry. She gave me a huge hug and I told her how bad my stomach felt. She did her best to console me and told me that my husband was waiting at mile 20 and he had some oranges that she had cut up for me that morning.
Climbing up that damn hill at mile 19!
I came across mile 20 at 3:08:27. Slightly off my goal time, but at this point, I DIDN”T CARE, I was ready to be done. I stopped and posed for a picture with Rick and Jill started shoving oranges in my mouth. They tasted sweet and good and they stayed down, so I had more.
Not sure why I am running like that. Delirium?
The next six miles were hard. I was getting really dehydrated and Jill was forcing me to stop at every aide station to take in some water and HEED. I would walk until I knew it would stay down and then start going again. Bless that woman.
At one point, she started talking about some Tuesday night interval training that she had just started and asked me if I wanted to join her. WHAT? I told her I didn’t even want to think about speedwork at that point! What’s wrong with you woman!!
This is my "screw it, I'm walking photo"
By mile 24, I was still horribly nauseous, but I was starting to feel the exhilaration of the fact that there were only two more miles and I was about to finish my first marathon (and I hadn’t killed myself with a blood clot!)!!
At mile 26, we rounded the corner and left the trail and came out into the town of Fort Collins. My husband was standing there with a huge sign that read “Way to go Tara” (thanks Jill, for making me those signs) and I could see the finish line. I handed Jill a few things and I ran up to the finish.
The crowd was cheering and I was so overcome with emotion that I broke down and I started crying. What an awesome feeling; I had almost finished my first marathon!
Like I said, I have never before experienced such raw emotion as I did running up to that finish line. I had been stripped away that day and at one point had serious doubts about whether I would have to quit. It was so nice to push back all of those nasty negative thoughts and say “I DID IT!”
I crossed the finish line and threw my hands in the air with a HUGE smile on my face. The announcer said: “You aren’t supposed to look that good after crossing the finish line of a marathon! Can you give me a push up?” I of course dropped and gave him a push up.
Tara and Jill. Jill Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Tara and Rick
I collected my medal and hugged Jill and Rick. Chip time was 4:15:27. I had officially become a marathoner that day!!
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