Friday, May 21, 2010

Colorado Marathon - Finally That Darn Race Report.

After the race with my medal and compression tights.

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!!

Don't forget to enter my Silver Maple gift certificate giveaway here!


Erin said...

Congrats again on dominating your first marathon!!! So Proud! I'm so sorry to hear about those nasty stomach issues you were having... what a drag! But even with all that pain and a few walk breaks, you STILL ran sub 4:20 -- that's amazing! Go you!

Anonymous said...

OMG! Amazing! I'm so proud of you. I don't even think in a million years I could do something like that. I started crying just reading your blog. Must run in the family :) GO TARA!

ShutUpandRun said...

Tears in my eyes!! So proud of you. SO so proud of you. Despite all those challenges, you did it and did it strong. What an inspiration! Glad I got to be there at the start to cheer you on (or cry in my water bottle).

Whitney said...

Pregnant people should NOT read your report while eating lunch. :(

But congrats on your first marathon!!!

Anna said...

Oh yeah, I was totally blog stalking for your race report.. it's about time! Seriously, YOU DID IT! You are downright amazing. Glad to know I wasn't the only one having puking problems. :)

Slomohusky said...

Fun. Great report and I think one of my favorites I have read of late. Can I borrow Jill for my first in 14 years at SF. Oh - wait - she will be there. The come and join me for some speed work had my laughing.

Congrats Tara! Well deserved Coma.

Morgan said...

Great recap girl! I'm glad you made the most of it despite the tummy troubles! You are a hero to us all and I'm so happy and proud of you! Congrats girl!!!

Molly said...

I am so effin' proud of you!!

What the heck happened with your stomach?? Do you think it was just massive nerves and worry over everything?

Way to go Girl, great photos, great recap, you managed to make me laugh and get choked up at the same time.


Julie said...

Hi Tara,
This was such a great race report! It was hard not to get emotional reading this because of how hard I know you worked to get here! You did amazing and I am so proud of you:) You finished strong and had an awesome time. I think it is wonderful that Jill was there for you! God, you both look fantastic...I want your leg muscles...looking good:) I also enjoyed the pictures!

Happy weekend girl:)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Awesome race report! I love that you pushed through and you still did awesome!! I have stomach issues after a lot of my runs and I can't imagine running with that kind of discomfort, so you totally rock!

kilax said...

Wow! You are hardcore - running the whole marathon AND doing a pushup? I might not have gotten back up ;)

It is truly inspiring that you stuck with it despite the stomach issues.


Tara said...

Thank you so much everyone.

Julie-Yes, Jill is just the sweetest friend EVER for helping me out like she did. She's such a wonderful person!

Jill said...

Let's see, I went from "Bless that woman" to "what's wrong with you woman" in one paragraph. Hum. Well girl, no matter cuz I'm so super proud of you NO MATTER WHAT was spewing out of your mouth at the time ... I was filled with emotion, there was nothing I'd rather of been doing that morning (despite the fact I had to get up at *ahem* 5a.m. - haha) than to be there shoving orange slices down your throat!! Congrats again, girl. Next week for sure we'll swim laps and drink some much-needed beer. Maybe even a piece of pie?? :) HUGS to my favorite first-time marathoner!!

Jamie said...

Congrats again marathoner! Way to overcome such problems!!! When so many would have stopped you kept on going and finished so strong! Great report - it had me tearing up at the end :)

ajh said...

A pushup at the end of the marathon! You are unreal! Nice pics!

Anne said...

Amazing!! What a great race report! You did it...overcoming the obstacles along the are definitely an inspiration!

Jennifer said...

Gosh girl you look so good, who would every know you felt like crap for most of the run! I guess from now on your marathons will only feel better. You sure did kick butt, good for you, you deserve to cry at the line, you crushed the odds! Cheers!

kristen said...

Great job Tara. You shouldn't have a time goal for the first one anyways! You did awesome. I couldn't imagine puking at mile TWO. With so far to go, you rocked it out. Congratualtions!!!

kristen said...

p.s. you are the luckiest marathoner ever to have someone run the last 6 miles with you. Those are the loneliest hardest miles of a marathon. you owe that woman! :)

Meg said...

FUN, fun, fun TARA! You never forget the first marathon and you NEVER stop tearing up and even crying a little at every single one. Such an accomplishment! I loved the pictures and your determined looks! Yeah for Jill stepping in during those last miles, what a race-saver! Keep enjoying your induced mental state :) !

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

You're a natural! 4:15 for your first and with tummy issues. Awesome! congrats!

Jamoosh said...

Finally that darn excellent race report. Great job!

HappyTrails said...

Awesome, Tara! Thanks for FINALLY sharing a great race report - I am happy right along with you! And I second the Bless That Woman Jill - I bet you feel incredibly blessed to have a wonderful friend like her to encourage you on - great job both of you!

Jenn said...

Great race report! Loved reading it! I had my first race with major stomach issues this weekend and I tell you I feel your pain and WAY to persevere!! Great Job!

SeeGirlRun said...

Way to go! Man - you rock! You kept going even though you had "issues" and you didn't quit. Not only did you not quit, you ROCKED! I am SO impressed. 26.2 miles and you really looked strong in your pictures. Well, except for that one. But you were probably distracted by something. A marathon maybe?

Woo hoo!!!


aron said...

great race report and awesome race lady!!! you did amazing especially considering those stomach issues! CONGRATS again marathoner :)

celmore said...

Congrats on an amazing first marathon!!! You rock.

Sammie Girl said...

You made me well up with tears! The drop off in the middle of nowhere is so beautiful! Their quantity of port-a-potties have, luckily, grown over the past couple of years. Hope you figure out what upset your stomach (girl puking, I am sure, didn’t help!).
All I can really say is WAY TO GO! You did an awesome job (and it is about time you posted the report!!!!! :D)

Maggie B said...

So happy for you! I was about to cry reading your recap. Super congrats again!

Ulyana said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Awesome job, awesome time. I'm so glad you got to do a marathon!!! especially after the lung thing. GOOD JOB!

Katie A. said...

Hey marathoner! How'd I miss this??

What a great recap! It's scary, you and I are more alike all the time! First, both CPA/accountant nerds, love to run, puke while running, use the shitter a ton during marathons, scam Jill into helping us finish said marthon, and look like a million bucks when we finally cross the line!!! Hahahaha!

You did amazing out there! I am so excited to call you a marthoner! You trained hard, ran hard and finished with a smile on your face! Can't wait to see you in August :)

P.S. Can't believe I didn't win your stupid giveaway - sheesh! J/K

Keri said...

Yay! You are a super strong girl! Look at you getting sick at mile two and still having an awesome time! You rock!

argonaut said...

Hello Ma'am Congratulations on you marathon, looking at your pictures made me miss Colorado...

Running Diva Mom said...

CONGRATS!! If you do chicago (like our sidebars says), you will love it. I ran it in 2008 and it was an amazing experience.

Just found your blog and am looking forward to following your journey! :-)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Congrats on becoming a marathoner, tough, but you did it... and no one can take that away from you! Amazing!! :)

Sabrina Hayes said...

Wow! Just.... Wow!
I hope to have a similar story some day. I am training for my first Half in October.

If I can do the Half in the time that you did the Full, I will consider myself a HUGE success. Congratulations!!!!

Becka said...

4:15 is an amazing finish time for someone who says that are not "fast" - :D

congratulations on your marathon finish, I still have my first looming.