Thursday, January 15, 2009

All the Wrong Moves

Note - this gets yucky. Here is my marathon and prep day. Details. Details...
I made all the classic first time marathoner wrong moves for this run. Here is my Saturday (the day before the race):
Woke up with diarrhea and nausea. Ate a half of a blueberry muffin. Took son to kids races. Two hours in the sun and open area of a race track. Direct sun for most of it. Playing and lugging him as well at times. One sip of vitamin water before son decided it was only his. (That was ok, becuase it made me more nauseous.)
Home to hotel for lunch. Half of a turkey sandwich on chibata bread with lettuce. Sips of water.
Nap. Diarrhea. Second half of sandwich. Nausea. Nap. You get the pattern.
Chicken soup - some noodles. Water. Sleep. Water. Sleep. Water. Sleep.

Race Day!
Before race - two slices of turkey. Peice of banana. Nausea.
Start running. Run for the first one and a half miles. It is GREAT! 60 degrees, dark, full moon, Epcot is pretty with the lights. I could go all day.

Mile Five - Diarrhea. Sun is up.

Mile Eight - time to try eating something. (I did take water at EVERY water stop, and PowerAde at roughly every other. Both items made my stomach feel sick for the next ~0.1 miles after taking, but I had to have some.) Peice of banana from my pack.

Mile Ten - Medical Tent has something called BioFreeze. Maybe if I rub it on, it will make the little breeze available feel much cooler. That works!

Mile Twelve - heard Team in Training say to take Caffeine. Took Caffeine Gel. Was GREAT! Make sure next race I have more than one to Try.

Mile Fourteen - Sausage fingers. Do I have to stop at a medical tent to get wedding ring cut off? Run with left hand held higher than heart for a number of miles. See other women doing it as well. Explains the one weirdo I saw doing it at mile Two.

Mile Fifteen - Diarrhea.

Mile Sixteen - Grabbed a Clif Shot, held for another mile, opened and took a lick.

Mile Seventeen - Diarrhea.

Mile Eighteen - Grab another Clif Shot. Hold for a long time.

Mile Nineteen - Family passed a whole water bottle. Drank much more than I thought I would - up to half. Sun HOT.

Mile Twenty - Throw up in mouth. Can't go to the side of the road to throw up - they will kick
me off the course. But, with throw up in mouth - my mouth isn't so dry anymore. Mmm, hydration. Use water stop water to splash face as throw up to rinse it off. People must not notice - I get to keep "running". Someone passes out Free Starburst. Take it and put in mouth. Best candy ever!!! Mile Twenty One - this is the end of the turn around point. Can look back and see that there are few people behind me. There's a bus at the mile marker says, "Parade Bus". Someone says, hey, let's get far away from that bus. So, kick it up a bit to move faster and get away from the bus.

Mile Twenthy One and Something - Sun HOT, nothing in stomach to throw up, no more sausage fingers - wedding ring safe... Left Foot, Right Foot, Left Foot, Right Foot... keep feet on the yellow line. Yellow Line. Yellow Line... Where'd the yellow line go? Over there. I may have blacked out or lost concentration for a second there... Very dizzy, Just slow down and they will pick you up... Someone says, get to MGM (Hollywood) Studios and they won't pull you off the course. MGM just past mile marker 22...

Mile Marker 22 (just before) - BIG Bus at Mile 22. Man with red flag yells, "Five Seconds. You have five seconds to get past this marker." I start to sprint! I can sprint! (Probably didn't look like a sprint.) Woman says, "You have fourty five seconds to get past this point." I am already past it. Bus doesn't get me. Down the hill and turn into MGM.
MGM Entrance - I made it. They won't pull me. I can slow down. SHADE - go through a tunnel and slow more. I should run through the shade, but I need it. If I run, I have less time in the shade.

Somewhere in MGM - (I missed Mile 23) Bicycle pulls up next to me. "How you doing?" She
asks. I start to cry. "I don't care about a medal, I just want to finish." She explains that she is the medic, and won't pull me unless I need medical help. She asks my name and tells me about her. She will go with me all the way to the end if I need it. Another bike comes up and someone says, "Is this it?" She says, "Yes, she's the last." I am happy! I will be Dead Last Finish. My name will have a significant place on the list of finishers. She asks if I am staying at a resort. I tell her, "Pop Century and I take synthroid. It is on my bib." She says she doesn't need to know that unless I am going to faint on her. I say, "No way. But, my dad rented a van." There is a squawk on the radio. Runner down somewhere on the road. I tell her she can go if she has to. I won't be the runner down. She says she is with me to the end. Until I finish. We go past people waiting to cross the running route. People I don't know are yelling, "Go Lois, Go Peanut (my nickname)." You can do it. I am crying and whispering "thank you" to each person. I start to run. Characters are running with me in costume (I wan't running fast.) I make it to the end of MGM. A bike pulls up on the other side of me. He says, "You are 3 and a half minutes off the pace." I say I don't care about a medal, I just want to finish. If you have to pull me, I will go. I probably won't get faster than this." I check the Garmin and I am at 19:30 minutes per mile. It is 6:26, I'm at just under 24 miles on the Garmin, I can't do the math to figure how long after 7:00 hours I will be... I spent the entire race doing the running math. Why can't I figure it out...?
I tell the guy, "please, let me finish. I don't care about a medal." She says something about she won't leave me until they pull me off kicking and screaming. They guys says, "well..."

Just before Mile 24 - marker in sight... Some woman is screaming and crying. Guy puts an orange cone on the path. Biker says, Sorry. That's it. Garmin reads 23.99 miles. There is a small van. The woman ahead of me has been pulled and is screaming that they can't do this. She has time. I hear the click of someone cutting off my chip. The run is really over. I don't know where the medic went - to help the next person in line I hope. I hope they made it. I ask to stand in the shade of the van - since there is a man passed out on the open door to the van, so I can't climb in. I ask for water, and someone gives me one (there is water in the van, but no one is helping me). I text that I am pulled at mile 23.99 but Garmin now says 24.06. A few minutes later, I think to stop the timer. (Could be minutes or seconds. I have no idea.) The woman is still yelling about being pulled. It's not fair to train hard and miss out. The man in the door has moved, so I can climb into the van. I climb over the wheel well to the back of the van. My phone rings. Someone is asking me what it means that I was pulled at 23.99? I say I am in the van. Finally, someone tells the screaming woman that if she doesn't get on the van, they will call security. That explains the state police that were at mile 22... No air conditioning in the van, but no sun either. High for the day: 81 degrees.


Andria said...

Okay, I know you're struggling when you can't do math. I never can, but you're the biggest nerd I know! You must have been out of it :P

I love what a great sense of humor you have about this whole experience. Only gets better from here on out. You are such an inspiratio P!

Tracie said...

So much heart and dedication and motivation in your story. So inspiring. P, there is no doubt in my mind that you will continue to train and continue to run and conitnue to be cancer free.

This was truly inspirint and there are not words for how incredibly proud of you I am - for whatever it may be worth!!!

Hayley said...

Wow, that was incredible to read, because you've had an experience unlike any other. You are so amazing!