Monday, October 26, 2015

St George Marathon 2015

The first Saturday in October was the big event that I have been struggling to train for all summer. Between kids, work, my hip injury flaring up occasionally and my demanding graduate school program I was not able to train as much as I would have liked. I still managed to do my long runs almost every weekend and cross-trained at least a few days every week.
 Four weeks before the marathon I did a twenty mile run and I felt really good. The following week I came down with a cold so I scaled way back on my training, trying to give my body time to recover. The day before the marathon I woke up feeling worse than ever so I took it easy and drank lots of fluids.
 The morning of the marathon I woke up at three and I felt ok, not amazing, but not bad so I decided to go for it. My sister-in-law and I headed to the starting line together, and hung out around the
campfires while we waited for the race to start.
 Usually it takes a few miles for my legs to get warmed up and get in the groove. After that, the running gets fun. That never happened. I never felt able to kick into gear. Almost every stinking mile was miserable. It was so frustrating to see people around me walking faster than I could run.
 Around mile 8 my knees started hurting. Around mile 19 my ovaries started wigging out (It's a thing they do a few times a year, treatment is worse than dealing with it.) and I cried silent tears when the pains would hit. I kept pushing because I wanted the thing to be done. Surprisingly my old hip injury wasn't causing much problems.
 One of the great things about the St. George Marathon is the community is so supportive. Thousands of people come out to cheer on the runners and give them snacks as they pass. I loved the lady who baked chocolate chip oatmeal pecan cookies. It was the perfect mid-race snack. The race support had lots of small banana and orange pieces along the way which were greatly appreciated, along with lots of water and gatorade. And my neighbor and her kids were passing out popsicles around mile 23.
 I pushed through and my family was near the finish line to cheer me on, so I smiled through the last
little bit, but wanted to break down. That thing was so hard. It really ranked up there with natural childbirth (which I have unfortunately experienced). But I did it. I finished at 5:26:32, averaging 12:27 per mile. Not my best work, but I pushed through every painful stinkin' mile.
 Then I went home and blacked out a few times. I really thought I was going to die. I remember falling in the bathroom and thinking 'Oh, shoot. I've made a really big mistake.' In between passing out I tried giving orders to my husband that were totally incomprehensible because I was so delirious. Eventually I made him take my vital signs, which were elevated for my normals, but not high enough to warrant medical treatment. (But I did contact my friend who was an ER CNS for reassurance.) I drank lots of fluids and ate as much as I felt my stomach could handle. I felt pretty weak, sore and loopy for the rest of the day. Looking back, I know that I followed all of the advice that they give to runners, I just thinking running a marathon + exploding ovaries + having a cold was just too much for my body to handle. I would say that what happened after looked a lot like heat stroke, but my temp didn't get into the heat stroke range.
I'm feeling much better now, I took a few weeks off of running to recover as well as take care of my sick family. I think I'm going to take a long break from marathons, if I ever do them again. I like the half-marathon pace. That length of race is fun. More than twenty miles plus random stuff that life sometimes throw at you, and it's just not fun anymore. I guess the lesson learned from this experience is you can't kick ass ALL the time, also never run a marathon while sick.

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