The night prior to the race I didn’t sleep much. Never do.
After a long training season in the heat and humidity that tried to kill me (this is important later in the story) and a successful taper that left me restless to run, I was ready to get out on the course and DO THIS THANG!
The alarm was set for 5am. We (Husband drove me) planned to park downtown instead of take the shuttle, which meant we needed to get down there for one of the few spots available.
We parked close to the finish line, because who wants to trek through the massive crowd afterwards when you’re beat from the run? NOT ME!
As is our tradition, a pic prior to heading downtown. All I can say is #1: I’m sorry if this hurts your eyes, and #2: It’s 5-frickin-15-am. (Patti Fun Fact: I moved that bib six times before leaving it in this spot.)
I didn’t carry a camera or anything other than my water and Gummi Bears, so Husband picked up the slack with his phone once we were downtown.
Here I am in a hotel lobby relaxing until we head to the start line, trying to WAKE-UP, while Husband is all: ROCK AND ROLL, BABY!
I finally did wake-up and we headed to my corral (after making use of the hotel’s bathroom facilities numerous times….that’s what happens when you hydrate properly…input = output.) in the hopes that Runner Wendy had arrived.
Husband left me in my group and then headed out to find Wendy. He found her! (no, i am not a mutant with a third boob, that is my water bottle along with my Gummies) She looks awake and READY! I look present. Sorry again, if this makes your eyes twitch. Pretty Gurl!
Wendy had an injury and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to finish the race, but she showed up anyways. How badass is that? She was injured to the point of an unsure finish, yet was determined to try. The plan was for her to text Husband if she opted out. I was rooting for her. It’s tough to train and then come up lame at the end. Run Wendy, RUN!
The starter gun went off and we parted ways. We was runnin’!
In previous years, you start out with a hoard of people and then as you progress in the race, the crowd thins out. Not this time. I ran with a pack the entire race. I was jukin’ and jivin’ trying to stay out of folk’s way.
The day was warm. At 5am the temp was already in the 70s. Humidity was in the high 60s. The race was going to be a slog.
For some reason, I decided to run faster than I typically do for a race that long. I found a dude with a pace I thought I could keep and pilot-fished him.
I also participated in the crowd more than I have before. I wanted to enjoy the moment, so I high-fived every kid that wanted one, I exchanged an “Oh, Girl!” with the costumed sideline guys holding the sign: Run Gays, Run! I thanked every cop I passed. I yakked with my fellow participants and I laughed at the conversations I overheard.
Best Overheard Snippet: “Do marathoners pee their pants, cause I just did.”
She was close enough to me to know that when I started laughing…hard…that I had overheard her convo. No momma, just no.
Best Passing Me By: If you have read here for any amount of time, y’all know I hate being passed on the streets when I’m training. I will try my hardest not. to. be. passed. Yesterday I made an exception to my attitude when I was passed by a young Vet, wearing a prosthetic running leg. I was grateful that he was participating and showing us who’s BOSS on our Veteran’s Day run.
Signs That Made Me Laugh: *Worst Parade Ever!* *Don’t Die, Grandma!* (this sign was held by a little girl) *Run, Bitches* (while not appropriate for the kiddos that were present, it still made me laugh) *This was a Good Idea 5 Months Ago*
Best Passing By Me: (I apologize if this offends anyone, but I found it amusing. All in fun, people!) Marathons bring out all kinds of folks promoting all kinds of causes. Reading the t-shirts as you come up on people is half the fun. One guy, I think I had about 20 years on him, had on a shirt proudly proclaiming: Powered by Plants! Go Vegetarian! I decided I was gonna have to pass him. So, I dug deep, ramped up the “speed” and zipped around him. I looked back and smiled. Then I had steak for dinner. Truth.
Around mile 8, my push to run a faster race was taking its toll on me. The sun was out, the temp was rising and the breeze was non-existent. It was a misery out on the streets.
My thought behind this was to see if I could run a sub-2 hour half. Or right at 2 hours. Just for fun. On a hot day. While running with a mighty crowd. See? FUN!
My splits were mostly under 10-minute miles, but there were some that eeked over 10.
Mile 10 presented me with knifing pain in my taped knee. I decided to ignore it. Too close to the finish to slow down.
As I passed the 11-mile mark I ramped up my speed. I figured I had 2.1 left to go and how hard would it be? Once I rounded the street next to the Alamodome, and started up what I have nicknamed Goat Hill, I had a moment of “what have you done?” because I could feel my body buckle a bit under the heat stain. Yet, I ran on.
Once up Goat Hill with the finish line in sight, I told myself to remember to smile as I crossed. I don’t remember if I did. I crossed, got my medal and started feeling woozy.
Medical Tent Moment: Yep, the one place I never thought I’d be, is in the medical tent. As I placed my glorious medal over my head, and the wooziness grew, I knew my heat-intolerance was kicking in; it was the price to pay for my pace in the heat.
Luckily, the Rock and Roll folks had ice-cold towels available. I got one and placed it around my neck, attempting to cool myself. First towel didn’t work. Got a second, then a third. I knew I should keep walking, which I did. Until I couldn’t. I became so dizzy that I had to squat to avoid falling over. Enter medical guys and gals.
Them: Ma’am. are you OK?
Me: Gobbliy GOO! (translation: I’m FINE!)
Them: Let’s go to the tent. ~two people get me standing and escort me inside tent while I protest~
Them: Do you know your name? What are you feeling? Any allergies? Where are you? Do you live here? What’s your name again?
Me: Omgosh. This is silly. Just let me sit here for a minute. I’m so sorry, there’s got to be people that need your help. Do you have any ice in a bag I could put on my neck? I’m fine, just a little dizzy.
Them: We’re gonna lay you down and get your feet up. ~three people lay me down, while two hold up my legs. if i had been thinking i would have said, “if y’all tell me to push, I’m in trouble!” but I didn’t. dang it~
They proceed to place bags filled with ice around me, which at this point is heaven. They continue to ask me questions, like “Have you urinated today?” which makes me giggle thinking of the girl who peed herself.
Soon, enough I’m feeling like my old, so old, self and ask to get up. They help me up, see that I’m good and send me on my way. Just as I leave, they bring in a gal throwing up fluorescent green stuff. Pretty!
The medical tent rocked. I am still embarrassed I had to pay them a visit, but glad for their help.
All the while, Husband had seen me round home and when it took forever for me to reach him at the family “T” he decided something wasn’t right and was headed to the medical tent. That man deserves a medal. Not only did he get up at the crack o’smack on a Sunday, drove me to and from, but he hung out downtown to cheer me on. Have I mentioned he’s not a crowd person? A medal, I tell ya.
I’m standing! Look closely and you’ll see the tiny beer that I downed.
One of the very best parts of the day: WENDY FINISHED! It made me so happy.
Oh, remember that tipsy-fun post-race vlog with beerz in my system that I promised y’all? Yeah, it sucked:
What a disappointment, right?
I think that pretty much covers the day.
One of the main thoughts I had yesterday was that while I’m not the fastest, or the best dressed, or the one with the most medals, I am the one who loves running for the love of running, no matter the outcome. If a regular gal like me can do this, so can you. Trust.
For those interested:
- Overall:(top 23%)
3835 out of 16372
- Division: (top 7%)
48 out of 731
- Gender: (top 15%)
1493 out of 10046
Since I’m not a big pace gal, these numbers shocked me. I’ll take it.
Thanks for following along!
Now, for the next adventure…