I am so excited about this because I haven't run a race in 11+ months and am not likely to run one for another ....oooohhhh, i don't know.... six months? a year, maybe? I've always wanted to do a MILF Runner Race Report and now I get to!!!!! (I pinky promise I'll tell you more on that race-preventing situation soon)
*#goodblogger tip #37: keep a line of intrigue going so people keep
coming back hoping you'll tell them what's up*
Whelp (I can say that, right? It hasn't been trademarked yet?). Let's go. Starting with a little backstory...
Of course this is about a marathon because the only distance worth blogging about is at least 26.2 miles long. I had signed up to run the California International Marathon with Team in Training. It was to be my first. (Don't all non-runners do their first marathon with TNT?)
The training was fun. I did the miles, went on the group runs, bailed on the track workouts because I didn't see the point of them. (Why are we running WAY faster than we will in the race for comparatively tiny bursts? Stupid)
When the schedule got up to 13-ish miles, we all did a half. I was totally confused by this...I saw it as a long run on the schedule and finished in 1:46:something. When we got to 18 miles on the schedule, they promoted a sort of local 30K. I went and ran an avg pace 9:20 or something like that. It was fucking cold and windy and exposed and on a sharply-canted rural road (reminding me of college).
Was I supposed to "race" these? I had no fucking idea what I was doing.
BECAUSE THERE WERE NO BLOGS TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT.
Fuck. What a disadvantage. The internet makes EVERYthing better.
The other thing that really pisses me off...we never once did froyo. EVER. All those group runs and team races and shit... NEVER froyo. Such a rip-off.
Also...no digital cameras = minimal documentation. So you pretty much have to take my word for all of this. But I'm probably the most trustworthy person in #runningmommybloggyland. Except maybe Catey. Or Janae. But I'm not Mormon and I swear a lot so people think I'm of questionable character. (Don't get me wrong...some of my #bloggingbesties are Mormon. And I don't swear in front of kids... if I can help it)
Despite all those pre-internet, pre-blogging, pre-froyo stumbling blocks, I made it to race day healthy and ready to run.
I drove myself the hour plus up to the expo in my boyfriend's ancient Toyota pickup with a 5-speed manual transmission. (Remember this...alone...stick shift...hour drive...marathon...it's important later)
Expos were not ginormous #bloggymeetups back then, and there was very little in the way of #freeshit. I got my bib and went to my hotel where I was rooming solo, LUCKILY FOR ANYONE ELSE WITH A 5 A.M. WAKE UP CALL because, of course, there was a fucking bachelor party in the hotel. And of course it was next door to my room.
When the pre-dawn call came, I searched for my clothes because there were no blogs to tell me to lay my clothes out the night before. I wore my snazzy TNT-issue "tech" tank, my two Champion-brand running bras, a pair of Hind shorts, double-layer socks cotton socks on my hands and either Nike Skylons or Saucony whatevers on my feet. (I know people want to know this shit). I struggled to pin my bib to my shorts (I really don't like the way race bibs look when pinned to my boobs) because there were no blogs telling me to do the pinning the night before onto the clothes they told me to lay out. I strapped on my trusty Timex (Garmins had not been invented). I packed one Gu (they were new and weird so this was living on the edge) and used no BodyGlide (Vaseline in those days...which I forgot to bring). I ate a PowerBar (they had been invented), took a couple swigs of water from the faucet and headed across the highway in the dark to the buses. I did know enough to have throwaway clothes to wear until the start. It was brisk, but I always heat up quickly.
The bus ride just reminded me how far 26+ miles was....really fucking far, people. But it was warm and cozy and people were friendly.
We arrived at the start line. There were some portapotties with pretty long lines and a lot of people milling around. I found my TNT group leader (or whatever he was called) and asked him how long this should take...meaning the marathon.
He said "as long as it takes...just don't go out too fast." Words of wisdom.
But my neophyte-runner self didn't really know what that meant. And CIM is all downhill. Everyone knows that. Shit. Piece of cake.
The race started and half a mile in I started to cry. It was so emotional. I was running a marathon! I blubbered all the way to the first mile marker and looked at my Timex...7:30. And I felt great! And I stopped crying and got serious. I had no time goal..."as long as it takes." The pace felt free and easy. For a while.
|At about the 10...|
on fucking FIRE.
Tiny photo because that's what they sent out
in pre-internet days.
Around the time in the above picture, I saw my boyfriend and really thought I was hot shit. I hit the 10 right about 75 minutes. I AM A FUCKING ROCKSTAR! I screamed in my brain...believing it. Foolishly.
So I had that Gu in my sockmitten. I had taken water at a few aid stations and slathered a little race-provided Vaseline on my inner thighs, but calories...
Close to the half I decided to try this vanilla Gu. I gagged down about half of it and at the halfway mark, I was still feeling good and holding my FUCKING ROCKSTAR pace. Then all of a sudden I wasn't.
My gut cramped up so badly I began to have that desperate, caged-animal feeling. You know it. You've been there.
Where's the portapotty? Where the FUCK is the portapotty?
but of course I didn't say oh em gee because that hadn't been invented yet.
Then I saw the Shell station. But they had a "NO RUNNERS" sign on the door.
But in their parking lot was the bright green kiosk I'd been searching for. Nirvana. For 7 minutes. Rarely does one empty out in such fashion when not in the middle of a marathon or suffering from food-poisoning or Montezuma's revenge. Suffice it to say, vanilla Gu and I are not friends and, 18 years later, still haven't kissed and made up.
And so began the descent into hell.
For the next two miles I struggled to keep up with the runners around me. Looking at my watch at the mile markers was far removed from my semi-conscious, severely depleted mind. As long as it takes.
Around the 18 I started that gut-wrenching, scrambling, searching for my home away from home again. Only 5 minutes this time. Yes, I timed it.
Not knowing that "walk breaks" were a thing, I was running the whole way. Is there any other way to run a marathon?
I remember a bridge. 20 miles. Seething hatred of every living thing. Absolute disgust at the human race for inventing this thing called "marathon." Where is the fucking END?
With two miles-ish to go I saw my boyfriend again. After the way I treated him at that moment, it is truly amazing that he married me (and is still married to me).
GO, BABE! You look GREAT! You're almost there!!!! obviously he's not a runner.
Fuck you I'm almost there. Here...take my fucking sockmittens. And this shitty Gu mess.
I was delirious by this point. Shortly after that loving exchange, I could see the capitol building but needed to go around the bitch to get to the finish. Fuuuuuuuckkkkkk....
And then this 60-year old lady passed me in the chute.
And it was over.
|What a difference 16 miles makes.|
And see the 60-year old lady dusting me?
My boyfriend somehow found me and drove me over to the hotel where I tried to take an ice bath and tried to dress myself. And then I got to drive myself home in that little pickup truck...with the manual transmission.
I swore off running for 6 months. No lie. And then in June, I got the TNT card in the mail...
Come train for a marathon with us!
Of course I had to try it again.
The California International Marathon is a great event. I give it a 2 thumbs up. If you're going to run a marathon, this is a GREAT one. Just don't go out to fast.
Have you ever learned a lesson the hard way?