Where to start...where to start? Shall I start by saying that Mother Nature is a wicked b*tch, who obviously hates me? How about by saying the Racing Gods are evil rat b*stards who have it in for me? I'm at this point thinking both...
I'm just going to tell you my story, you just aren't going to believe the day I had. I get on the bus to take me up the mountain at 4am. I went to bed at 7:00 to get a full eight hours of sleep. I'm up, doing good:) I kid you not...I stepped off the bus, and the RAIN. CAME. DOWN! This was a brutal cold rain blowing right in my face. We were going to be running in the cold rain against the wind. "You can't be serious!?!" Yeah, I'm serious. First, I had to stand around in it for two hours...then, I got to run in it. Lucky me.
I was standing at the start, packed around my fellow runners, in the horrible weather, and everyone was hanging their heads and saying out loud "no personal best for me today". Way to bum me out:( I still went out intending to do the best I could...that's all I can do right?
Now, imagine yourself packed in a gymnasium with a ton of other folks. Turn on the sprinkler system, and a huge fan. Now, turn off the lights, and run. That is what the start was like...frightening! I couldn't see in front of me. I couldn't see my feet, or the road! Thank God I didn't hit any potholes!
The darkness lasted about 5 miles. The wind and rain in my face lasted the entire race! You see, if you are running a point to point marathon, and the wind is in your face at the start, you never turn. It never changes. Sadly, the wind actually picked up on the last 10 miles. Oh, did I mention it was so cold that I could see my breath? It was!
Any momentum I would have hoped to get by running the downhills was completely negated by the wind. Plus, it made the uphills downright torturous:( I kid you not, people were dropping around me. They were actually air lifting folks in a chopper to ambulances. Folks were going down around me. I felt like I was running in a war zone!
I saw Husband at mile 16. He said everyone looked like the "walking wounded". That was certainly how I felt. Wait...it gets worse...
Around mile 19, I couldn't feel my legs anymore. It was like running on an epidural (I could no longer control them). They were freezing. At mile 22, I started to feel like someone had put a belt around my chest and was tightening it. Something was definitely wrong. At mile 24, my breathing started to constrict. It felt like my throat was closing. Truth be told, I started to get scared...my body was shutting down:o
I ran/hobble/shuffled through the finish line. I passed a woman asking runners if they were OK. I took two steps and turned around and said "Excuse me...I think something is wrong...I can't breathe." She lead me to the medical tent. They hooked me up to machines to take my vitals, and a doctor asked for my symptoms. She then told me I was in the early stages of hypothermia! Holy crazy Batman, hypothermia! Then, someone dropped at the finish line and anther helper screamed "we need a medic and a gurney". The doctor ran off, and a kind nurse tended to me.
She put heating pads on my legs and my neck and wrapped me in a blanket. Soon, my body started shaking uncontrollably. I was a bit scared, and the doctor ran by me to tend to the unconscious man. She looked at me and said "this is normal...your body is trying to heat itself up...this is good".
Another poor girl was dragged into the medic tent...completely out of it. What a crazy scene! About twenty minutes later, I got up and hobbled out of the tent to find Husband. It took me forever to find him and I was still shivering out of control. I did finally find him, and he whisked me to the hotel and warmed me up...Yay Husband! I spent the afternoon in bed with McNuggets, Coke, and watching the Illini kick Michigan's a**. I would say that was the best part of my day:)
I don't even want to discuss my time...it sucked:( I heard the elite runners were about 20 minutes off their pace...that's HUGE! Husband, Dad and Mom all say I should be proud for finishing at all (Husband was so scared when he couldn't find me at the finish). I told Husband I am starting to wonder if Boston is ever going to happen for me. He says "it's good to have goals". He also says "don't make any decisions about the future of your running right now". I think that is good advice...'cause I crossed that finish line and vowed never to run again!
I'm really not sure what to learn from this? I did everything right. I trained like crazy! I am in crazy shape! No matter how much training you do, you can't control the weather on race day. Here's what I'm thinking for next time (what, there will be a next time?)...Next time, if I get to the start, and the weather sucks...I'm not going to run. I will hit the internet and find another marathon to run. Then, I am not wasting my shot on a race where there is no hope for a Boston qualifier. I can just extend my training for the next race. That's really all I can figure...Seriously, this was the single worst running experience I have ever had! I think I'll leave you with what Sissy said..."at least they can't take away your awesome abs...that makes it all worth it, right?" You know what Sissy...you're right;)