This is gonna be long.
That’s how the 2013 One American 500 Festival Mini Marathon went for me on Saturday.
I trained with a local running company beginning in February. I made the majority of long runs. Four weeks before the race I got in a ten mile training walk/run. I was feeling good.
Mentally I wasn’t “there” until late last week. But I got there. Friday afternoon Keith and Nathanael headed down to my parents’ house so I could relax and sleep the night before the race.
A migraine set in about 2:00 pm. But I got everything together. I made and ate my customary spaghetti and garlic bread. I was well hydrated. But I had developed a blister over the past few weeks, and it popped in the shower.
I tried to go to bed at 10:00 pm. I fell asleep around 1:00 am. The dog and cat woke me up at 2:54. My alarm went off at 5:00. I still had a migraine.
Keith got home from work “early,” so he was able to take me downtown. He dropped me off a few blocks from my corral. I went into the convention center to use the facilities. I got to my corral. I stretched and waited and waited and waited.
The race started at 7:33. I ducked out to use the bathroom. I hopped back in when a kind volunteer popped the gate to let a few of us in. I don’t think she was supposed to do that, but I was grateful I didn’t have to start at the end.
I started well. I ran and walked. I felt pretty good. The first 5k came and went fairly quickly. It wasn’t my best, but it wasn’t my worst. A friend’s wife and children were around mile 1 and cheered for me. The elephants were out at the zoo. The bands were good.
After 45 minutes I ate my first energy gels. Those didn’t taste good, which is unusual.
My mom was at mile 5. I stopped and hugged her and showed her my new shirt. I said I was slower than I wanted but I was feeling good. Both statements were true.
Ten minutes later I pass a friend at a water station. Smiles.
I enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And doom sets in.
I have to pop an Excedrin because my head is throbbing again (still?). I try more energy chews, and, well, yuck. Around this time, my right foot hurts. I mean, hurts.
I hate the track, though, so I just pep talk myself around the track. I put in my headphones and skip songs until I find ones that are encouraging. I pray. I smile at the cameras!
Finally the track is done. I am almost to mile 9. I stop at a pit stop and text Keith that I can’t finish. He thinks it’s my typical mile 9 doom mood, so he sends back an encouraging text.
I press on, feeling more and more nauseous. I beg Jesus to keep me from throwing up. My foot hurts. A lot.
Mile 10…just a 5k left, which I do three times a week.
Mile 11…then medics, the national guard soldiers, everyone looks so much like an oasis, but I only have 2 miles to go…and I haven’t puked.
Mile 12.1…a friend and her daughter. I cry and tell her I can’t. She pushes me on!
Finally I see the mile 13 marker, Keith, Nathanael, and the finish line. I hurt. I feel absolutely sick. But I smile, wave, and cross the finish line. I get my medal and a kind volunteer opens my water bottle for me. I sip and try not to hurl.
I get to the first aid tent. My blister looks okay. Why does my foot hurt?
I find Keith and my son. We visit my running store tent where I discover how awesome pretzels are! We visit my Team in Training coaches and friends. And then we have to walk about a mile to the car.
My legs were cramping, my stomach was turning and my foot was killing me. But we got to the car, I got some pretzels, wheat thins and peanut butter into me, along with most of a ginger ale. A shower and a nap and some compressions socks later, I start to feel human.
But yesterday morning, when my typical post-long session aches and pains have subsided, my foot was killing me. A trip to the ER later to rule out broken bones = a diagnosis of tendinitis and a boot.
So…it was not a great race. I am not sure why I felt so sick, but I suspect it was a reaction to the pain in my foot mixed with migraine hangover. It wasn’t hot and I was well hydrated and fed pre-race. But I think since I haven’t had such great luck with this race, next year I will try the Kentucky Derby half, or the Flying Pig half in Cincinnati. Or both. 🙂