Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grab a beer and prop up your feet, it's a long one! THE MINI MARATHON

Yesterday was our highly anticipated annual Indianapolis Mini Marathon!  This is a 13.1 mile race that brings the participants in to, and for a full run around, the actual race track of the Indianapolis 500.  This was the race I signed up and paid for months in advance after my first half marathon.  I knew I needed something to work toward to keep me going through the cold winter months.

I also signed up for our running group’s Tuesday night training program.  I never made it to a single evening run.  There were many excuses, it was dark, it was cold, it was late, I am a morning runner….etc. But the truth of the matter was I just couldn’t get there on time after work.  There just was not enough time for me to get the things done that had to be done before my drive there, and it was not a short drive.  So, I decided to train along with the program, but on my own days.

Training began, and I sort of did, sort of did not.  It was cold and I was having such a difficult time dealing with it this year, (and it truly was a mild winter for us this year!), I wouldn’t always get out for my long runs.  I did some shorter runs on the treadmill, but as the training distances grew, my runs became fewer.  I packed on a little over 20 pounds from my maintenance weight since the last half marathon, I wasn’t getting out as much, the days were short and I had no inclination to go out in the dark for my workouts, so…as the days passed, I was losing quite a bit of what I had worked so hard for the previous year.

Fast forward to March when the weather began changing for the better , the daylight hours were lasting longer, and I felt more like myself again.  The miles increased as the urge to get out and enjoy the fresh air and the woods increased!  I missed some of the long training distances, I had gotten a six and seven miler in, but not my eight, so when it was time for my nine mile run, I didn’t want to only do seven.  I was able to do my nine mile run and when it was time for my ten mile run, I was feeling pretty strong!  I was feeling very well that day, strong legs, strong lungs, strong frame of mind, a very healthy attitude and I was ready to go!  It had been raining a little, but nothing I couldn’t handle, in fact I enjoy running in a nice light rain.  But, then it started getting dark, and the rain began to come down harder.  I was about half way done when I thought I caught a flash out of the corner of my eye.  Yes I do enjoy a good rain run, but NOT a lighting run!  I took one of my ear buds out and gave a listen.  Sure enough, claps of thunder and lightning were moving in from the west.  But, I knew I still had time for just a little more, there was NO way I was stopping now!  With every lap, the thunder and lightning grew closer and closer.  I felt too good to stop, maybe just one more lap.  If by the time I get to the end of this lap, it hasn’t gotten better I’ll head back to the car and finish up right in that general area.  It didn’t get better and I don’t like to run in this type of storm, but I had to get back to the car anyway, so it was either walk or run.  Well that was an easy choice….wasn’t I already running?  I headed back and had about a mile left when I got to the car  The storm seemed to be passing off to the east, so I was able to get the rest of my run done for the day.

Ten miles, that was my longest training run I was able to get in before my taper and then the race.  I truly have never had a desire to do this Mini Marathon with 35,000+ runners, but I had paid, and after the week I had had, it was personal now!  It was almost as if I was being taunted, dared, pushed NOT to do the race!  The more that kept pushing me not to do it, the more I pushed back!

I had just picked up two additional days a week for work and this was the first full week since my new hours.  My body, in the interest of efficiency and saving time apparently, decided, ‘Hey, why pick one when you can combine both PMS and Menopause?’ So, I was the lucky recipient of not only cramps and weepiness, but hot flashes as well all week long!  When I came home Thursday evening, I was verbally assaulted by one of my neighbors.  My sweet Moe-Mie has been having physical problems and when I got home Friday night I couldn’t get in the front door.  He had fallen and couldn’t get up and had stressed himself out so much and had probably had his weight on that leg for the endurance (I have no idea how long he had been like that), that he was not able to stand at all.  I had to push the door open enough to reach my arm around and slip my hand under him to scoot him across the floor.  He had poo’d and was peeing everywhere he was so stressed out.  It just broke my heart.  I fashioned a sling and was able to get him in and out and to help him go potty.  I worked with his legs and massaged and calmed him, but it was a rough night for him and he cried a lot.  I was up and down all night and got at the most, two and a half hours of sleep before the race.  After having gotten in the house Friday evening, I noticed a sickly smell and found out my neighbor had been pouring acid down his drains and the fumes had filled my entire downstairs, my poor animals had been inhaling that all day as well!  We had to open the garage doors to air it all out.  I had plans to meet the gals downtown for packet pick-up that night as well and go out to eat.  I knew traffic would be bad (and it was! About 40 minutes just to park!), but I was so looking forward to going out and relaxing with them and just having a good time ‘carb loading’.  But, for some reason, my time sheet for work didn’t get to them in time and I only received half of a paycheck this pay period, so I had to do some rearranging and was still able to go after all.  Once we all got parked and met, we had a lot of fun at the expo and then 
on to Noodles & Company for our pasta.
Marti, Me, Elaine

It is now Saturday morning and I’m fresh out of the shower and ready to go!

Maybe I’ll just sleep run the first half of the race.  I knew I could run ten miles, so maybe I could just do some run/walking this race and just enjoy myself.  Take pictures, dance, sing, just have some fun.  Then run as I felt strong, walk when I needed to recover.  I am looking forward to this now.  I’m going to burn off a lot of steam and leave last week in the dust!

I met one of my friends there and we headed over to the corrals to get settled in.  I was in a different corral much further back.  While I was waiting I heard someone calling my name and it was a couple of other gals from my running club.  One was still recovering from an injury and the other said she had gained about twenty pounds too, so they would be doing walk/running at about a thirteen minute pace or so.  I thought I could handle that, so was looking forward to having some friends to run with as well.  This day is really shaping up!

Melissa and Lori
(Lori saw this picture later and was convinced she was crossing her fingers and praying!)

We started in corral 'V', the race has started and we
are still making our way to the start
I still have knots in my belly even though there’s no pressure and I’m just there to have fun.  The countdown begins…..four, three, two….ONE!  And everyone is off!  Well….sort of…..about a half hour later we got to the starting line and off we went.  I knew I needed to make sure to slow myself down at the beginning so I didn’t exhaust myself before the end, but I thought I’ll just hang with the gals for now.  We were doing well and I was feeling pretty good, but thought maybe I was going a bit too fast.  I glanced down at my Garmin and saw an 11:30 pace which is faster than I can maintain right now for a three mile run.  I knew I had better pull back and slow down, even though I wanted to stay with them.  I ran for the first two miles, but the lack of sleep was really taking its toll on me and I decided to back down to a walk.  I began formulating my strategy so I would end up with a run at the finish line.  As I walked I knew I would get stronger and just be dying to run, that’s how I always was.  But not this time, I mean I did have a strong desire to run, but the strength just wasn’t there.  And it wasn’t coming back either.  I became weaker and more tired as the race went on.  I hoped at least by the time I got to the race track I’d be able to run around it.  We would be at the six mile mark when we got to the track and it is a two and a half mile run. 

Here we are!  But I just couldn’t do what I’d hoped.  However, when I got to the backside of the track, Brightroom Photography was there and I thought I’d better muster up enough strength to at least get one good picture!  At this point, I didn’t know if I’d be able to when I crossed the finish line.  So, I started running and waving and smiling.  It felt good to be running again, but I wasn’t able to maintain it for long.  I knew it would be a walk to the finish and was very disappointed. 

As the miles ticked off, I was wondering if I was going to be able to physically make it until the end.  But, I had come too far and had such a stressful week, I deserved to do this for ME!  I plodded on, getting slower and slower, weaker and hotter, the blisters on my feet were screaming at me, my toes were numb, my shoulders ached, my back hurt, it was so hot and there was no shade to be had anywhere in sight.  I started grabbing two and three cups of water, one to drink, the other two to pour over my head and the back of my neck. I had my energy power bar gu and drank some water to wash it down.  I started going through every water sprayer I could see, grabbed free food samples from the side of the road, anything and everything I knew to do just to sustain myself long enough to get to that finish line.  I felt like I was just going through the motions in a very painful dream state now.  Instead of feeling closer with every mile, it felt more like….What?! There are still that many more miles to go?!  I was beginning to be very grateful for the presence of the other 35,000+ runners and walkers!

I finally felt some relief, and like I might actually make it when I got to the thirteen mile marker.  It seriously took me until the thirteenth mile mark to feel like I was going to make it.  I just wanted to get in my car and crank up the air conditioning.  What really stunk is that after getting to mile thirteen, I had to walk right past my car to get to the finish line!  It was soooo tempting to just turn off and leave, but there was NO WAY!  Not after all this, not when I was this close!

OMG! There it is! That’s the finish line!  Is that the finish line?!  IT IS IT IS! It is the finish line!  This is me crossing the finish line! I DID IT! WHOO-HOO!!  And….stop!  And….NOW I felt it!  All light headed, things going sparkly and black.  I sat down and tried to lose the nausea and lightheadedness.  I drank some water and talked with a girl beside me who told me there were cookies just a bit down from us.  I waited a bit and then made an attempt to stand and go get some cookies.  But I didn’t get too far before needing to sit again.  The girl I was talking to previously passed by and noticed I hadn’t gotten too far and offered to go get a couple cookies for me.  Then she offered to get help.  Some nice men came and took me to the cooling tent where I was able to get my wits about me enough to walk to my car and head home.

Me, wearing my medal and on my back in the recovery tent!  I did it.....

I missed the festivities but all I wanted to do was just be home.  Home never felt so good!  I got in the house, took care of a few things that had to be done and then hit the pillows for a nice, cool nap.  Ahhh. 

After getting up and having some food, I had a good time with a friend and her granddaughter and took some really cute photos of them.

Melissa and Allie Lynn

A great day, a great evening, and the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years!!

Yep! That's right! That's MY bling!

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