Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long Beach - My longest 26.2

Long Beach Marathon
October 9, 2011
4:47:43

I don't even want to write this post. I want to erase the last 13.1 miles from my mind forever. But because I blog about all my races, I gotta write the good, the bad and the ugly. Well Long Beach Marathon, marathon #6, state #5 was bad and ugly!

I wasn't even going to go. I had a horrendous past few weeks. Caught a terrible cold. My head was not in the game. And I know for damn sure when my head is not in the game, I'm not going to run well.

But I went. I reached out to K2 and asked if she would consider coming to Long Beach with me. She dropped everything and with only 2 weeks noticed agreed. A good friend is one who drops everything for you. An amazing friend is someone who drops everything, travels across the country and runs a damn marathon with you.



So what went wrong. This was the earliest I have EVER felt fatigued in a race. I ran strong until about mile 10. My legs started feeling heavy. At mile 11, my foot caught a hole in the ground and I nearly fell, grabbing K2. Apparently I have some muscle cuz she has a big shiner to prove it.

I hit the half at 1:55:31, about where I wanted to be. K2 asked me how I was doing. I told her it's going to be a long half marathon. I'm hurting. She asked me what hurts. I said, my legs are heavy. I just don't have it in me today. Then I said, it's not my day and I'm ok with that. I told her to go on right before 15. I knew this was going to be ugly.

Then when I thought it couldn't get worse, my stomach goes bad. Really, really bad. This was the first time when I seriously considered a DNF. I wanted off this course. I was in serious pain. My cramps would not go away. I got dizzy. Then I realized at mile 18 I had stopped sweating. WTH? I was taking in fluids at every water stop, which was EVERY mile. It was not hot by Texas standards. I have run in worse conditions and haven't felt this bad.

My next strategy was "Just Finish." Mr. Kevin Green, your words sang to me that day. Don't care how to get it done, just get it done was my goal. I ran when I could. I walked when I couldn't. I told myself, training run, this is a training run for Rockledge Rumble 50K.

At around 20, I ran into a local who was also having bad day. The heat was really bothering him. We decided to start running together. I lost him after the next water stop because I decided to keep running, allbeit a slow pace.

Ego left when a woman running in Crocs passed me. Really? Oh this is bad. But I actually laughed.

Mile 24, "Chris" and his friend were running in front of me. Chris had a personal cheering section. All kinds of folks cheering him, asking him how he's doing. And the only thing he says for what felt like 30 minutes was "I'm dying. I'm dying. Oh my God, I'm dying." After the 40th "I'm dying," I ran up to Chris and his friend and said, "Dude if you are talking you're not dying. HTFU. The worst is behind you. You have a damn mile left." His friend laughed and said, "I like her, she's tough."





Ok, this may not be my personal best. In fact it's my personal worst. But I'll take the "she's tough" and go with it. I ran 10 miles on the worst stomach upset I have even encountered -- EVER. That is tough. What's tougher? I'm not giving up.

Did I cry? Duh. Of course I did. Did I have a pitty party? Yep. And I want to thank all of you for coming. But the pitty party is over. I'm moving on.

Marathon, you got me again, you bastard. But I'm stronger than you. And I'm a fighter. Until we meet again...

2 comments:

  1. You are definitely a fighter Suann! These kind of finishes are the BEST kind of finishes because they make you TOUGHER (maybe you don't need to be tougher though, lol). But seriously, overcoming the physical adversity in a race like this leaves you a well of strength (in life and longer races)! Not only that, but these types of finishes are the ones that people (including me) look to for inspiration and admire more because of your perseverance! I honestly can't wait to read the race reports from all of your ultra finishes! You rock! Remember that!

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  2. Suann!! I had no idea it was so hard this time around!! You are stronger than the marathon, for sure. You had the right mindset to consider it a training run for Rockledge. Time on your feet, blah blah blah. You know what I'm trying to say. I'm not amazed that you finished, since I know you, but wow. good job.

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