Thursday, November 3, 2011

Part 4. Miles 1-17

So I left off with me getting off the bike feeling pretty good.

My run gear bag was given to me and I again entered the changing tent. I sat in a chair and took a deep breath realizing I was almost there.

I recently purchased sleeves for my calves for the marathon. I had worn some compression socks before and they did not bother me. I know people say that you shouldn’t wear or try something new for a race but I have been and will always be known as someone who doesn’t listen to “people.”

I also ordered some new spandex shorts from for the run. For some reason I tend to wear costumes, of some sort, to races or events. It just happens to work out that way. I figured I needed something to stand out during the run so there was no problem finding me. I talked to the owner of the company and we are working on something special for the Women's Half.

In the sport of triathlons, you can make up or lose valuable time in transition. A fast transition they say. Well here I am going to have to put on spandex shorts and compression sleeves while sweating and in a rush. So much for the fast transition.

Prior to putting my shorts on, I applied a half stick of Glide all over the twins and such. The shorts were easy to get on. I had worn and ran in them twice during the week just to make sure there were not going to be any issues. At least not for four miles. I did put some other shorts in my essential needs run bag just in case.

The next challenge was putting on the compression sleeves. They were brand new. I dyed them red the day before but other than that they were fresh out of the box. It must have taken five minutes to put each one on. I then put my socks on and realized I should have put my socks on first and then the sleeves. I did mention earlier that I learned many things during this race.
I put my shoes on. Put all my bike stuff in the run bag. The only bottle of sunscreen in the tent was empty. I took my bag out and then dug a can of sunscreen out of my bike bag. I sprayed myself good and headed out to some fresh cheers.

I ran to the port o let first to do a pee check. Uh oh. A little darker than before. Not good but no panic. I then headed out for the 26.2 of joy. I was currently on pace for a sub 13 hour finish. But who was counting?

The run course was three out and backs of the same length. The first out and back was about two miles and the other out and back was a 10k ish. The first short out and back was easy. Just warm the legs up and drink water. Seemed and felt easy enough.

I then passed the finish area to start the first of three long out and backs. I was met by Steve who had put age and race numbers on his calves. This was to appear that he was a participant. Although I appreciated his willingness to help/pace, I told him that it was too early for him. I would need him later like maybe during lap three. I just asked if I could use his Garmin. He gave it to me. It was different than the one I have so I did not try to change what was showing.

It was at the second water stop, just past mile 3, that I started walking. I only walked through the water stop and then picked it up again. I walked again through the next water stop. I then started noticing that the watch I was given would beep every time I walked. Not fair Steve. Now I started thinking, “oh great. Steve is going to be able to analyze my walk/run/walk/walk/trot/shuffle and I would hear about it later.” Later to me would be several days after the race. I found out that later was when I gave him the watch back at the end of lap one.

At about mile eight, I first began to notice that the marathon was going to be longer than I expected. I tried to eat a gel and could not. As soon as the liquid got in my mouth, I spit it out. I grabbed a few pretzels and was barely able to eat part of one. I knew I had to get some calories in. I was still able to drink which was a good thing.

As I was finishing my first lap, I saw another familiar face. Ben. Thanks again Ben. He had stopped by on his way to Orlando just to give me some shouts and take some pics. I want to reiterate that it does give you a bit of a boost when you see people you know on the course, especially when they have gone out of their way to get there. I heard Jan say as I ran by, “he still looks pretty good.” Little did she know.
Another encouraging word was when I heard some ladies say my shorts were the best ones they had seen all day. One mission accomplished.

I then headed back on the long out and back stretch. I was still walking through the water stops and then running, all be it at a slow pace. It was already starting to get dark. It was at about mile 15 or so that I started getting sick to the stomach. I think I filled up on liquid and it was not being absorbed. I began to walk when not at water stops now. I started to walk or stagger as if I had a few drinks. I still had my shorts on so it was only as if I had 2-3 drinks and not 4. I started feeling sleepy and just wanted to lay down.

I again tried to drink and eat something at one of the water stops. I could not. I was debating on throwing up but I had never done that in a race before and was not sure how I would feel afterwards. I also did not want to be seen by a medic and risk the possibility of being taken off the course.

The thought of quitting was definitely on my mind. I leaned over and put my hands on my knees. A golf cart with a medic just happened to ride up.

To be continued…..

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