I’m going to spoil the ending for you right here in the first sentence: the Long Beach Marathon ended up being a PW for me by about twenty minutes. I had a flat-out awful run (that was more like a really, really long walk). But I managed to learn some lessons and meet some fabulous bloggy-friends and still brought home the medal because I didn’t quit. Even when I wanted to soooooooo bad. Here’s the weekend in pictures:
At the starting line, ready to rock and roll (or so I thought). I had a backpack full of my Gatorade/Perpetuem mix. The plan was to drink every half mile at the beginning, so I wouldn’t get dehydrated and suffer the nausea/vomiting that I have at past marathons. The problem with the backpack is that I couldn’t tell how much I was drinking – I thought I was sticking to the plan, but when I went to clean out the bladder, I’d only had a third of what I was supposed to. Oops.
This course had lots of out-and-backs and looped back to the start at Mile 6. Here I am, still thinking I could have a good day. It didn’t last much after this. Around Mile 8, I ran into Rad Runner!!! I was so excited to meet her – she was running strong and I can’t wait to hear all about her first marathon experience. We chatted for a mile or two - and took a pic of course! - then I lost her in the crowd. I took my first walking break at Mile 10 and didn’t see her again. I stopped to use the port-o-pots at Mile 12, hoping to relieve some of the churning in my gut. I knew already it wasn’t going to be a day of glory, but at that point I still had hopes of a decent time. I called The Hubs and let him know I was slowing down significantly from my projected finish. At Mile 13, I saw The Running Green Girl, just the boost I needed!! We girly-squealed and hugged and she took a bloggy pic, then she cheered me on my way. Her awesome enthusiasm carried me through Mile 15. I was still running a little (albeit slowly) and walking a lot until about Mile 18 or 19, when things went south. All I wanted to do in the world was quit. There was a lot of crying, I’ll be honest. I didn’t think I had it in me to go eight more miles. Thankfully, I saw Green Girl again, running with her friend Michelle, which distracted me a little longer. At Mile 21, the puking began. I knew it was coming and I was glad it held off so long, but UGH! My stomach continued to turn itself inside out every half mile or so for the final 5 miles, but I kept walking and wishing that I could just sit my butt on the curb and never move again.