Monday, April 07, 2008

Athens Half Marathon 2008

WARNING! This post might be too graphic for certain people. If you are a runner or triathlete, you will be fine. The following post is rated PG-13.

It’s two weeks until the big marathon and usually I like to do a half marathon race two weeks before. This year it was the Athens Half Marathon. I had heard good things about this race. First of all it’s small. And it’s flat. So, in my head I decided I wanted to go hard and see what happened.

What happened is that I caught a cold on Monday and I have felt like crap ever since. If only this is the worst thing I was going to talk about today. :) Because of the cold, I really didn’t prepare for the race really well. I didn’t hydrate AT ALL. I ran a hilly 6 miles the day before the race. And I was taking lots and lots of dehydrating decongestants. Again, if only this was going to be the worst part.

The smallest marathon I’ve ever done was the Towpath Marathon in Cleveland, but the Athens Half Marathon and Marathon might have that one beat. This sucker was small! So small, in fact, that there were real bathrooms before the race. You could walk up and register the morning of the race. There were no timing chips, for crying out loud. It was small. With five minutes until the race, I walked to the starting line and waiting. The canon went off (holy cow was that scary) and I found my pace quickly. I like to take the first mile or so slowly and then build my speed. And I did. The first mile was 8:31. But then I was feeling good; I was passing people like they were standing still. My second mile was 7:35. Third mile 7:44. It was then that something started going wrong.

A friend had recommended a vitamin to me called Acidophilus that is supposed to be the good germs that your body needs. It’s supposed to be good for your digestive system. What they should have put on the label is that this vitamin is going to totally mess up your insides. Let’s just say I’ve been a pooping machine since I started taking this vitamin and that is a category I already had first place in, thank you very much. So at mile three my stomach revolted. I passed a port-o-john at mile three and wished I had stopped. Mile 4 was a 7:38. Dude, you can only prairie dog it for so long. At mile 5 I had to stop. I have been racing for 7 years now and this was the first pit stop I was going to have to make during a race. Even with the stop, mile 5 was an 8:57.

Then I got stupid. I felt like I had to make up the time I had lost.
Mile 6—7:33.
Mile 7—7:45
Mile 8—7:51
Mile 9—7:57
The wheels are falling off now. And I’m starting to wonder why I’m doing this stupid race.
Mile 10—8:15
Mile 11—8:25
Mile 12—8:22
I’m so parched I can’t even lick my lips.

Finally we reach the track where you have to do 1-1/2 laps until the finish. I see Dave there taking pictures.
Mile 13—8:07.
I sprint with all the might I have toward the finish line. My time is 1:45:XX (final results yet to come out). I was so disappointed. I was on pace to break my PR (which I may never break another PR again) and failed. In my head, I ran a stupid race, but on paper with all I went through during that race, I still did pretty well. I crossed the line, they yelled out my age group and lo and behold, I had won. Seriously? What a rotten time to be winning an age group. But, I’ll take what I can get. Plus, this is my last race in this age group and I think my first win in this age group.

Did I get a shiny medal or cool plaque? No, my prize was a mug. I don’t even drink coffee! And, it wasn’t like it was green and white, Ohio University’s colors. It was purple. PURPLE!

Needless to say, I am not going to take the acidophilus anymore. And even with the troubles that I went through during this race, a first place finish certainly wipes away the stomach pains.

Pictures to come later today. I need to download them at home.


jeff said...

"prairie dogging it"? oh my...i snorted at that one.

i'm not sure i want to see pictures or find out what you 'downloaded' once you got home.

i love these tmi poop stories.

Mer! said...

Ok, you ran a 1:45 with all those poop stops, you are a hard core girl!! You totally did a "HTFU"....=0. Awesome job!! excited that you guys were able to secure flights to Boston...I know it was probably touch and go there for a bit!

Your poop issues reminded me of miles 16-26.2 of Ironman...each aid station provided immediate relief =0

Anonymous said...

Hey! What's wrong with purple? ;-)

Andrea said...

Hey there, good job on a strong race, even if it didn't turn out as you'd hoped. I tried to look up the results last night, but for some reason didn't see your name, so I was worried.
I think you have plenty to be proud of. Placing first in your AG despite "gastrointestinal problems" is awesome!

Meredith said...

The results are out there, Andrea. I saw them yesterday and found my name too.

Tri to Be Funny said...

Ok--so many comments to make here!

1.) First off-"prairie dogging it"--I'm so stealing that! I've heard of "turtling," but you win!!

2.) Your "A" race is Boston--why the hell are you trying to kill yourself two weeks before?!? Believe me, you have plenty of time for PRs. Hell, I'm almost 35 years old and I'm still hitting them...(although some days are better than others)

3.)a 1:45 is a great Half-Marathon and you definitely deserve a trophy or mug for that one!

Well done...