Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Twenty-Six Point Two, Expanded

I hope you folks have this thing on bloglines or reader or something, 'cause hey, if it were me, I probably would have deleted the bookmark long ago. Just sayin'

So, I never did write about the marathon. I guess I'm sufficiently recovered to elaborate now :)

It really was fine, if a little disappointing. I had been sick for the week leading up to the run, so not only did I not do any nice maintenance running, but I was also a bit dehydrated. In any case, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I really did expect to do better, but I beat my last time (from '98? '99?) so that's something I guess.

I did pretty fine actually, well, up to about mile 18. Then things started getting ugly. My ankle (oddly enough, not the one that had bothered me a while back) started complaining, which wasn't bad, but then my thigh started to cramp up. The really rough thing is that you can pretty much run through mild pain - endorphines and bull-headedness, I guess, but boy howdy, a cramp will really sit you down and give you a stern talking to about what an idiot you are.

There's a really weird thing about the decision to start walking for me. For me, walking equals failure. That's overstating it a bit, but not by much. Also, there's the idea (true enough) that once you start to walk, it becomes so much harder to start running again. So I ended up nearly dropping into a walk several times, and then pushing on and congratulating myself only to find a few minutes later trying to stave off the walkies again. It really is a huge mind-game.

I was pretty happy with the run up to that point, but once the cramping started to really settle in, I lost (or won?) the arguement with myself and started walking. Every so often, I tried to start running again, but it's funny how it seemed like my body bought into the idea that we were done doing that pain-thing for the day, and it didn't want to have anything to do with this whole jogging bit anymore.

So, I walked. and walked. I felt pretty pathetic walking by the crowds of people cheering the runners on. Some of the people actually yelled out "Go runners!" hmm... Guess they weren't talking about me :) I should also say that there were heaps of walkers and the ex-runners like myself, but still. Feh.

Anyway, about mile 21, I was able to pick up something that might be charitably called a jog again, and started to trundle off. As I ran further, the aches and pains gradually fell away and by about mile 24, I was almost running at speed again. Well, ok, maybe not speed, but noticeably no longer shuffle-jogging.

I was able to run out the rest of the marathon, and got my little finishers medal and a whole crapload of free cookies and bananas and gels and chocolate and sport drinks etc etc.

Probably the coolest thing was on the bus back to where I was staying, there was a itty bitty kid and his mom. The mom pointed over at me (still wearing medal and bib) and said, "See? He ran the marathon!" and the little kid said, "cool."



zerodoll said...

very cool indeed. :)

The Duck said...

brownie points for you!

Scrivener said...

Yes, cool indeed.