Saturday, June 20, 2009


(pre-marathon fun)

(waiting patiently for mom to finish)

It's over.
I wished I could have given more, but I had to listen to my body today.

In case you don't know where Duluth is, it is in northern Minnesota. Right off of Lake Superior. Forecast on Friday night was 70 and sunny with a nice breeze off the lake. Well, Mr. Forecaster, you were wrong.

93 degrees was the blacktop temperature today. Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Out of 8300 registered runners (around 6700 started the race), only 5600 racers finished. Ewwww....

Well, let's start at the beginning. There were way too many people. I get claustrophobic in huge groups and today reminded me of that. Busing was the only way to the starting line. Our bus arrived at 7:20 AM, 10 minutes before the start. I hardly had time to stretch and warm up. The first three miles reminded me of that. 0.5 miles in, a girl a bit ahead of me gets tripped and falls down and is out of the race. Huge, huge bummer. That scared me a lot. At mile 3, I really had to pee. The bus dropped us off so late I didn't have a chance to go before the start (this is where the TMI comes into play). Being male would have been nice in this situation, since they could just head for the trees (which they were doing, by the dozens). Well, my two gel packets were in the front pocket of my shorts and had fallen out while I was going. I didn't realize this until 0.4 miles after the fact. I knew I wouldn't make it on such a hot day without them, so I did the unthinkable and turned around, found the gel (can't believe nobody took it) and continued on. 27 miles, thank you!

At mile 5-8, people were dropping like flies. I heard so many ambulance sirens and saw quite a few people along the side receiving medical treatment that I got scared even more. I just wanted my family!!!!! It was super hot and very muggy.

I made it to mile 13.1 (halfway) in just over 2 hours. I was right on track for 4:30 hour goal (besides just finishing). The next three miles were a bit slower, then (after passing more paramedics) my side cramped up. Terribly. So bad I was worried that I had taken in too much water and my kidneys were feeling it. This is also when I took my shirt off, a serious NO NO for me, but it probably weighed 6 pounds by then. I wanted to stick it in my shorts, but that just didn't seem to work. So long half-marathon shirt! My sunburned back is now telling me that decision was stupid. So, around mile 16, I started running one mile then walking for 1/4 mile. That seemed to keep my side-ache down but every time I stopped, it was that much harder to start. The next 8 miles seemed to take forever. At mile 18, a girl running in front of me completely fell over and passed out. That made me slow down even more. I realized then, if I wanted to finish this thing, I need to take it easy. And that's exactly what I did.

Finally, around mile 24, I met my husband (the best EVER) and he ran the last 2.2 miles with me. I stopped for a few minutes and gave my girls their own special hugs. Then, I FINISHED, passing the 5 guys with wheelchairs just waiting for people to drop! I received my medal and t-shirt and went straight for the medical tent (hugely crowded by this point) to put my feet up and get some fluids in me. It look a lot longer that I would have liked (5 hours) but I did it and I am completely glad I didn't have to meet my husband at the hospital! :)

Thanks go out to my family who came to cheer me on. Love you guys! Would have never been able to do it without your love and support. I probably won't be doing one of these again for a very, very long time (if ever). It was a definite challenge to train/finish, but I am clearly not a long-distance runner by nature.


Lisa said...


Beccarigg said...

Yes, the heat was BRUTAL on Saturday! I have never run in anything that hot and I couldn't believe how hard it made it. People were already slowing down and walking by mile 3, you know that's not a good sign. That is so lame that your bus didn't get there until so late! I would've been so stressed and mad. Getting a late start really throws things off, I'm just amazed you bounced back from that. And I also can't believe you had to go back for your gels! I'm sure that was super frustrating but probably really smart. You ran a smart race, you listened to your body and you respected that heat and the distance. The people who didn't are the ones you got taken off on stretchers.

I told my brother in law at one point that if I had sweet abs I totally would've taken my shirt off! It was HOT! I didn't even think about the sunburn though, that must hurt. I didn't put sunscreen on my legs (just didn't even think about it) and my calves are fried. I also missed a little spot on my shoulder that is crispy. My brother in law is much worse though, He looks like a lobster, poor guy! We lathered up in sunscreen but like you said, we probably sweated it off in the first 3 miles.

Anyway, sorry this comment is super long but I'm just really proud of you for running such a smart race and for finishing even when it got hard. You overcame A LOT of obstacles out there and literally went the extra mile! Way to go!