Fiesta Marathon 2012 (according to me):
Right from the start, I felt tired, and my legs felt heavy. Really heavy. I made the decision right then and there that this'd be a training long run. So much for wanting to PR. Besides, I'd been scheduled to do a 30 miler this weekend. Before the race was over, I'd realize how close this marathon came to being said 30 mile run.
At mile 1ish, I (was directed ) took a wrong turn. Quite a few of us did. Like lemmings, many of us followed the runner(s) in front of us. It turns out I added an extra 1.5 miles to my 'thon.
I started having "stomach issues" (and that's putting it mildly) around mile 2. I started going over the course map in my mind for potential restrooms. I'm a germaphobe and didn't want to resort to using a porta potty, so I was trying to remember if we would run by any fast food places, stores, etc. I think I've taken it for granted that during a trail run, anywhere and everywhere is a potential restroom. In a road race...not so much.
When it was time for the 1/2ers to veer left and the full 'thoners to continue forward, I was feeling a little better, so I told her I was gonna keep going (and secretly hoped I wouldn't regret it later).
Miles 10-15 were bearable, but the humidity began to get to me. Also, I was beginning to tire of the only hydration options at the aid stations: water or powerade. If there's 1 drink that upsets my stomach almost immediately, it's powerade, but I didn't want anymore water. Besides, how worse could my upset stomach get? Much worse.
Miles 15-18 had me wishing I'd turned with Ysenia and the rest of the 1/2ers. I was ready to call it a day at mile 18 which happened to be the VRC (Valley Running Company) aid station. 1 of the volunteers poured water on my head, another gave me ice and another, Carlos, walked a little with me while giving me a little pep talk. I'm sure he doesn't think it was such a big deal, but that seems to have gotten my head back in the game. I told myself "8 more miles!!!"
Seeing my loud friends from our running club at mile 23 gave me that little "extra" push I needed. There they were on the side of the course with grapes and a cowbell (a extra awesome thanks to David for getting me a coca cola also - I'd been craving it for miles).
I ended up making 6 pit stops: 2 hotels, Jack In The Box twice, a park and a stranger's house - with their permission, of course. Around mile 25, I was in the 'hood, and the stomach cramping began again. Bad. I was nowhere near a business, hotel or park (or EVEN porta potty). It was about to get real real. Real fast. Fortunately, I saw an elderly lady watering her lawn, so I asked if I could use her restroom. I told her it was an emergency. She turned out to be a life saver.
It was a tough run. I guess I've gotten used to running trails, because my feet ached during the mid to latter part of the race...even in my Hokas, and they were a little achy today.
In the end, my friends, Laura, John and May were waiting for me. It didn't matter that I'd told them to expect me right under 4 hours from the time I started. 5.5 hours and 27.5 miles later, I made it.
Better late than never.