Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup and 7 Up

I don't know how this keeps happening, but I keep getting sick. The latest bout started last night and continues today. This is the third time in three weeks. I'm thankful for chicken noodle soup and 7 UP and for a wife that serves both of them to me. Hopefully I'll get better soon and hopefully this is my last time getting this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

California International Marathon

This is a great race. It has lots of things going for it:
  • Excellent organization.
  • Good expo.
  • Fast course.
  • Agreeable weather.
  • Well trained and excited volunteers.
  • And...Sacramento is a cool city.
I got up around 4:00 and had some last minute fuel: chocolate chip cookies, a Pear Apple Strudel Clif Bar, and some Lemonade Gatorade.

I took the bus to the start line. I say next to a woman in her mid 50s who has run Boston for 25 straight years. Interesting conversation.

I met up with my friend Kurt before the race. We decided to go out at 6:40 per mile. We checked our gear in and edged our way up to near the front. The start was a little hectic with many of the relay runners taking off fast during the first mile. Even the five lane road was a little crowded.

Kurt and I cruised through the first 10 miles together. Here are the splits:

1 - 6:36
2 - 6:16
3 - 6:24
4 - 6:09
5 - 6:28
6 - 6:32 (10K was right at 39:59)
7 - 6:24
8 - 6:27
9 - 6:28
10 - 6:26 (10 mile split was 64:14)

At 10 miles I started having stomach problems. No details are necessary, but running became very uncomfortable. I had to let Kurt go. Here are miles 11 to 13:

11 - 6:33
12 - 6:33
13 - 6:33 (Half split was 1:24:40)

Shortly after the half way mark I got sick. I had to stop for about 30 seconds and then got started again.

14 - 7:08

Then I felt better for a while:

15 - 6:41
16 - 6:41
17 - 6:46

I got sick again at the 18th mile. Again I had to stop for about 20 to 30 seconds.

18 - 7:18

At this point I thought about quitting. I had the flu much of the week, I was slowing down, I still had 8 miles to go, I was getting cold, I had gotten sick twice, I wasn't able to hold anything down, I had a huge blister forming on my right foot, and I just wanted to call it a day. I was thinking: How can I finish? Then I thought: How can I not finish? I had trained pretty hard for the race. Amber was waiting for me at the finish line. I had taken time off from church and travelled over a thousand miles to run. I was going to finish even if I had to walk.

I held up pretty good for a few miles:

19 - 6:55
20 - 6:55
21 - 6:51

At the end of the 22nd mile I got sick for the last time. There wasn't much left to get sick this time around. But I had to stop for nearly a minute. This one took all the energy I had left.

22 - 7:55

The last 4 miles were pretty much a death march. The blister on my right foot was screaming. Every other step was nothing short of painful. I just tried to stay under 3 hours for the race and made it by a mere 15 seconds.

23 - 7:30
24 - 7:42
25 - 7:50
26 - 7:38
.2 - 1:33 (2:59:45)

I found Amber after the race and got some much needed anti-nausea medicine. I was going to, and probably should have, taken it before the race, but I was worried that it would cause drowsiness. I had to take a couple of pills post-race. After a bath and laying in bed all day, I felt good enough to go polish off a plate of ribs and some serious ice cream.

It wasn't what I wanted from the day, but I finished. We'll try it again in Boston in four months.

I think the best part of the day was watching the marathon from our hotel room after we got back. It was so cool to see so many runners accomplishing their dreams. Some of them were out there for four, five, and even six hours. Each of them has their own story. Each of them was more than a finisher - they were a winner.