Sunday, November 13, 2011

And Then What Happened....

Richmond Marathon Race Report 2011

Slept in a hotel down town with Pixie Green the night before my race (scantily clad pillow fights aside, I slept really well...).  I woke up early and walked to the meet point.  I had connected with a runner on the SunTrust Marathon Facebook Page who needed someone to please pick up his packet.  5 emails and three weeks later, I handed him his race packet on the steps of SunTrust Bank.

I got some pre-race love from SpeeDee.  Connected with the posse.  And got a hug from Coach Black that made me feel down right warm.  At this point, I was pretty sure that TODAY WAS MY DAY. I had a goal, a back up goal, and a basket goal.

In the start corral there was snuggling, it was cozy, Jess & Jodi joined the fun, and we all saw DeNiece “off to find her group”.  It was the last time I would see DeNiece until we finished, and as she walked away I thought – go get it Denise.  Go get that BQ.

Miles 1 – 5 Karasmatic & Q, 3L & KC, & I had way too much fun talking about… well, NOT talking about Lickable Abs, Cycling, and other random sh*t.  There was hazing, razzing, and general love in the air.  I felt PERFECT.  I am certain I drank at least 8 oz. of water in the first 6 miles.  Stingers on schedule.  I felt great, and when it was time to decide on my pace for the next 6 miles, I decided to go for the UBER goal pace.  It wasn't blistering, I run 8:50's all the time.

Saw the fam in the Party Zone at 6, cruised through to the hill at 10.  We held each other in check, I refilled my empty bottle.  There was something on the edge of my mind that wondered why my joints were achy at mile 10.  I brushed it back with a positive thought about not thinking negative thoughts.

Miles 10 – 12 Blair! The KING of Pink Nation. It was GREAT to see him, he has the most epic smile – but I admitted to him, I didn’t feel quite right at this point.  I couldn’t put my finger on the “why” of it.  I dropped back into a slightly more “easy” pace around a 9.  I wasn’t looking at my watch, just running on feel.

So then what happened?  Well, I GOT A HALF MARATHON PR – 1:56:48.

After the half mats I saw Cozy & 3L for the last time and I thought to myself – go get it girls.

Around 14 I had a bad moment where the entire world spun.  This is a distance I normally find pretty easy… so… I was weirded out.  I couldn’t walk a straight line & stumbled a few times.  My head came back to me, and I started jogging.  MTT Coach Val spotted me…  “I’m dizzy”… and so we started walking together.  She was so sweet.  “I had to stop 3 times at Chicago” ~ awe, thanks Val. 

I left her, and turned for the bridge.  I think I was running again, but maybe not.  Who knows, the entire run at this point became a play of "how long can you run before the world spins?" SpeeDee jumped in with me.  I told her that I was chomping down honey stingers and drinking, but something wasn’t on track. 

And then what happened?  “GBA_GF, WHY ARE YOU WALKING?”  And T and I connected again. 

I said, “Oh good, I was waiting for you.”  We left SpeeDee, and I thought, I’m with T now, I’m invincible.

MCM found me on the course at the junk food stop. I was going to refill my hand held.  Uh, that only works if you haven’t lost the lid… so I tossed my hand held away.  Along with my white Nike visor, which, was the enemy at that point.  Not sure why I thought that, but ~ what ev.  Runners are weird.
T, to be honest, I don't remember feeling as strong as we
look right here.

T & I made the turn onto Main Street together.

Oh, and remember that time we made running a marathon look easy?  Yeah, me too.

I gave T a salt pill, and she suddenly couldn’t hang.  Hindsight:  I should have walked with her then.  But I didn’t know how long until my next dizzy spell, so I was afraid to walk when my head was OK.  A bad decision that seemed sane in the moment.

I kept plugging forward until on Main Street at an intersection somewhere near the pastel houses, the Richmond Marathon course actually spun. 
Like, a 360. 
And so when it stopped spinning I was standing on the side of the course with my hands on my knees.  I stood up took two steps, staggered, and reached out as the course spun again.  My hand connected with something metal, the rusty paint bit into my fingers, and I held on for dear life.  I was on the sidewalk, holding a street sign.  When I lifted my head a cop in the intersection pointed at me.  I waved him off and gave him a thumbs up.

I was lying, but ~ runners are weird.

After a minute, I started walking again.  And then jogging again.  Connected with Karen.  And then El.  El gave me her drink & lots of advice.

I made the turn to Boulevard, and then, out of nowhere, Wine Not Whine was with me.  I don’t know how it happened or where she came from.  She ~ shoot I’m all teary thinking back on it ~ she says, “I’m feeling a little super hero formation here…”.  And then Pants Guy joined us for a few steps (Thanks Pants Guy).  So WnW and I made our way to the Party Zone and my head spun again.  I was so happy she looked so strong and amazing as she ran off… and I thought – go get it WnW.

Then I saw H, and said, “hey, it’s not my day.  Its going to take me a while to get there from here”.  I kissed my kids, ate ½ a banana, a salt pill & took a bottle of water.  Got some love from my BFF PAULIE!  (thanks Paulie) Something made me glance back here, and T had caught up.  I waited, we did a GU exchange and T and I, with our bottle of water in hand, set out to finish this race. 

“We’ve run this 100 times.”  Stadium to the Arch.  We saw Cherine (thanks Cherine) and then Illusive at a water stop; (thanks Illusive, you were great).  Into Bellevue, through the arch  (Yeah, Blair, I saw the sign… and Coach Black, was that the Black Team’s sign tacked onto the bottom?) and I let T go… and I thought to myself, “She can still get it… I SO hope she can get it". - go get it T.

I turned my watch screen so it only showed "time of day."  See, I had another spell that stopped me in my tracks and I thought, “Your race is over.  You’re now in survival.  Stop trying to kill yourself and be smart.”    

I walked a water stop keeping strictly to the shade, ate a stinger, and walked while I waited for the spinning to stop.  I started running again at a slow jog with the hopes that I could catch Young Stephanie (who I could see in the distance).  I thought, the sooner you finish, the sooner you can go to bed. 

My head ached.  My body ached.  I was sleepy.  I could not imagine why I felt this way, but I thought, “It’s a marathon, it’s supposed to hurt.”

I saw The White Rabbit on Brook Rd… and when the white rabbit took my hand and said, “com’on you’re running” I started running, and then I ran until Lombardy, AKA, The Lombardy Wind Tunnel.

El, Young Stephane, (me in the back), and Karasmatic
I don’t know if I was walking or running when I heard my BiolaBud (I pretty much love you) with yet ANOTHER Stephanie on the course inviting me to join them.  We picked up some random runners, and ran together past the Lululemon corner(Cheers to you all, you really know how spectate runners).  And then we caught Young Stephanie and gathered her into the fold, and I was determined we were going finish this together.

Chronologically things are a bit blurry.  It was running punctuated by world spinning.  

I looked down Grace and saw a pair of Viking horns. I thought, “oh, I’ve really disappointed Q.”  (hey, we’re honest here on the blog).  I heard his voice all the way down the street, “I thought I’d missed someone!”  He ran back to me and fell in beside me to run with me…  “What happened?”  Not accusatory, more... curiosity.

“Well.  It wasn’t my day. I got dizzy, and walked through the dizzy parts…  I think that added a lot time to my run today.”

He looked/sounded a bit shocked.  “Well, I think it probably subtracted a lot of time from your hospital stay…” I laughed as he continued, “so yeah.  If you run through dizziness they get to scrape you off the ground.”

We chatted a minute and he left me in the capable hands of beautiful Karasmatic! Young Stephanie, Karasmatic, El & I made our way in SUPER HERO FORMATION down the street.

Southern Comfort joined us and I realized:  Today wasn’t my day, but THIS was how it was meant to be.  

I was running in with my posse, I was with 2 of my favorite coaches. We were laughing about my disastrous marathon.  We were laughing, and I can prove it.  (Photo credit to Kty J
And then what happened?  I made peace with my day at mile 26.  It wasn’t my day.  But it was a great day for a run.  And well, we all know how much I love my run.

I have a saying I came up with a few years ago…

“When something goes wrong in a marathon, it doesn't go wrong by 2 minutes.  It goes wrong by 26+ minutes.”

Well I missed my goal by 26+ minutes.

10K 55:57Half 1:56:4820 mile split 3:09:57Chip Time 4:26:19

At the finish, when I connected to H, my son G was laying on the sidewalk “spectating”.  He was asleep in a sunny patch.  Turns out G was pretty sick all day.  

And late last night, after the race, I joined The Vom- Squad complete with fever, chills, & body aches.  So there’s an explanation as to why it wasn’t my day, or an excuse, however you want to look at it.


Katye said...

I'm so sorry it wasn't your day but so very happy that it turned out okay and not in the hospital. It was probably harder for you to stop and take care of yourself then it would have been to run hard. You looked incredible. You were there for all your were amazing!

Meredith said...

I'm sure if I wasn't so emotional, I would have some words right now. We both know I have lots of them, but, now, just a few tears and a smile that you finished and a smile for your words, " I made peace with my day at mile 26. It wasn’t my day. But it was a great day for a run. And well, we all know how much I love my run." Proud of you and oh how you inspire me!

Michelle said...

DUDE! I think you are a fucking bad ass! :) You rock....flu and all. Your running buddies rock! You inspire me.

bobbi said...

Not sure why you have me in tears with this, but there it is. I'm *glad* you made peace with your day at mile 26...

My husband came into the room when I got your 20 mile text. I was frowning, doing mental math that WASN'T adding up right. He asked me what was wrong, and I said I was just hoping that the texts were fucked up, because that couldn't possibly be right. Either that or something was really wrong. Guess we know the answer to that one...

You finished a marathon with the flu. That qualifies as GBA for real. And I can't wait to see what happens next...

Tough Mudder said...

It was a nice race, Congratulations to all the participants for a great job well done. Nice pics too, it was a great race.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Dang girl! You still pulled out a sub-4:30 finish! Pretty amazing. Way to persevere.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Great recap! I love reading a good marathon recap, and I like how you summed it up about it not being the best of days. I felt like this after a few races this year, and I like how you frame it!

Jen said...

I had the BEST time ever. I was way more than I imagined it could be.

Sorry the flu found you. You are extrememly GBA for finishing.

Can't wait till next year!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Event though I know you struggled through half of that marathon, your recap still reads with a lot of love for running. That's what matters. One race day doesn't make the runner, it's what you do in the days after that race day that make the runner. You my friend can not be broken by on measley race. I just love how much you love running!

Jesser said...

Running through that? Total rockstar. Congrats on the half PR. And of course the kickass outfit.

Allison said...

So sorry to hear about the extremely poor flu timing. But I'm so impressed by the fact that you ran through that and finished. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised based on how GBA you are!

Katie said...

So sorry you were sick! But I agree with the other commenters: you are a rockstar!! I cannot imagine running a marathon being sick! BTW- You look GREAT in all your pics!

Lindsay said...

Fabulous story of the trials and tribulations of your marathon experience.... However, I think you marathoners are a little scary now, so i'll have to stay in the <10K for another year or so. Much love to you Ginny!Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer P said...

I found your blog off of Shelly's. Nice work. I would have quit after the half marathon PR. Wait, that's only how far I run.

Nice hair - mine is purple too.

Pam @ said...

Well... damn.

What else is there to say?

By the way, after I saw Michele off at the half start line I came over to the full start to see if I could connect with y'all again. I looked for a good while around the 4:00 - 4:15 pace groups but never spotted you. Next time! I just registered for Shamrock!