For the typical marathoner, you are married to your sport. You wake up with it, think about it all day, hang out with it after work, and have dreams about it at night. Through all the trials and tribulations, you continue your relationship with it and work on it every day to try and make each day better than the last.
My Twin Cities Marathon experience was a true test of my relationship with running.
It was a perfect day for a race - temps in the mid 40's with a little cloud cover. The course was absolutely gorgeous and full of fall colors. I had never felt better at the halfway point of any marathon I've ever done and was hitting my goal paces almost spot on. I felt totally invincible!
Then mile 15 happened.
It felt like someone punctured a knife through my stomach. Then the nausea came, with dry heaving shortly thereafter.
Ummmm, excuse me running, but WTF?! We were doing so well!
I pulled over to the side and was assisted by an EMS guy on a bike who gave me some fluids. They asked how I felt about 5 minutes after the heaving stopped, and I lied and said I felt much better.
Stubborn, party of one.
By the 22nd mile, I had to pull over to the side again. The same EMS guy on the same bike saw me that second time, walked me to a nearby emergency aid station and gave me hot chicken broth. They advised I drop out and said I looked pale.
Sorry dude, but I always look pale. It's my German/Irish heritage. I'm continuing on.
Plus, there was no way I was dropping out at mile 22. I would walk/crawl/stumble my way across the finish line before I DNF'd.
I thanked them for the broth and continued as best I could for the next 4 miles, all the way across the finish line.
My legs felt great. My lungs felt great. It was just not my day on the G.I. side of life. But, like Nemo with a bad fin, I persevered and just kept swimming.
A day later I am already in heels with hardly any soreness in my legs. And I am already plotting another marathon in the next few months for redemption.
Marathon #5, I'm coming for you....