My dream of the Free Press had 4 parts:
1. It was 62 and sunny (check)
2. My friend finished under 3-hours (check)
3. I ran the race in a haze (check, but in the dream it was because I was experiencing a runner's high, not because I was sick and cloudy headed)
4. I finished in 4:33 (EPIC FAIL!!!!)
Saturday night I took two big gulps of Nyquil at 7:15 and was in bed three minutes later, asleep by 8. I woke up at 1:30, out of bed at 4:00, and I still didn't feel great. I felt so-so at best. Definitely still had a sore throat, but the ear ache was gone. Woozy brain mush was present, but I tried to not think about it.
I had paid $62 for the race and dammit I was going to try!
Mile 2, my left ear bud stopped working. Aaaaaahhhhh!!!! The right one was fine, so I tucked left into my shirt and just used the right one. My quads felt GREAT! They've been stiff for a few weeks, but felt great today. Passed a woman with a funny sign "Run like a Yankees fan."
Mile 5, I was quite certain I was going to throw up. The temperature was still in the mid 40s, but I was POURING sweat, and shivering at the same time. My mouth got full of extra saliva and felt foamy and I thought surely I would leave a little something in Canada.... My breakfast stayed in place, but the excessive sweating dehydrated me and I was cramping. IN MILE 5!!!! Thanks be to God, two nice women had a table with BOTTLES of water and orange slices. I grabbed a bottle and didn't run again until I had downed the whole thing. So cold my butt was numb.
Mile 7, the 4:30 pace group passed me in the tunnel. At least I realized really early I wasn't going to hit goal time.
Mile 8, I saw TAMMY. I went over to her and stopped for a few seconds to say hi. I had posted a picture of her and her husband running through Hell on Halloween dressed as a pig and a frog. She was a spectator in the pig costume today while he ran.
Mile 12, I desperately wanted to end with the half and be a "marathon dnf."
Mile 16, 17, arrived very quickly. I thought there must be something wrong with my playlist to be that far into the songs and still feeling relatively good. Drank from the beer and polka table, enjoyed the jelly beans.
Mile 18-24, the second half wasn't bad at all when I had company. When I ran through the neighborhoods in 2010, I was the dead last loser, but it wasn't bad at all this time. It was even a little peaceful.
Mile 24, I saw the 5-hour pace group just around the corner. Panic time! If I couldn't hit my 4:33 please please please please please let me finish ahead of the 5:00 group. It was so hard, definitely the hardest part of the race, my legs were beyond fatigued, but my mind was screaming "Do NOT let them pass!!! Once they pass, it's all over because you won't be able to chase them down. STAY AHEAD OF THE GROUP!!!!"
Mile 25, there is an UPHILL. Who designed the course??? A guy on the side said it all "Make this hill your bitch!" lol All ten of my fingers were tingly as though they all instantly fell asleep. Tried unsuccessfully to shake feeling into them. Heard one person on the sideline say to another "There's the 5-hour group." Friend said "Is it the right time?" uh-oh, what does that mean???
Mile 26.0, 26.1, on Fort Street approaching the finish line, gasping and grunting to finish, completely oblivious to the crowd, passed several people.
Finish line, I didn't even have the energy to raise my arms. Just let me collapse!
A few minutes later, the 5-hour pace team finished. Yup, I held them off! :D
After I shuffled to my car, I called my brother for my final time. The app and online tracking were both abysmal, but the website said 26.2, 4:53. I was happy with that, not my goal, but a 15 minute improvement over Toledo.
Got home, looked online. 5:08:39. What. The. F^&k??? I WAS AHEAD OF THE 5:00 PACE GROUP! I lose some of my mental capabilities around mile 24, so I wasn't thinking that I started BEFORE the group, which made their time was irrelevant to mine. I was actually 13 seconds SLOWER than I had been in Toledo.
Not happy with this race. I really don't want to make excuses for my time, but the reality is that I was only about 75% healthy today and a full marathon takes 100% healthy. It feels like a great big waste of time and money. I could have had a crappy run in my neighborhood for free :( I had been as giddy and excited as a little kid on Christmas Eve and THIS is how my running year ends? Booooo :~(
My wonderful girl friend texted after "I love you and am sooooooo proud. I know you're disappointed but u need to stop judging self and be more gentle. Seriously. U just completed a marathon. The original marathon runner died afterwards...and we r talking about soldiers. So yeah. Even though u feel sad, u r an athlete who can push thru pain. Mind over matter. Love u. You are my hero for trying." Very nice of her, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. I want a Mulligan :(