Without a PR.
But it was still actually a little bit fun, and considering all the trouble I had, I think things went OK.
I started to get a little sick on Wednesday. By Friday i had a fever and sore throat. So, I had the Doctor working in the Emergency Dept give me a script for antibiotics.
On Saturday I must admit, I was not feeling much better at all, but I thought if I just got a lot of rest, maybe I could do it.
I was able to go standby on an early flight and got into Albequerque just about on time. As soon as the plane landed I got a text from Monotreme telling me they were running late. I called and found out the first of many unusual surprises with the New Mexico Marathon and Half Marathon! They had decided to close Packet Pick up at 4 pm and not have any early am pick up! So, Mr and Mrs monotreme swung by the airport and then we rushed over to the expo to get our packets. I did not get a t shirt, as I had registered too late, but they immediately tried to sell me a t shirt. I have a ton of T's so I said no thanks. When I saw Monotreme's i was glad I had resisted. The shirt had a BIG applique of a plastic substance. its a technical T, but there was so much screened on it that it didnt look as if it would breathe well… the shirt had this on it.
If one is wondering, those are red and green chiles, the fame of New Mexico, along with the state bird, the road runner.
Anyway. We got the race packets, had a good dinner of Vietnamese Pho. We then tried to drive the route, which had us realizing that our choice of hotels close to the start line was hotels close to the start of the Marathon, not the half!!! So our planned half mile walk to the start became a 13.5 mile walk. Mr Monotreme quickly enlisted Mrs Monotreme to get up nice and early and drive us down there. Mrs. Monotreme is a stellar woman, so she agreed to do so. We then realized that the only thing given on the course was pretzels and oranges pretty late in the race. I'm a Gu fan, so we went Gu shopping. Mrs Monotreme used her cool hone to access the nearest sporting good store and we raided the gu. We bought "espresso Love" and some Cherry Sports beans. All were caffienated.
During the night I started to have a lot of GI trouble along with the fever. But i was thinking I could do the run. So I took a crazy 800 mg of Motrin and 1000 mg of tylenol. Then I went to Waffle House and tried to have a healthy breakfast…. With a Menu like this:
You can see I had trouble. I drank a lot of chocolate milk and had a piece of toast and half an egg. I just felt oogy.
Monotreme and Mrs. Monotreme joined me. I came to the realization that I had no saftey pins to get my number on.
I asked the waitress, she had one by it was holding up her pants. I told her to keep it. I asked another different waitress and some others overheard me. Suddenly, at 5:45 in the morning, people were out in their cars searching for pins. One gentleman who's wife was in the Marathon came up with 2 from her emergency baggie. He readily gave them up and I really appreciated that! Thats what I love about the running community, people always help each other out.
We got down to the race start and I was starting to feel a little better. My right leg was hurting but I felt like I didn't have a fever anymore. I was still having some GI problems, but…well what can ya do. They were playing good music and I danced for about 10 seonds with Mr. Monotreme.
The National Anthem was sung, great acoustics under the bridge there! and then we were off. I actually had a lot of problems from the start. I just plain felt bad. My leg hurt, And there were a lot of people in the way. I never understand why walkers start in the front. I totally get it when someone who is running slow starts in the front by accident, but if you KNOW you are walking the whole race, why start in the front? SO I dodged people and Monotreme tried to cheer me up.
Running a race with Monotreme is really really special. I felt especially special because he runs much faster than I do, but chose to run the entire race with me.
He started out doing a few Magic tricks- illusions of sorts with the fingers- and then reciting some Koans. The best of course is the "Ice Cream Koan" Of course, Monotreme is so gregarious, he soon made tons of friends in the field. A few people asked if we were related, since we were having such a good time. Unfortunately all good moments come to an end. My right leg did stop hurting after it got used to being pounded. Then I got an actual cramp in the right side at about I'd say Mile 2.2. I dropped back and walked a little. Monotreme told me later I looked pretty bad and he was worried I'd not finish. He convinced me to run to the next aid station where I drank some water and miraculously the cramp disappeared. I suppose because of the altitude change I was dehydrated from the start despite drinking a lot of water/milk/etc. Funny thing is that I would have totally avoided water if I had been alone thinking I was overhydrated and that would be the cramping reason. So score one for Monotreme the man of the day.
I never walked again in the race, except that we stopped at each and every aid station for me to get water or gatorade. This really slowed us down, but enabled me to not get too crampy.
At mile 4 we used our first Espresso Love Gu. It tastes like coffee, pretty nice actually. If you want a caffienated gel, I recommend it because it tastes like coffee, so there is no odd caffiene taste in another flavor. Unfortunantely the effect of highly refined carbs and caffiene on the gut with water can be well, explosive. I fought to not have such an explosion. I did need the calories etc from the gel, so I dont regret it, but my intestines didn't like it.
We ran along a trail for bikers and hikers. The trail had not been closed for the race and we had been advised in writing to "Steer well clear of these individuals" (Bikers etc who may be out on Sunday morning). So each time one went by, Monotreme yelled at me to "Steer Clear!" At this point I realized I was running too slowly for anything good to happen. There were no time clocks and Monotreme's Garmin had malfunctioned. So I had no clue how slowly i was going. I knew it was slow, so I mentioned to Monotreme that he should start to throw rocks at me…
eventually he found one, and pitched it well clear of me over into a ditch. I was certain he had hit someone, and somehow convinced him that he had too, he ran off to check it out…luckily I was wrong, it was a fairly large rock.
We tried out the sports beans on the route, they tasted very very red to me, but sort of fun. I might try them again. Just really hard to open the packet on the run.
I started to whine about my gut, my toes and my hip flexors at this point. Monotreme cheerfully started to sing….
"Whats that coming over the hil, is it a Monster…." which cheered me immensly.
We hit mile 8-9 and I started to oddly feel much much better. Monotreme remarked that I did look a lot better and seemed to be running better as wel. It was a bit strange.
Unfortunately that wasn't to last. We rounded the corner, and came out on a gravel path, where Monotreme threated to throw a dead duck that was on the side of the road at me….hence I got a new nickname, "Smelly Mallard" (Nice huh). and then found a smattering of people playing nice music. Monotreme took a moment to dance the twist, and I went enthusiastically charging up the hillock. Oops. At the top of what was a teeny hill, I completely lost all breath. I was coughing and gasping and threatening to vomit. Monotreme told me to keep breathing so I did…and eventually all was OK again. I kept running. There was a girl in front of me who had the world's worst form. Monotreme made the comment that she used enough energy running that way to do the whole Marathon. I so wanted to pass her, so I focused on that for a long time. I never passed her. Monotreme thinks she dropped out, I think she just kind of finished before me despite the fact that her torso seemed disconnected to the legs!!!
We eventually came to near the end. I started to have some serious grumpiness. i felt like vomiting, diarrhea and my toes hurt. Monotreme lightened the mood by approaching the portapotties and yelling loudly "Ralph, ralph where are you" in the potty! We then started to pass traffic. The folks in cars were coming from the race and were cheering us on. Monotreme kept introducing me to everyone, Saying "This is KB, doesnt she look good?" so everyone would start cheering for me.
By the last mile, I was not feeling good at all. I was feeling very disappointed that I wasn't going to have a PR. Of course I hadn't run a half in years so it sort of was a PR, though it was terrible. Monotreme sang Boogie shoes to me for a while, and unfortunately I just wanted silence, which was really so sad since Monotremem had stuck by me and encouraged me through the whole ordeal.
Needless to say I was glad to see the finish line.
It was pretty cool to hear the announcer announce Monotreme and My name!
There was no time clock even at the finish so I knew I had gone slowly but wasn't sure how slow.
We recieved our exciting medals.
Ate some good food at the finish, bagels, peanut butter, cookies, oranges, bananas, etc.
After that, we went back to the Hotel. I had a shower and commenced the vomiting and diarrhea. Oh gosh. It was bad. I started with another fever and shivered and froze through the night. My right leg of course started to hurt, so getting to and from the bathroom was not fun either. Blech. The next day on the plane was not much better….and being on the plane mad eit sort of unpleasant.
I was also feeling a little tubed about my unknown results. I started to feel a little better when I met a guy who told me he finished the Marathon in 6 and a half hours. Wow. He said he had been sick on the course. He was not lucky enough to have a Monotreme to yell Ralph for him.
When I got home the results still weren't posted. A few hours later. i found my time 2:37. It was pretty awful. i haven't run a training run that slow in a while, so I suppose all the stops for water really slowed me down. I was lucky that Monotreme stuck with me though!
So it was a pretty bad race. But it was also the most fun I have had in a while. I enjoyed joggin with Monotreme, he is so so funny! I want to be more like Monotreme!
I got back and told my trainer about it and she seemed to think it was OK, of course its her job to be positive. She also seems to think she can get me moving a bit faster than that for the Marathon. My goal is still about 4:20. Clearly not on track for that. But….I will be running at regular altitude in cooler conditions.
I'm not entirely thrilled with my results, but….I'm not as sad as I was either. In fact, I had a lot of fun running and I think I learned a few things that will help me out the next time….
and somehow I know I can not get a fever/GI problem for the Marathon. Sort of interesting how I might avoid it.
(And yes for those wondering, I did obtain some cool socks for the man in question. ;) He needs to ring me back though…..)
Mrs. Monotreme kindly took a photo fo us and I wanted to include it but….she has not sent it to me.