Sunday, September 25, 2011

Galactic Acidification

Last marathon I did a home movie, took lots of pictures, wrote about in glowing prose.  This marathon- not so much.  We ran the Air Force Marathon September 17th.  
One of the many flyovers by various aircraft during the race
We did the training in half the time as the last one.  Life kept getting in the way, and we let it.  We didn't really have a team until the last 3 or 4 weeks and we didn't do team dinners/breakfasts or shop for matching uniforms or anything.  As soon as we started running with a team, though, things seemed to get a lot better.  Rob started not being so exhausted on runs.  In fact he ran us into the ground on the 20 miler.  Runs seemed a lot more fun and not as hard.  But then the last week I started feeling really exhausted.  I came up with all kinds of excuses from "I'm still recovering from the  20 miler, to I haven't eaten and it's already 10 am and I'm trying to run, to I'm just nervous about the race."
I tried to get into the race spirit a little the day before the race.  I made a tutu to wear and put butterflies on clips that I put in my hair.  I thought about buying wings, too, but decided against it because of the whole wind drag thing.

One of my butterfly clips had fallen out at mile 3!
The day of the race, we went in early- to the wrong gate and told them we were going into the office- which we were- so they moved barricades for us to pass through.  We went into Dwyne's office and hung out for a while, trying to eat the last of our bananas and oatmeal muffins.  It was all very surreal to me.  We finally headed down to the start point and just barely got there in time for the wheelchairs to start.  Two of the guys had to drop bags off at a collection spot, so we missed them.  We looked everywhere, but it didn't take long before the gun went off for us to start.  We eventually caught up with them.  They had lined up with the 4 hour group and we had lined up with the 4:15 group. 
Right before you got to the 1mile poster you got to a huge hill that went on for another mile and a half.  Really not fun, when you have trained on mostly flat ground.  The rest of the course was up and down except two spots- one at miles 9-10 which went off base, so that families could cheer.  

That is where the party was.  

One of the kids favorites

One of our friends' -who smoked us all- wife watched and carted around our children for us, so we could see them and they could see us.  She is such a sweetie!

By this time, I was already done running!  I couldn't seem to put one foot in front of the other without a huge effort.  

Everyone kept asking if I was Ok.  I wasn't.  At mile 18 I was really done.  I didn't think I could go another step, but we made it to mile 20 where true to form, Rob got a cramp in his hamstrings.  It happens every time at mile 20!  Before mile 21, though he caught up with us and passed us.  He said, it actually felt better if he ran faster.  He ended up finishing at 4 hours 14 minutes. 

He told one of the guys, Dave (who is in our bishopric) to stay with me and he did, the entire way.  Even though I took extra breaks, he stayed with me.  The last 1.2 miles is where you can see the finish line, but you have to go in a huge loop and back to it.  I couldn't even keep running there.   I had to take one quick walk before I could finish the point 2.  

As soon as I crossed the finish line a nurse was in my face asking if I was Ok.  I wasn't.  It was all fuzzy on the sides of my vision and I could feel myself starting to faint.  Rob stuck out his hand and I grabbed it and then I knew I would be Ok.   I did have to walk a couple yards and then sit down before I did faint, but I knew it would be alright with Rob.  I downed an entire bottle of gatorade and inhaled a banana and then I was able to stand.  I still didn't have to go to the bathroom until 7 o'clock that night, though!

Dywne still hadn't come in.  He was fighting hard with cramps.  We weren't sure when he would be there, so we took pictures.

Notice the bumble bee shirts the boys wore to match Rob's black and yellow combo (they are stinging like bees!)  Emma is in purple to match my floating like a butterfly outfit!  Nobody really got it.  They kept calling me tutu girl or I  also got fairy and ballerina! 

I was really disappointed with my time of 4 hours and 20 minutes.  It was almost an entire minute more than last race and I had trained to run it faster.  I kept trying to figure out what my problem was.  Why I was so exhausted the entire race.  The whole last 18 miles was a gut check.  It took me until the next day when I finally realized.  Only one thing changed from the time I ran the 20 miler (where we all ran strong and where on time for our goal) until I ran the marathon.  I had started taking Allegra for allergies!  And a couple weeks before the 20 miler, Rob had stopped taking allergy medicine because of nose bleeds!  I don't know why I didn't even think about it before I started taking it, but although it is non-drowsy, it still is, obviously exhausting!   Rob had been struggling with the runs ever since allergy season had kicked in and I started having trouble when I finally started taking allergy medicine (I usually don't get allergies, so I had just been trying eye drops and stuff before that.)  Needless to say, I have not taken allergy medicine since the race!  I am biased against them.

One day, I will realize that just completing a marathon on those terms and in not a terrible time, is a good thing, but for now I'm just disappointed.  I would like to prove myself, but I am also ready to do some other things.  We talked to several people about doing a triathlon and Rob really wants us all to run the Army 10 miler, (which we have already started training for) and I really would like to do a Ragnar race.   There are lots of fun things out there to do!  Anyone want to come with us to do any of them?  We do love a team!!

Dywne, Dave, Shawn, Rob and Deborah

PS the lactic acid from a marathon is always galactic!


Searls Stuff said...

I am so very, very impressed with anyone that runs a marathon REGARDLESS of how long it takes them. Your "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" theme was very creative! Good job!

The Johnsons said...

That is so are amazing Debbie, what an accomplishment....