On Saturday I headed up to Salem for the Wicked Half Marathon. This race was to be a training run for me – a chance to make sure that the stomach issues which have plagued me during races this year were behind me and a chance to test my race pace.
Well nothing about this day went as planned.
Given the fact that I’m still sick a couple of days later, I can now say that I was battling some kind of bug during the race. The wheels came off the wagon at mile 5 – for the first time ever in a race I made a porta potty stop and struggled to keep running/walking through mile 10. Just after the 10 mile marker I was only walking. My stomach was a nightmare – I was really nauseous and had the continual feeling that I was going to be sick. I seriously thought about packing it in and taking a DNF but what kept me going was my kids out along the course.
Since the course was open to traffic, J and the boys were able to leap-frog me along the course, so I saw them multiples times. They cheered their hearts out and it really kept me going – the boys even came and ran along with me a little bit. I wanted them to know that even when things don’t go well that you don’t give up! So when I just didn’t think I could manage a shuffle any more, I walked.
I ended up connecting with a woman named Dawn whose ITB had her walking since mile 4! We stuck together and encouraged each other and the other “walking wounded” we encountered along the way. As we passed the 12 mile marker, we talked about trying to run it in. Dawn really didn’t think that she could but she knew I really wanted to try (I just couldn’t bring myself to walk across the finish line!) so she encouraged me to give it a shot. I did and ran/shuffled to the finish. I waited for Dawn to cross the finish and we gave each other a big hug! Isn’t it amazng how quickly you can bond with another runner over the course of just a few miles?!
Best moment – my son telling me he was proud of me! Doesn’t get better than that!
Every race experience teaches you something about yourself right? So I take this experience and dig in for the next couple of weeks and get ready for the BAA Half.