a blog about running fast with style
CIM 2012: A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last…
Ah dang but it wasn’t (but I like your optimism Counting Crows).
Sorry December, I think we should see other people or at least maybe not race the first weekend in December.
Oh CIM. My first mistake had nothing to do with race conditions, training etc but may have in fact been my race selection which I failed to realize back in July when I agreed to sign-up.
Note to self don’t run a race between Dec 1-3. It’s not pretty. Maybe one day I’ll bore you all with awesomely long details of my issues with December 3rd… but not today. I don’t feel like crying (and I’m not blessed with the gift of being a pretty crier #truth).
The short of it is December 3rd’s the anniversary of my misdiagnosed ruptured appendix (like a million years ago) and lengthy stay in the hospital filled with all the joys of a hospital stay like morphine, sleepless nights, countless surgeries, feeding tubes, weird drains, weird tests and maybe waking-up on operating table and okay and maybe being awake for a surgery. #itwasntawesome and the few days leading up to the anniversary I tend to find myself in sort of fog which surprisingly is not ideal when trying to prepare for oh I don’t know a marathon. #lessonlearned
I could tell my head and heart weren’t into this whole race thing a few days before the race but figured I’d snap out of it by the time I found myself at the start line. Just keep moving forward right? Oh yeah and smile.
You’ve probs already heard about the fun flooding and crazy headwinds. I’d had plenty of talks with the coach about how to run in said conditions and was still feeling pretty good about my plan until I saw the winds were going to be in the 30s and my coach told us to not go to the start line.
Um say what?
Not the pep talk I was hoping for.
As I went to sleep on Saturday night I wasn’t sure what to think or feel and I can’t say much changed the next morning. Still Megha and I managed to get-up, eat and find the shuttle to the start on Sunday morning.
The start: there really are no words (but I’ll try). I’m from Eugene, live in Seattle and I know rain but this was a something I hadn’t run in before since I’m smart enough to take a day off or wait for a storm pass instead of running through it. But apparently marathons don’t wait for weather to pass.
The rain wasn’t falling vertically but horizontally (like storm chasers on the weather channel). Megha and sought shelter in the near by mini-mart and were almost trapped when I couldn’t open the door since the wind was blowing it shut on us.
It was epic.
At this point I don’t think either one us were thinking we’d race this thing but somehow we managed to find ourselves on the start line with the 3:00 hour group.
Before we knew it we were off and running and you know what? It didn’t feel that bad. Megha and I kind of looked at each other and silently agreed that this thing was going down.
It was rainy and windy but I just tried to tuck in and relax. My strategy worked well until around mile 4. I’d kept my armwarmers on and a long sleeve shirt since it was flooding and all and for some reason I decided it was time to shed a layer. I wasn’t hot or warm but I don’t race in long sleeve shirts so figured it was time to shed the layer. #stupid
A mile later I shed my armwarmers and pretty much knew it was a big fat mistake (again I wasn’t cold). Immediately I felt cold but figured I’d adjust. #doublestupid
I tucked into the group and just ran. And then I lost contact #thingsyouneverwanttodoinamarathoninthewind
I’m not even sure what really happened. It was around mile six or seven. I went in for the water stop, the volunteers were not ready and I ended-up waterless and as I looked up I saw my group pulling away.
What just happened???
I tried my best to reconnect with the group but miles six through ten were straight into the headwind. I tried my best to close the gap and tuck in behind someone but just couldn’t find anyone to run with: I was in no man’s land. I tried my best to not panic but by the time I hit mile ten and was out of the head wind I was done.
I was cold and wet and this whole thing seemed pretty dumb. Still I can be pretty dumb so I just kept running. I saw my mile times slowing down while my effort remained the same.
I told myself to get to 13 and then make a decision.
My decision at 13 was to drop out, this wasn’t the race I’d come to run and if I wanted to save my training I knew I couldn’t keep pushing. Honestly though at this point no part of me ever wanted to race again (um dramatic much?).
I found the mile 13 marker and started to look for a bus, that’s when I heard someone calling my name: It’s Megha!
She’d been running strong (much longer than me) but was starting to have issues too. We joined up and she convinced me to keep running (her drive to finish was much healthier than mine). So I ran with her.
I was starting to feel recovered (still not awesome) but at least it wasn’t a death march but Megha’s issues were not improving. We kept running but by mile 16-17 I could tell things were getting worse and that we needed to find some medical help.
We wouldn’t find help until after mile 19. At this point Megha was shaking pretty bad and they wrapped her in blankets and put us in a mini van with the heat blasting. After about 15 minutes they were finally able to take her temperature and it was 93 degrees (yep that’s mild hypothermia).
As we tried to heat Megha up they gave me a blanket and we tried to stay warm. The volunteers were great and super helpful. The only thing that wasn’t fun was that they asked about 10 times if we were really dropping out. Yes it does appear that way. No one likes to say you’re dropping out but you swallow your pride and do it.
It was at least an hour before Megha’s temperature was back in the range of normal. I guess my temp wasn’t doing great either. After sitting in the van for 30 mins or so we decided to take mine and it was a whopping 95. Oops.
We eventually caught a bus back to the start and by this point I’d recovered from my “I’ll never run again” moment at mile 13 and figured I’d get into a race in January. I knew I was in good shape and I knew I was ready to run and that’s the crazy thing about running, there’s always another race.
Looking back the only thing I’d change was taking my layers off but hindsight is 20/20 or at least it has better visibility than flooding rain in 30mph headwinds. This was my first DNF since a high school cross-country meet but I can think of two other races I should have DNF-ed and I remember recovering from them was brutal so for me it was the right choice.
We all know I’m bad at conclusions so I’ll leave you with my spits and the good news that CIM next year is on December 8th and that apparently it only floods in Sac every 10 years.
run pretty run fast