Bay State Marathon, Oct 18 2009
This one was pretty nasty. I should have rolled over and gone back to bed. That's what Cara did. For starters, my longest training run was only 10 miles, so I really wasn't prepared. Then, I got the starting time wrong. For some reason, I thought the start was at 8:30. At 7:50, while still 10 minutes away, I got a call from my brother Dana asking where the heck I was (my sister in law Michelle was finally running her first marathon, after 5+ years of persuading by yours truly!). Finally, my hip was in agony, all summer long I'd found it necessary to take Tylenol even for short runs of 1-3 miles. I'd decided that I would run this marathon and New York as training for the JFK, and if I made it through that one, my running career was over.
I pulled into some random parking garage at 7:58 ish, and figured I'd find a place to pee, then pull a Ranger Dave (starting a marathon while the cleaning crews are cleaning up the start). To my surprise, I stepped out of the parking garage and found myself right at the starting line! In fact, I didn't even have time to work my way back to the plodders, so I started with some of the 'real' runners. I didn't have time to dehydrate, so I popped a few Tylenol and got started.
It was cold and raining at the start, and it only got worse. My running shoes were soaked through by mile 2, most of the rest of my clothes were soaked by mile 7 or 8. Worst was my gloves, I'd lost one of my real running gloves, which were somewhat waterproof, so I was running with some cheap gardening gloves.
I popped some more Tylenol at mile 6. They knocked the edge off. A few more at mile 12. Finally, the last of them at mile 18.
My good friend and some times pacer Xuan was scheduled to meet me at the halfway point, which is conveniently located near the start. It was so wet and miserable that it would have been easy to quit, but she wasn't there, so I plodded on. Around mile 17 or 18 the rain turned to snow. Xuan was waiting for me at mile 20. On days like these you learn who your friends are! In addition to the miserable weather, I made for some great company, I think I was moaning and cursing the entire way. At mile 23 there was a nasty crown in the road, which focused the impact on my bad hip. I considered running backwards it was so bad. Other than Nascar tracks, who crowns their roads that much? My hip was killing me, and I could barely make forward progress.
Somehow I stumbled to the finish. There was frozen ice on my chest and I couldn't bend my fingers. I found a warm bowl of soup, more for something to wrap my hands around than for nourishment, but it served both purposes. My hands were so cold that I had to thaw them out to get the car keys out of my pocket.
Miserable damn day, but a gut check. I'd survived, and having completed that marathon, I since discovered that the weather doesn't intimidate me anymore..
No pictures. Even had I brought my camera, it was too cold and wet to use it.