Race: Hogeye Marathon
"Where I go, I just don't know, I've got to got to gotta take it slow"
Date: March 29th, 2015
Charity: Jackson Graves Foundation
Amount Raised: $10
The Chili Peppers did two things for me here in Fayetteville - they made a great song to run to and they gave me the mantra I needed to get Arkansas crossed off my list.
21 days ago on the weekend I was to run my 20-miler I got hit with the flu and didn't do it. I spent the next two days in bed and the third at the doctor's office, where I found out I had fluid in my right lung. On the way home I immediately started googling "pneumonia two weeks before marathon" and got some not-so-encouraging results. Five days of Azithromycin and a week of chest pain later, I figured this would be my first DNS. But the week of the race I had put in a 4 miler and felt good enough to give it a shot.
We ate at the Marketplace Grill, a restaurant next to our hotel where I carbed up on a huge bowl of pasta and went straight to bed. The next morning I made it to the start line feeling exhausted, without breakfast and having left my coffee in the car. It was a bad feeling. Mae dropped me off and I had half an hour to hang out in the hotel thankfully until the 7:30 start time where it was a chilly 41 degrees out.
|Hills all day|
At mile 16 I came out of the park trail and finally saw the fam and started running a bit too hard. That's where I found my wall. I bumped my right foot into the ground and my toes immediately curled up and I couldn't walk. I talked to Mae for a little bit and Marcus asked me, why aren't you running? I needed about 3 minutes to loosen up the calf and felt a bit of despair when I realized I needed to still do 10 more miles. But I gave the kids and Mae one last hug and carried on.
I struck up a conversation with a marathon maniac from Tulsa where I learned the details of what it takes to make it to the club - since I'm planning on running two within 16 days I would make the bronze level of their requirements. I see these maniac shirts more often than any other running club - they help out with lodging and travel too so maybe one day I'll join their ranks.
At mile 19 as the sun continued to beat down in the afternoon where it was now in the mid 70's, I started getting depressed with how long I still had to run. Normally with optimal health I can run a 7-miler in an hour but at my current pace it was going to take another hour and forty minutes! I tried offering large sums of money to the EMTs who were patrolling the course for their bikes but no one thought I was serious. I just had to keep going.
Finally after five miles of gradual climbing followed by a steep up and down in the final stretch I was about 20 meters from the finish. I could see Mae and the kids and as I tried one last dash my left calf locked up on me completely. It became permanently flexed and another step caused me to grimace and stop. I tried dragging my foot but couldn't put any weight on it at all. Someone suggested I roll through the finish. An old lady who was already wearing her medal offered to help me hop across. I was like, no thanks - I just need my calf to relax. A volunteer came by and said, I don't know you, but let me help massage it out. Finally after five minutes of just standing there so close to the finish watching runner after runner finish ahead of me my calf loosened just enough to get me over and done with it.
|I cramped badly at the stop sign back there... so close!|
Registration: $95 + $7.50
Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale $93