Monday, October 12, 2009

Um...Do Over Please?

They do have those in marathoning right? I mean I give them to my 3 year old all the time so I figured maybe I should at least ask (I’ll even add a pretty please with sugar on top and cross my fingers while I’ll say it if that will help.)

Ladies and gents, Chicago did not go well. While I would like to say that you won’t be finding my official time because there was some serious chip malfunction or that with my nerves running rampant this morning I failed to properly affix said chip to my shoe, thus losing it forever somewhere between miles 16 & 17. None of this would be true.

No, that big fat disappointing DNF you see when you searched for me at the Chicago Marathon (come on now, I know you all did it, so might as while fess up) belongs sadly to me. All the training, all the cash to get down there (did you know in Chicago it is freaking $48 a night to park your car at your OWN hotel. I kid not) and I have no medal to show for it (nor did I get my free beer at the after party).

I had issues. Now in all honesty, I wrote this post yesterday, chronicling every tragic step which was my marathon. But upon re-reading I have decided that I pretty much sound like a whiny baby all throughout making excuses for myself and that many of these issues are probably not suitable for family audiences anyway (if you must know all the gory details find me on facebook and send me a message and I’ll spill it). So instead let me just put it this way, there were unexpected female problems (at least unexpected in so far as the ferocity with which they would arrive), digestive trouble (um…from both ends…yep, disgusting I know), and the disheartening lines at the bathroom in which I stood (multiple times) for 4-5 minutes each time watching my goal time slip away completely sucking the life out of me. (Speaking of which I would like to officially take a moment here on behalf of women everywhere to state my case for making it ILLEGAL, that’s right ILLEGAL, I’m talking steep fines and jail time, for men to use port-a-potties only to pee during a marathon. I mean come on. You all are peeing on every bush, building and tree in sight pretty much without showing even a touch of skin all throughout the race. What’s with those of you buttercups who INSIST on getting in the port-a-potty lines to pee? You’re just taking up precious room in line and slowing up everyone’s times. I mean women have no choice, it’s either bare all or get in line. You guys could probably even do it on the fly if necessary. So unless you fellas have to use the johns for another reason, like one requiring the use of toilet paper, do us all a favor please, skip the pots.)

And that was my marathon. The big DNF came just steps before mile 17. And yeah, I struggled with that decision for a good 3 miles before I made the SOS call to my husband. What finally made me whip out the cell phone was when the 4:45 pace team passed me by. I had started walking (in the kind of funny looking fashion that is your only option when you are also trying to maintain control of your bowels) and had just found out I wouldn’t be seeing him (and thus a restocking of feminine products) until mile 20 (I had last seen him at mile 2). So as the pace team BEHIND my pace team passed me and thus all hope of coming anywhere near my goal (since running was not going to be an option at least not in the very near future) I sent the “I’m done. Come find me.” Text message to my husband. Now had I never finished a marathon before, I would have sucked it up and kept on going dragging my sorry behind across the finish no matter how long it took. But since I have already accomplished that amazing feat, and was actually running for a time rather than just a finish, I just didn’t see much point in prolonging the misery at least not then (now of course I’m kicking myself and the head is beginning to set in). And besides walking 10 miles was gonna take FOREVER.

And although the disappointment weighs heavily upon me, I will celebrate in this fact. I look pretty dang good in my Chicago Marathon shirt. I actually look like…dare I say it?...a marathoner. Seriously, no leftover baby fat in that shirt (those last couple of pounds must be pure muscle baby). So although I was feeling kind of guilty about wearing that shirt, I think I will for a moment (a non-running moment, LOL) embrace my inner Kenyan and take a line from world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (wait..I don't think he is Kenyan, Ethiopian rather, I'm embracing my inner Ethiopian) who says,“I don’t train for the finish. I train for the start.” And train I did…and hard, even when I was tired, even when the babies wouldn’t go to bed the day before, even when the weather sucked, even when I just didn’t want to. So I’m gonna go right ahead and wear that shirt and call yesterday, a bad running day. It happens. Besides, it’s only quitting if I never run another marathon right?

Late last night after we got home at around 1AM I did a little google search on do overs. Hamilton ON marathon sounds good, but it’s Halloween weekend and I’ve got a hungry lion and a scarecrow, who’s “stuck on a pole with nothing to do” that need to get all loaded up with candy. So that’s out. But Indianapolis, Nov 7th…that just might work…maybe they are do overs after all?

‘Til next time…

May your good running days fall on race day and when they don’t, run another day!

Don’t forget next weekend is the Detroit Marathon and I’m running the first leg of the relay for Make-A-Wish and in lieu of the whole Chicago Marathon bomb, I’m now taking your sympathy donations. Even just $5, $10 would really help alleviate some of the crushing disappointment I’m feeling. Do I need to say pretty please again? ;-) Come on help make a wish come true for a sick child! Click here to go to my Active Giving page.

P.P.S. I have some questions and need some help from all you more experienced marathoners out there. But this post is far too long already and I need to put a little more thought power into what all went down yesterday and why. So make sure you all come back and read my next post and share your mighty running wisdom. Oh and this may actually come in the form of a guest post, by none other than runfastdaddy himself who was witness to at least some of the happenings yesterday. Stay tuned...this oughta be good.


Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GREat post. I HATE it when a bad running day falls on Marathon day. Thank you for your honesty and good luck in your Do-over

shellyrm said...

Sorry to hear you DNF. There are many days I'd like a do over!! I agree, it's not giving up unless you stop running. You are setting a great example for you kids/family! Keep on's sanity one step at a time!!

Jill said...

Wear your shirt with Pride, Kelly, you put in the work and you deserve to wear it as much as those that crossed the finish line. I'm not sure if you've run marathons before or if this is your first but rest assured, we've all had bad marathons (I walked San Diego from mile 16 on...a total death march) but you will persevere!!! I'm doing Tucson December 13th, if you want.
I'll look for you on FB, if you aren't already a friend (I have a bunch friend me from The Loop so not really sure anyone's Loop name vs real name - ha).
Hang in there!!! You ARE a marathoner!

runnanna said...

Keep running! You did a great job-you did your best that day. On to the next marathon. I know what an awesome runner you are...I've seen you on good days (most of your runs are great runs)Sing this "Momma said there'd be days like this..they'll be days like this my momma said..(oh wait..that's me!)love ya'
p.s. "Buttercup"..that cracked me up!

john said... are a tough woman and one time will not kill you it will only make you stronger for the next time....Murray Ridge in Elyria Ohio is November 1st for a good cause.....alll flat to benefit mentally challenged children I have run it. I must confess that I am "one of those guys that prefers the portapotties". I will visit your donation page....I will look for your next race post.....Oct 25th for me in DC.

SueMac said...

That was a great post! I'm so glad I stumbled upon you!

monicac2 said...

Hey! It's Monilark from Twitter.

I am so sorry to hear about your race experience at Chicago. The 4:45 pace group flew by me, too, although not until about Mile 23. And I could not keep up with them (my left foot was ON FIRE, thought it had split open). I finished in 4:52:31, much slower than I'd hoped for, but this was my 1st marathon.

I think a do over is a great idea for you! I did the same thing with a half marathon once, and it turned out great!

Also, thie things we women have to deal with, I swear! I will be looking forward to hearing your tale of redemption!