Today I picked up my Mayor’s Marathon bib.
I didn’t take any photos of the expo, which was very small and kinda sad. I did, however, snatch up another Bondi Band (well, okay, MM bought it for me–thanks, honey).
|Why do I love these so much? I dunno, I just do.|
|Please don’t judge me by my messy bathroom, okay?|
I have no idea how I’ll do Saturday. It’s been hot, at least by Alaska standards, which means in the 70s, and I’m not used to running in the heat (don’t snicker, Lower 48ers. Seventy-degrees is a heat wave up here).
Still, I’m excited. I’m eating healthy. I’m trying to get enough sleep.
And I’m actually tapering, which has left me restless and weepy, almost as when I was pregnant with my son. Is there a correlation between tapering and pregnancy? Hmmm…. Whatever the cause, I’ve cried about five times today, the last time while driving home after a zippy little sports car cut me off.
So instead of getting weepy again, I’ve decided to write about my last marathon experience, which was actually my first marathon experience, the Big Wildlife Run Marathon last August.
My sister flew up from Philly to run with me. This was also her first marathon. We emailed our training woes back and forth all summer.
(I was going to post a pic of my sis here but a chunk of my photos have mysteriously disappeared from my computer. Huh? Thank god for external hard drives.)
Anyway, I was a bit overconfident come marathon morning. I followed Hal’s training plan. I put in my 18 and 20-milers, my tempo runs, my speed workouts (well, okay, I didn’t actually do all of my speed workouts, but no matter). I was ready.
And really, I did quite well and hit the halfway point at 2:05, right on target for my goal of 4:15.
I breezed through miles 14, 15 and 16.
And then I hit an aid station. And instead of water, I grabbed a Gatorade. And I drank it all down, too.
It was so good! And I thought: Now, whyever do they tell you not to try anything new on marathon day? This tastes good. My stomach feels good. I feel good.
A half mile later, I found myself crouched in the woods behind Campbell Creek, my tempo shorts pulled down around my ankles as I suffered one of what would become many runner’s trots espisodes. (And thank god Alaska doesn’t have poison ivy. Wait, it doesn’t, does it?)
I stopped again at mile 18. And mile 19. And mile 21.
I couldn’t eat anything. I couldn’t even keep down water. My stomach was a cramped mess.
And I couldn’t stop, umm, going.
Finally, around mile 23, I spotted something beautiful, something miraculous, something that brought tears to my eyes.
An Alaska Port-a-potty.
|This lovely “potty” isn’t from the race but it is a real Alaska port-a-potty, which I guess is a big deal.|
I ran toward it with outstretched arms, plucked my tired behind on that cool, stinky seat and let loose.
Then I realized that there was no toilet paper. I looked around in panic. There were no dandelion leaves, no grass blades.
I had to use my last Gu.
I don’t remember the last few miles. I must have run because I don’t remember crawling.
And then I hit downtown Anchorage. And the city streets. And the good-looking cops patrolling the city streets.
|Some of Anchorage’s finest, neither of which I kissed. When I Googled “sexy Anchorage cop” Sarah Palin’s photo came up, twice. No lie!|
I had promised (to everyone who would listen, and I’m sure they got tired of hearing it, too) that if I finished I’d kiss one of the cute cops at the finish.
And I did too. I ran up to a muscular blond cop dude and said, “I promised I’d do this.” He raised his hand to high-five me and I grabbed him in my sweaty arms and planted a huge kiss on his cheeks.
He actually blushed.
Then I sprinted up the street and over the finish line.
My time? 4:38.
I’m hoping to beat this time Saturday but I’m smart enough to know that anything could happen. And I am not, under any condition, drinking anything with Gatorade or sugar (she says, hee, hee).
Happy running, everyone.