One word: Awesome!
What a race! What a course! What a great time!
Well, a great time within great misery, but I’ll get to that later.
The Mayor’s is an incredible course, with rolling hills and miles and miles of dirt road and trail. I can’t say enough about how much fun it was (have I mentioned that I loved the course?).
However, the night before the race I woke to pains in my lower abdomen. I chalked it up to nerves, grabbed the heating pad and went back to sleep.
Next morning, the pain was still there but I gulped my protein shake and told myself that it was gas, or maybe I was getting the flu.
Whatever the case I. Was. Running. The. Race.
It vaguely hurt to walk to the starting line but other than that, I felt good. I felt great. I had trained. I was ready.
|That’s me in the yellow headband, foolishly optimistic at the start.|
The first few miles of the course are probably the most boring: A paved bike path that runs along the Glenn Highway. I kept pace and smugly watched all those runners who went out too fast fly past me.
The sun was shining, and it was warm. It was a lovely day. I was so happy I could barely stand it.
By mile 6, I could feel pain in my abdomen with each step. I vaguely wondered if I needed to, um, visit the bushes, but soon I reached the Tank Trail, a 7 mile stretch of dirt road and trails, and let loose with a couple of fast miles, not because I particularly wanted to run fast but because I was so damned happy to be off the pavement. I love dirt surfaces.
|Mile 16, and crossing a small bridge near the end of the Tank Trail.|
By mile 17, I visited a porta potty and realized that I didn’t have gas, I had a bladder infection; my pee was bright red and it hurt so much to, um, go that I almost screamed.
My solution: Grab an aspirin and keep running, hee, hee.
I was okay until we hit the pavement. The pain was sharp and intense, like knives in my abdomen with each step.
Yet here is the incredible part: I was still happy. I hurt like crazy but kept running, and while the pain never left and intensified as the race wore on, I never bonked. My head remained in a clear and good place.
How’d that happen? I dunno.
|Mile 18, and back on the pavement again. Note how my tank is pulled up the whole race? That’s because I was rubbing my poor belly.|
I cried on and off, the pain was so unrelenting. Yet I was high-fiving all the kids I passed, and I was singing out loud to my tunes, and I was strangely happy in my very misery.
I pushed liquids and stopped at every porta potty (there weren’t many) and kept running.
By mile 22, the pain was so intense that I had to stop and walk, twice (I’m embarrassed to admit this, but there you are). I lost all hope of meeting my goal. Yet, amazingly, I was still oddly happy.
|Almost finished! Mile 25ish and look, both of my feet are off the ground! I’m still running! Very, very slowly, but still running!|
My mile 24, all I could think of was: If I survived the pain of childbirth, I can survive this pain. And in my bleary mind it made perfect sense that if I endured 15 hours of childbirth and was rewarded with a baby, then if I survived the last two miles I’d be rewarded with a medal. And I swear, the medal is almost as big as a baby (Forgot to take a pic but will post later).
And as I neared the end, I did it again; I couldn’t help myself. There stood a cop and the sun glinted off his head and his shoulders were so very big and so very strong. I veered off the course, threw my sweaty and stinky arms around his neck and planted a big kiss on his cheek.
That gave me the boost I needed to charge toward the finish line and get the whole damned race over with.
|Almost finished. And look! Another picture of both my feet off the ground!|
Except it wasn’t a damned race. I was in pain the whole time and peeing blood from the midway point, yet it was one of the most positive races I’ve ever run.
My embarrassing slow time: 4:34.
Yet I’m strangely proud of this embarrassing slow time. Go figure.
After the race I drank a bottle of cranberry juice and dosed myself on Nature’s Way Urinary Tract Herbal Formula and watched “Little Miss Sunshine” with MM. It was a good day. (Congrats to MM, who finished his first marathon: woot-woot!!)
I’m still perplexed at why this was such a good race for me when almost everything went wrong. Yet it was. Thinking of it still makes me happy.
So there you have it.
6 thoughts on “Mayor’s Marathon race report (And I kissed another cop)”
Your happiness certainly comes through. You must be nuts! It sounds so painful but it worked for you!
Ow, you are tough. I had one of those marooned out in the SE AK wilderness, the plane unable to get us because of fog. Good for you, and I don't think it is embarrassingly slow.
That is a great time! I remember absolutely hating the tank road part of the course, though I did no hill training and went out waaaaaaay too fast. Way to go for toughing it out. I'd probably cry and whine and give up.
Ah Ah Alaska
I'm still happy about the race, AGR! I think it's because the sun was shining. We rarely have sunny days and all my happy brain chemicals were on alert, hee, hee
I just discovered your blog while searching the internets for people in the Anchorage area who run (I'm moving there soon). You are hard core for running a marathon with a UTI!
Great job! I think that just goes to show how much of a role the mental aspect plays in running.