Miles 1-14 went flawlessly. A group of 3 of us were clipping along at 7:00-7:05/mile pace. We went through the 10k at 44:28, and we were on the move! We were in the southern most part of the race course when we hit the half-way mark at 1:32:38, or 7:04/mile pace (I would have placed 95th in the half marathon race if it were to end there), and we were feeling fantastic, smooth. The three of us teammates running in a pack were now split up, while I was trying to make seamless and easy passes while maintaining my 7:05/mile pace. After I passed mile marker 14, I started becoming light-headed, and it was hard to keep my eyes open and conscious. I stumbled to the side of the road somewhere after mile 16 and sat down with my head in my arms and ‘fell asleep’ right where I sat, since I couldn’t keep conscious. Sometime after a friend from my hometown stopped to come over to me to ask, “Hey, are you okay?”, and I don’t believe I had a very clear answer! So he helped me up and we were off to walking for a couple miles for it took a few water stops and rest to try and start feeling well enough to start up again which I was determined to do. The rest of the race was complicated by having to shuffle with charlie-horses, immobile and dead legs, and an unknowingness of where I was!
The most memorable part of this entire way back to the Fargodome from getting back up was that my friend was there with me until the end making sure I would make it back, and even held up multiple times when I had to stop to grab 5 or so cups of water or Gatorade, or when I was shuffling and ended up cramping. I owe quite a bit to friends like that! Eventually, after dropping to a 12:38/mile pace, I shuffled into the finish line chute glad that I was alive and had even finished. I thanked my friend for everything, grabbed my amazing medal, and started my buffet of post-race everything. I looked at my watch while I was waiting in the mob of finishers and saw 3:49.35. As anyone with a goal would know, when you weren’t able to reach it, you’re not 100% satisfied, but with this scenario, I was as happy as ever. I soon found a group of my friends, and that sight alone is all it takes to be thankful for anything and everything.
My goal was to work with my teammates and finish in a sub 3:15/3:10 time, but this past weekend it just wasn’t my day! I, like a near 80 others experienced heat-exhaustion that took me out of my full potential. This was my second marathon after I ran Grandma’s in Duluth last year in 3:15. In 26 days, I’ll be back there again and ready to tackle the full 26.2 with the exact same game plan. Qualifying for Boston may seem like my goal, but I’m out to have fun, and I want to try my best at every race until I won’t have the physical ability to run any longer!
Above you’ll see a 1/3 of our team. Thanks to all my 30+ teammates, and a fantastic job in all of your efforts!