Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MVP Rochester Marathon

Oh where to start....I guess at the beginning...this is a bit long, but it has a good ending.

Rochester is about an hour and a half from my house, so I thought it would be smart to stay overnight, so we'd be able to wake up a little bit later, and not have to worry about getting a flat tire on the way to the race. So Saturday afternoon, Jeannine, Norine and I headed out to the race expo, then on to dinner and our hotel.

The expo was pretty small, it was held in the gym I used to belong to, I lived in Rochester for five years, so it was great to go back to complete the circle...from running on the treadmill in that basement gym, to running a marathon around the city.  We checked into the Hyatt, which was the official race hotel, and it was fun to see other runners in the lobby.  Around five we headed to dinner at an Italian place that a friend of Norine's had suggested, where I had a perfect slice of lasagna, it wasn't heavy at all, with a bit of ground meat and tomatoes and cheese, which I paired with a beet salad.  We gazed at the bottles of wine, and talked about how low our tab would be, since we were sticking to just water. I was careful about what I ate all that day, had a turkey sandwich for lunch, nothing that would give my stomach any trouble (a little bit of foreshadowing here). I was feeling stuffed up, I caught another freaking cold, which I think I picked up at a baby shower last weekend.

I was in bed by ten, reading my book, I had all my gear laid out and ready to go.  I had a solid nights sleep on Friday, which I was glad about, since the sleep you get two nights before the race is what's important. I did my fair share of tossing and turning, and I woke up once during the night to the sound of rain.

I was up right before my alarm went off at 5:45, and I felt good mentally.  I was calm, excited, I just wanted to get the heck out there and run this thing!!!  I drank a lousy cup of hotel room coffee, ate a banana, and half a bagel with peanut butter. I was coughing a bit though, and was still stuffed up.  We made it to the staging area at 6:45, picked up our time chips, then hit the bathroom.  The walk to the start was only about a half a mile, and on the way over I had a couple of Norine's Cliff Shot Bloks.  Time was going fast, so we took a quick photo, one more bathroom stop, and hurried to the start, with 2 minutes to spare.  Which was a good thing, it didn't give us time to get too nervous.

After the national anthem, I touched my flag pin, the gun went off, and we got moving.  I couldn't believe it, G-unit got all wonky, for the first time ever.  I restarted it, and could only get the pace part moving, which was fine because that's all I wanted it for.  My plan was to stay around a 10:30 pace for the first half, I didn't want to blow out my hamstring right away.  Then the rain started falling.  And falling. And falling.

But I was feeling good, rain aside, this 10 mile stretch went out of the city, along East Avenue, which is lined with trees and beautiful homes.  I saw my friend Karin on the side at mile 3, with a big Good Luck sign for us, which is always fun to see.  I sucked a GU at mile 5, my plan was to have one every 5 miles.  I usually wait longer, at mile 6 or 7, but I thought since I was going to be running for so long, I needed more fuel (did I mention foreshadowing?). I had a bit of water at each water stop, I wanted to save my water bottles for the last part of the run, I think I'm scarred from the memory of the Mountain Goat run, where they ran out of water at mile 6.  I also had Nuun with me, which I sipped every so often.

The course then turned onto a stretch of the Erie Canal, which was a dirt path, with puddles and mud in a few places. I found out later that Rochester changed the course this year, because it was too costly for the city to close the streets.  So instead of 9 miles along the Canal, it was.....12.  And I'm telling you, it felt it.  No spectators, aside from those at the water stations, it felt like I was on a long run by myself.  So I turned my ipod on, and in keeping with my history with ipods, it crapped out after about an hour.  Must have gotten wet in the rain.  But temperature wise, everything was good, the rain stopped, but it stayed cloudy, and it was in the low 60's. Perfect running weather.  I had another gel at mile ten. At fourteen, I was excited, I was thinking how I had 12 miles left, which was totally doable. Then I reminded myself to stay in the moment, enjoy the fact that I was running a marathon, and to absorb it all.  I had another gel at 15.

As I was nearing mile 16, my stomach was feeling a little off.  So when I saw Karin again, I stopped for a second to stretch my hamstring (which, thankfully was feeling pretty good). I mentioned that my stomach was feeling weird, then I set off again. 

I was trudging along, and I noticed the same group of people over and over at all the water stops, it was the family of a girl who was running the same pace as me.  They had a big sign with the numbers 1 to 25 on it, and they crossed off each number as we completed them.  I started talking to them as I came into each stop, and they would cheer for me as I ran by.   At another point, a huge group of people had a whole pirate theme going, and a woman in wench attire offered me a shot of rum....yeah, maybe later.

Hate to say it, but I started to feel worse.  This had never happened to me before, ever.  My stomach had that weird unsettled feeling, I was craving a saltine.  As I passed by mile 18, I saw a porta-john sitting by the water, so I thought maybe I just had to go to the bathroom.  I ran up to it, tossed my fuel belt in the grass, and gagged.  Opened the door to go in, and started heaving. I mean loud, throwing up your toenails type heaving. Although nothing came up.  So I came out, and noticed what a pretty spot I was standing in, on the side of the river, with a guy fishing on a boat, people running by, and I'm acting like I just finished a bad night at the bar.  But I felt better, so I grabbed my belt and got moving again.  And I thought, "Tri Diesel would be so proud."

This part gets a little blurred.  I was really getting tired of the canal path, it felt like it was never going to end. I saw Karin again, and she tried to give me some jelly beans, I looked at them like they were poison, but I took one, and it wasn't doing it for me.  Karin has run the marathon before, and when I asked her when this boring stretch was going to be finished, so gave me a true look of pity, and said "Oh Moll, it's going to be boring for a while."

Before I pulled my hamstring, I had hoped to complete the run in 4:30 - 4:40. I had a solid 10:15 pace for all our long training runs, so I thought it was doable.  But after my hammy issue, when I didn't think I was going to even be able to run the race, I threw all time goals out the window.  But I still wanted to finish under 5:00.  I got into my head a bit here, telling myself I can do this, think of all those people who want to run who can't, think of how I'm capable of more than I realize (which has been my training mantra, and I don't remember where I got it from).

Karin popped up again at mile 22, I was coughing and gagged once more on the side of the path, and one of the guys who had been running near me told her what I was doing.  She got me some water and said I had 50 minutes left to finish in five hours.  I stretched my hamstring which was starting to feel tight, and opened a GU and ran. I took little bits of it very slowly, I ate about half of it, and my stomach finally settled down.  I was thinking, "Holy Cow, I only have four miles left, I can do that in my sleep!"  Yeah, okay.

I had to stop a few more times for my hamstring, and I thought "well, I don't want to ruin my leg and not run for 3 months, so whenever I finish, I finish." I almost started laughing when I saw the 24 mile marker, I felt like the time went by fast, but also pretty slowly.  Or maybe I was just hallucinating.

At this point we were finally back in the city, and I was so happy, I got the energy from somewhere, so I just kept moving.  I looked both ways when I crossed a street, and the cop standing there laughed, and said "Don't you worry about looking for cars, I'll take care of it!"  Then I passed a guy walking and I waved my arm at him and said "Oh come on!!" He said, "you're right." and he got moving.

And then, I had half a mile left.

I came down the road, and I saw Jeannine's Dad, and her daughter and niece, the girls started to run with me, and then I saw Jeannine, Norine, her husband Phil, my brother in law Rob, and Jeannine's sister Gina and Mom.  Later on I saw video they took of me, and my arms are flapping so hard that it looks like I'm trying to fly, not run. 

I finally rounded the corner and saw the finish, with Mike and the kids and all our friends, including Karin, waiting at the side, she was truly an Angel to me during the run, I don't know what I would have done without her.  I came along and saw 5 little hands in a row waiting for high fives.  I crossed that finish line feeling good, smiling, and as I passed through I struck a happy pose, which the photographer said was the best she's seen all morning.  My time was 5:09:41....okay, I'll take it.

I went over to the food area, and grabbed a water, but nothing was appealing to me, so I plopped down on the wet pavement and started stretching.  Then I met up with everyone, and as soon as I saw Mike it was Niagara Falls, my tears just started flowing.  I couldn't even talk when I hugged Gina, I just cried silently.  It was a relief to let it out.

Then I got it together, Rob handed me a cold Powerade bottle which I immediately put on my hammy.  Then a runner came over to me and said, "was that you puking in the porta potty at mile 18? I recognized your fuel belt. Man, I would have never run after that, nice job!"  Then I ran into the family I made friends with at the water stops, the Dad came over and shook my hand (but it seemed like he wanted to give me a hug) and said how they were rooting for me, and at one point it didn't look like I was going to make it, but they were so glad I did.  Then they gave me the number poster.

After the race, we headed back to the hotel.  Where I discovered how chafed my inner thighs were.  I had put Glide on them before the race, but it must have washed off in the rain.  They now look like a piece of overcooked ham. 

I took the best hot shower of my life at the hotel, then went on to my friend Dawn's house for a post race party.  I ate some veggie chili, crackers, water and nursed a glass of wine, but I had no appetite.  It wasn't until we got home that I felt really icky, I was cold, shivering and tired. I sat on the couch with my comforter and barely made it through the finale of True Blood. 

Now I'm sore, and coughing a lot more.  So I don't know if my stomach problems during the race were because I had too much gel in too short a time, or if I was really just sick.  In either case, it doesn't matter.  I did what I set out to do, and I'll do it again.  I'm still processing the whole day, as I look at my "trophy" that Luke made me out of Bendaroos and cardboard.

I have some catching up to do on everyone's blogs.  Honestly, I have "met" some great friends through blogging, so thank you, for all the supportive comments you have given me.  And I'm lucky to have an understanding husband, family and friends who encouraged me through this whole thing.

That said.....when's the next race????

(insert smiley face here).

83 comments:

*~* *~* Tracy said...

Great race report and Great job getting it done!

misszippy said...

Way to persevere out there! You are a tough chick--be proud of yourself. And a big Congrats!

kristen said...

Great race Moll! marathon's are not easy even when everything goes perfect (or so I hear, I have never had the privelage!) but I'm so proud of you for pushing on through all that nastyness! You rock my world girl. xoxo

so.....when IS the next one??!!

Laura said...

Awesome job!! It poured the day I did my first marathon...makes you seem that much more hardcore.
Congrats again!!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Congrats! I love that you laughed when you saw mile marker 24. I did the same thing. Mainly because I felt like those mile markers were a cruel joke! Great job!

WannabeRunner said...

Awesome job and congratulations! Bummer on the stomach issues and being sick, but it just means that you'll do even better next time :)

abbi said...

Great job getting through it...you did amazing! I laughed out loud in the part of your report where another runner came up to you and asked if it was you puking in the port-a-potty! :-) I also love that you will do another one at some point...Congrats!

Sherry said...

Wow!!! Congrats on the marathon! Bummer that you were sick but I am way impressed at how you pushed through and did it!!!

Maxi Fortend said...

Really fantastic job! It's a big emotional thing you did! Get better soon!

Pam said...

So happy for you, Molly! You ran a marathon with a pulled hamstring and sick in the rain! You are hardcore!

run4may said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. As I stated in my previous comment, I am running my first full in less than a month and I'm scared. Scared of the unknown and wondering if I will finish. Your race review helped me realize that "I'm capable of more than I realize"- your mantra. Great job!

Katie H said...

Awesome job and great recap! You are quite the trooper and should be incredibly proud of yourself! The trophy your son made for you is too cute. Way to go Molly!

Nicki said...

Way to go, Molly! You did a fantastic job getting to the finish line. Hope I can make it in somewhere close to your time.

Wells L said...

Amazing accomplishment! A real lesson in pushing through the obsticles! Thanks for sharing your journey. Hope you're feeling better.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Congratulations!! That sounds like a crazy tough race. Its takes serious mental toughness to keep pushing through all that. You did great!

I loved reading your report. This line gave me the goose-bumpies:

"I'm capable of more than I realize"

Runners Fuel said...

Great job!! So glad you pushed through and made it!!

Kellie said...

Congratulations! You should be so proud that you powered through the rain, dry heaving, stomach problems and everything else that race threw at you. Good job, girl!

Jesse said...

Wow, I'm not sure I'd keep running after heaving. Awesome job!

H Love said...

sounds tough....but you did it well!! woo hoo!! so excited and relieved for you! all your hard work paid off!! CONGRATS!!!

Julie said...

Congrats to you Molly! You finished a marathon in a little over 5 hours with all of those issues! You are my inspiration Lady! I laughed at several parts of your race report:) Maybe you were hallucinating:) God bless you and your determination! I am so thrilled for you! So, when is your next one? Nice work Molly!

Colleen said...

Oh my goodness... I totally have tears in my eyes! You did amazing!!! I don't know how you carried on after the whole 18 mile fiasco, but you are so strong! I love that the family gave you the poster too... :)

Hope you're relaxing something fierce right now!

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Loved reading your race recap! You did awesome! I absolutely love your trophy. :)

Lois B said...

I'm tearing up just reading this. Congratulations! I'm so impressed and very happy for you.

Melinda said...

Great job and congratulations for finishing your first (and probably not last) marathon! I can't believe you felt so good during the last 4 miles - that's usually when I fall apart!!

You are a trooper for after stomach issues at mile 18. You my never know what caused that. Very strange. But it is remarkable that you just kept running.

I love the trophy that Luke created. Aren't kids the best? They are so proud of their mommies for finishing races. What a great example you set for him!

Brittney said...

Wow, that is so inspiring! You are awesome!!! Great job girl :)

Evolving Through Running said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Awesome job, made all the more awesome by the fact that you powered through the stomach issues. Great recap, and great pictures from the race. Despite the battles, it looks like you were enjoying yourself.

Michelle said...

You did an amazing job! Congrats! Way to push through!! You should be proud of yourself - I am!

Morgan said...

Congrats Molly!!! You did great and proved that your mantra is right: You are capable of more than you realize!!! You persevered when others might have given up! Soak it up girl and bask in that after glow! You did it! You finished a marathon!!!!

track coach and adorable wife said...

Way to push through and finish! you are awesome!

Kristin said...

Congratulations on hanging in there through a hard race! You are awesome!

Rae said...

Great job and way to push through! Loved your report!

Elizabeth said...

Great job on the race, love the race report.

Teamarcia said...

Wow! You're report really sums up how hard tackling that distance can be. Way to persevere! And I'm glad you're already considering another! Congrats!

Navy Wife on a Diet said...

Such an inspiring post! congratulations!

Tara said...

Way to go Molly! I am so happy, proud, and excited for you! You ran a great race and with a smile on your face too. I'm so sorry about the tummy issues (been there done that .....whoohooo to us race pukers!), but everything turned out ok in the end.

I love Luke's trophy; kids are great. :)

Sooooo, when is the next one? Haha!

The Green Girl said...

it was great to go back to complete the circle

I'm so glad you were able to do that - it makes it that much more meaningful.

I'm sorry it started to rain so early on and your iPod crapped out on you when you needed it the most. Urgh.

I love how that family had the sign with the numbers on it that they crossed out - what a great idea.

I am so sorry about your poor stomach! You are such a trooper.

I'm also sorry your hamstring was bothering you but I'm glad you didn't push it.

That 1st place trophy is awesome. It warmed my heart to see it.

Congratulations, you marathoner!

Alanna said...

Congratulations on finishing your first marathon Molly! After all that happened I love that you have such a positive attitude. You've obviously been bitten by the marathon bug!

I'm sitting here tearing up over your report, so I can only imagine what a basket-case I'll be in 26 days... :) I love your trophy - it's so cute!

Lindsey said...

Holy cow, way to go!

I can guarantee you that at some point in the future I'm going to remember reading this blog post, and remember how you kept pushing through until the end. You're totally awesome.

Mindy, Andy, Hayden, and Sawyer Bobe said...

Awesome job girl! I don't know if I could have finished after puking in the port-a-potty!!! You are a true inspiration!

Norine said...

Great story...I was wondering how the race went for you. The only words I remember saying at the end were..."I will never do this again". I was glad I did the marathon, but during the race it came back to me why it took me 17 years to run my 2nd marathon! If I ever run one again it won't be on the erie canal...haha...I saw enough of it to last me a lifetime.

Molly great job. You were determined and finished your goal. I am so glad that I was able to train with you and Jeannine. Hopefully I will be able to train with you the next marathon...in 17 years :-)

Ray said...

Wow, I'm not worthy Molly. Loved reading your Blog about this race. I'm so proud of you. You said you would and you did.......you are AMAZING!!!

As a side note, I found this gals Blog in Myrtle Beach, reminded me of you and your spunk and determination. Check it out at www.runfastermommy.com

Ray Holt

Jill said...

I love that 1st plas medal - you SO deserved it!!! What an incredible journey it's been for you with all your ups and downs. This is just the sweet reward you so much deserve!! YAY!!! So very VERY happy for you!!! :)

Ali said...

this made me cry! so proud & can't wait to see you this weekend!!! xo

jillconyers said...

Hi Molly. I'm a first time visitor but just had to comment to say congratulations!! I run my first marathon in 10 days and reading your post gave me butterflies LOL

Great job!

Rad Runner said...

You look so beautiful! 26.2 miles later holy sh*t! Go girl! Sorry for the tummy probs, its all apart of it, and you finished and you look amazing and I am oh so proud and happy for you! :)
xo- Rad

Andrew Opala said...

Congratulations! What a great smile you had wearing that medal! This piece of success trickles into the blogosphere and make everyone a better runner and person!

Thanks.

ajh said...

I so love your trophy! You are awesome to do your marathon with ham string issues and stomach issues and you just kept going. Loved the pictures you included. Sorry for the boring parts! Run VCM sometime. It also has some stretches but most of it is great! I am so glad you were able to do this injury and all. And you did it smart so you wouldn't have to stop running later. Yeah for you!!! You will be feeling high for awhile yet.

Luke said...

So happy'proud you were able to finish after everything (race and before). Now get some rest and pick your next race!!

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

Awesome job!! Congrats to you MOlly for a finish in such tough conditions!!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I am in awe of you! Your perseverance in these conditions is absolutely inspiring!

Running Through Phoenix said...

That was fun to read. Great race and its impressive that you ran thru your gastro distress. Sounds like you got a flu bug. Happy for you and hope to hear more about future races. Horrayyyyy!!

Erika said...

Isn't that awesome...you're a ChamP! Way to go! I'm so worried about my legs chaffing and stomach being crazy...and you're proof that no matter whatm it can be done! I'm so proud of you! Way to totally rock it!

Anne said...

Woohoo! You did an amazing job of getting through this despite your stomach issues! You must be so proud...I'm inspired :)

Kelley said...

Wow what an experience..great recap I'm impressed will all your details.
Sounds like a day you won't forget. Yippee!!

Iron Mike said...

You showed that hammy who's boss. Very glad you persevered, given the adversity before and during the race. And there's nothing like a post-marathon shower to help erase 26.2 miles of, well yeah, pain.
I think it's funny you consistently revealed the foreshadowing to the readers. But given your fueling, I'd say your stomach issues were more likely caused by all the stuff floating in your head than by anything you consumed or hydration. It really looked like your fueling was great.
So look onto that next race, but never forget how much you put into this one. Of course, you can always refer back to this remarkably-detailed-and-recounted-despite-hallucinations race report.

Angie Bishop said...

i loved love loved your race report. Dang it girl, You choked me up at the end!!
You are a rock star!!
So when is the next one.....?

Canadian runner said...

Congratulations on your marathon!! You have given me some positive vibes for my half this weekend!!

MCM Mama said...

Congratulations on finishing your marathon! You rock!

Cynthia O'H said...

Great recap. You are awesome for fighting the hamstring, GI issues and everything else that came your way. Now, you can plan on the next event:)

J said...

Sounds like you had a tough time just like me. It really was the perfect day to run a marathon! I was glad it wasn't hot. Congrats on running your first marathon! That is so awesome! Sorry we didn't get to meet up - there was a bit of confusion and a mad dash to the bathroom on my part and then I headed to the start a bit later than i expected! Congrats again!

Lynette@ A Hodge Podge Of Randomness said...

Congrats on a great finish! Even with all the issues, you still managed a great time =)

Black Knight said...

Congrats on finishing that marathon, nothing can stop you! The smile in the first picture can explain your feeling of marathoner. And yes, when and where the next race?

Melissa said...

I was tearing up as I read this! Reminded me so much of my first marathon - how you want to savor each moment (even the portapotty incident - it makes you hard-core!)

Congratulations! Such an amazing accomplishment!

Amy said...

Wow! Great report! You have me both excited and terrified for my first marathon next month! I love your "trophy"!

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

Wow throwing up is the worst especially when nothing comes up. Glad you finished it out and still had a great time, even if it wasn't your original plan. Congrats.

Mighty M said...

Oh nice job Molly. I am so impressed you kept going even though you felt so sick - stomach problems are the worst!

Suzy said...

I love the trophy!!

CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your first marathon. Dry heaves are horrible, but kudos to you for finishing.

Johann said...

Fantastic! Finishing your first marathon is special. You did it while dealing with problems, but you pushed through and kept going. You are a tough marathon runner. Well done! Rest well, the next one will be easy.

NY Wolve said...

That is great! To be sick, in the rain, have tummy issues, and still finish it up is great.

Thomas said...

Congratulations on your 1st marathon and hat's off to you for not giving up despite the stomach issue!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

A Pukie and a 1st Place trophy from Luke? Great race!

Caratunk Girl said...

I am so behind on my blogs, so sorry I am just getting here to check on you!

That trophy is awesome!! So sweet, way better than anything anyone else could give you for sure!! And WOW! Way to keep going after you puked!! Congrats on your pukie from BDD!! Great race report, you had me right there with you!!

Susan Fobes said...

You have got to frame that picture your kids did because you certainly deserve something after all that! Congratulations Molly :)

Lisa said...

Sorry I'm so late getting here. It's been a killer week. Congrats on the race! What a recap! I love the pics and what a great smile with that medal! Glad you were able to get through it!

Julie said...

Congrats on completing the race! What an accomplishment!

Deb said...

Congrats!! And I LOVE the trophy!

Reminds me a lot of my first (and so far only) marathon. It's WAY more about the journey than the time. :)

RunnuRMark said...

Great job! It's always awesome to finish a marathon. Bummer about having that long, not-so-great stretch of course, but I guess money is tight for everyone! I like the medal :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Sorry I am late to the party, BUT....

CONGRATS!!! I knew you would rock it!!!

Jen said...

Great job... I was in tears by the middle. I am so proud of you!

FruitFly said...

Congrats! I love your medal, and especially the trophy!!
~RR

Darlene said...

Congrats - great race report!! You did awesome.

Robin said...

Yay! Congrats on an awesome accomplishment!! (Sorry about the delayed comment...life is hectic!!)

Love that a fellow runner recognized you and gave you kudos for continuing on after the heave fest. That's cool. And your trophy is PRICELESS.

*hugs* from Orlando!

hotel in bandung said...

I like this blog... god luck! also visit hotel in bandung