I will start off with full disclosure as there somethings I haven't mentioned here not want to get all the derision that I know would come from mentioning these things.
I will also say this is a race I should have DNS or at worse DNF instead being too stubborn to admit defeat I finished it in agonizing pain.
First with the disclosure when I ran my 21 miler 4 weeks prior to the ace I hit the stoplight about a mile from my house and had to wait for it to change to cross the street. I nearly passed out at the light I was so dehydrated when a massive dizzy spell hit me. So if anyone is wondering why I felt I needed to hydrated so much the last week before the marathon that was one of the main reasons. I lost 12 pounds in two days, got sunburnt and so massively dehydrated I nearly passed out from that single 21 mile run that I decided I needed to do something so it wouldn't happen again.
Then two weeks prior to the race I was struggling to finish 6 mile runs, three of them in a row in fact it took a massive toll on my confidence and had me severely questioning this marathon. I think it was my body's way of telling me it needs a break and that the marathon was not a good idea, I wish I had listened. I will not be running this week at all, I am going to listen to my body its been almost 2 1/2 years since I took an entire week off and I think I need it both physically and mentally.
So I have been absolutely scared spitless about this race for weeks now, I never let on thinking I could just power through it but the marathon will humble you and I am very humble right now.
At 3am last night I woke with a massive cramp in my calf that hurt so bad I actually woke my wife when i scream out in pain. I got another one at 5am but managed not to wake my wife for that one. I really nearly bagged the race at that point but my pride got in the way and I still went ahead with it.
I woke up at 6am and did all my usual things, got some breakfast, used the facilities and made it out of the door just shortly before 6:40 which is perfect as the race started at 7:30. Got there around 7:10 and getting out of the car I was extremely stiff and nearly DNS one more time.
Funny thing is when the race started everything felt fantastic around mile 4 I had never felt so good in a race before. Since I was feeling so good I decided to go with plan A that was to run the easier half of the race in a 2:08 and then run the harder second half in a 2:14 walking most of the massive hill at mile 18 and just planning to lose that time and still come in with a 4:22 or a 10mm.
I noticed about mile 7 my nipples were killing me as I had not taped them. At the mile 9 aid station as I was walking away with my gatorade I saw they had Vaseline not wanting to go back I said perfect I will get some at mile 11. At mile 11 I stopped and applied some Vaseline to my very sore nipples by this time and I noticed when i tried to run from the aid station that my knee had locked up while I was applying the Vaseline.
The ITBS in my right knee which hasn't bothered me since January was back in full force. It was ok at first when I ran but when i walked through the water stations it would hurt so bad. At mile 13 I got some more Vaseline and again from stopping my knee locked up again. It took me a minute to get going but I managed to finally get going again.
I was actually behind the pace I wanted at the half way point I think i was at 2:12 but I was fine with that I decided I wasn't going to try to make up time and instead just stick to the plan and just try and keep it around a 10mm and only walk the water stations.
At mile 15 I decided I would try some icy hot for my knee and some more Vaseline for my nipples. I was hurting quite a bit and it made my mind all fuzzy at first I tried to apply the icy hot with my gloves on. then I almost left my glove when I did remember to take it off.
This extended stop only made matters worse, mile 16 was beyond miserable I was all alone there was no one else around me and my knee was hurting quite horribly. This is the point where I decided I didn't care about a pr anymore and just wanted to finish, I had just endured 5 miles of torture and wanted something to show for it. This was also the first time I decided to walk (the 16 miles before taking a walk break is the single longest I have ever done). I actually was still on pace for like a 4:25 at this point and had been doing so fantastic.
The next 2 miles were a mixture of gallowalking whenever my knee hurt. I stuck to the plan still walking up the massive hill wanting to conserve energy for the downhills at the end which might be the only reason I even managed to finish. It was about mile 18 I ran into Justin who had friended me on facebook this week as I post on our local running center and marathon facebook pages. We actually talked quite a bit and he told me how he had gone out too fast and how he had crashed and burned at STG last year finished in 6:16 and having to go to the medical tent for saline. He also ran Mesquite in 5:41 in November. I told him I would help him get to a sub 5 because at mile 19 even after walking the massive hill we were still on pace for like a 4:40 and could do like 11-12mm to the finish and still get a sub 5.
We actually did really good the next 3 miles all the way up to mile 21, we were talking and keeping a good pace. It was at mile 21 after we left the aid station I realized I could not run anymore my knee hurt so bad but I really wanted to finish and I didn't want to hold him back so I told him to go on ahead without me. Sadly he must have gone out too fast as I caught up with him at the mile 23 aid station and two runners were pouring water on his head and he had to bag it and take a ride back to the finish line. I wish he had just walked with me because we would have gotten him a pr walking.
Those last 5 miles were the single most agonizing miles of my entire life. But after 10 miles of pain dear god I wanted to finish. I walked the entire last 5 miles as my knee just wouldn't let me run at all. Every time I passed an aid station I kept thinking about bagging it and taking a ride to the finish like and just DNFing I hurt so bad. At mile 22 I was nearly in tears it hurt so bad but I kept plugging away I swear I checked the mileage every .05 the entire last 4 miles. Only 3.9 to go ok now only 3.85 to go now only 3.8.
I finished but with a miserable time of 5:33:45 and I really wish I had just dnsed or even dnfed. I had to sit in my car for like 40 minutes before I could even drive home (my wife didn't come out since it was so far away and we only have the one car). When I got home my knee hurt so bad I couldn't even lift it to take my shoe off and my wife had to do it for me.
Feel free to deride me and call me stupid, this is who I am, sometimes I wish it could be different but that's who I am. If you ever wonder how I lost 220 pounds, that is how I am too stupid and too stubborn to know when to quit. I am an all or in person, I give it my all if I fail I fail there will always be tomorrow and tomorrow I will succeed. I still plan on training to try and run a sub 4 for STG in October using Hudson.