Saturday, May 13, 2006
Well, at least the run is done
I finished the 22 miles. Technically.
My goal was modest today. Just finish the circuit around the massive Mission Bay recreational complex. And if I hadn’t been consumed with shaking off the chills and keeping down my morning oatmeal, I might even have run all 22 at the exact pace I plan to do on June 4.
It started well enough, thanks mostly to Mark, who kept me from starting out too fast or too slow as we moved from home base at Hospitality Point with hundreds and hundreds of others. Team in Training and USAFit were joining us on this one. The first loop is around 7 miles and takes us into South Mission Beach, where we ran with the beach on one side and homes stretched to the sidewalk on the other. In between were plenty of parks.
The good-weather streak remains unbroken. Skies were overcast and the air, according to an electronic sign at Mission Bay High School, stayed right around 60. It was a tad humid, but not unbearable by any means.
The second loop was on familiar ground, with much of it on the official marathon course. We took the flood channel to Mission Bay Drive and up to Grand Avenue via a bike path. Along the way I learned that Nelson C. and his wife had been featured recently on an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters.” I love that show! Nelson confirmed some of what I’d suspected about the show being staged, but it was far more manipulated than I imagined.
From Grand, we turned and headed toward Crown Point Shores. Word of warning to anyone planning to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in a few weeks: The potholes are pretty bad on this stretch.
Finally we were heading back for the final 7.5 miles. At this point I should mention that whenever it was offered at aid stations, I opted for the official electrolyte replacement drink: lemon-lime Powerade (watered down to make it tolerable). Physically, I felt fine. I felt great, actually. But while on the bike path, I started to feel cold; my arms were coated with goosebumps. And my stomach started to churn. Now, I can block out any physical pain temporarily except a migraine headache or a stomach ache. That included the hotspot forming on my left foot. Try as I might, though, I couldn’t shake the nausea -- most likely caused by switching up things with the Powerade and Gummi bears instead of Gookinaid and Lifesavers. Powerade does not have enough sodium to carry “salty sweaters” like me to the finish line. And it’s not terribly gentle on the tummy.
By now we’d also reunited with Alexis back at the turnaround. She’s kept Mark and I company on numerous runs now and I only learned today she’s also from Virginia and went to UVa. I joked that I’d still run with her despite her choice of schools. I started to wonder just short of Mile 19 if the running was jostling my stomach too much. At any minute, I feared, all this burping would morph into barfing. Flashbacks to my ill-fated Long Beach marathon run took over. I was in trouble. Then I saw Louise, who was trying to walk off an ankle pain, and decided to stick with her and run/walk the rest of the way in. She patiently waited with me when I stopped cold to let another wave of nausea pass. In turn, I made sure we ran more than walked on the last stretch. So, I held it in, while she held on. And in the end, we both held up.
Once again, my body feels terrific several hours later, though that blister on my foot is a sight to behold. The stomach stayed sour until mid-afternoon, when suddenly the sushi in the fridge looked appetizing again. With my first chafe-less shower in a month and my weekly Diet Coke bottle to savor, it was time to start enjoying the rest of the weekend.
[Photos of me at an aid station and one of two sheet cakes I brought for after the race as chair of our "Welcome Committee" taken by Cindy Evans, official run/race photographer of Run-DMZ.]