Sunday, March 20, 2011


Because I've been yakkin' about the dang thing for like three months now, I figure y'all deserve a full recap.

Last Night: We (Nac and I) went to sleep very early right after dinner. We were both exceedingly tired from a day of sunshine on the beach THAT OUR RESORT IS ON. (Obvi, side note, this place is amazingly beautiful, and Nac and I have been having mucho de fun. Queso fundito, if you will.)

View from our resort balcony.

Pre-Race: I woke up basically every hour last night with variations of dream about missing the race. Awesome! Finally, when it was time to for real get up, I felt sick (Good start to a morning of running 26.2 miles!) I threw up :( And Nac said, "I am so mad at you. Now you don't have anything in you!" But he was absolutely wrong--mainly because if I had thrown up all the food we ate on "Carb Load Saturday" I would have drowned in vomit. I'm really not exaggerating. I ate like...more calories/ carbs than a person should in a month yesterday.

Bad picture of Nac mid-discussion of gender inequality...Over chocolate chip pancakes and omelets!

We took the shuttle to the race start, and still in the dark before dawn, the race began.

Mile One: Everyone was giddy. We ran across bridges over the water. It was a pink morning.

Mile Two: I started feeling really uncomfortable and mad at my dinner choice. A. Half of it was in the sewer system by this time. B. I'm pretty sure there was some citric sauce on it that gave me MEGA-heartburn. So, my legs were good, but my chest was not doing so hot.

Mile Three: Heartburn persisted. I focused on people around me--a group of women screaming "HOT CHICKS COMIN' THROUGH!" and a friend coaching another woman saying, "Your husband never would have thought you could do this! Success is the best revenge!"

Mile Four: I realized I was running eleven minute miles--about two minutes faster than my goal pace. I also realize I really need to use the bathroom. Waiting in line for the porta-john ate up the extra minutes I had lost.

Mile Five: The heartburn is still going strong.

Mile Six: I have to go to the bathroom. Again. Boop.

Mile Seven: The race makes its way through residential areas, and lots of families and groups are outside cheering for everyone.

Mile Eight: I want the heartburn gone. As I pass a water station, I see a jar of pretzels for the volunteers. I ask, "Can I have a pretzel?" I am given two pretzels. I eat them, making my mouth dry, but settling the acid in my chest. I consider asking for milk at the next station, but i decide against it.

Mile Nine: The trail turns onto a huge busy street. Lots and lots of people (and water)! My race number has "ALICE" on it, so people think its cool to yell at me by name when they are strangers...weird.

Mile Ten: The blister that formed last week and hadn't totally healed starts buggin'. I just want more pretzels and decide to ignore the blister.

Mile Twelve: Suddenly, the half-marathoners are GONE. They took a turn towards the finish, and I realize I was in a huge pack without any other marathoners. In the FAR distance, I see an older man. I catch up to him, and we talk for a while. One of the first things he says: "I just think about Japan, and I keep fighting." I realize me running a marathon today doesn't DO anything for Japan, but Japan is in my heart, and I did run for Japan today.

Mile Thirteen: I acquire two more pretzels. This significantly calms the burn, and I am feeling healthy. As it has become a pretty lonely trail, I turn my iPod on. "By My Side" from Godspell is the first thing that plays. Extremely appropriate.

Mile Fourteen: I am slowing down a bit. I realize I am in a loop that I must double. People are lapping me in said loop.

Mile Fifteen: Still in the dang loop.

Mile Sixteen: Looping! %#&^!

Mile Seventeen: Doing the loop a second time.

Mile Eighteen: I get an orange slice from a passing water table. For some reason, I really enjoy chucking the peel down on the ground.

Mile Nineteen: It has remained an incredibly beautiful day. Just about 50 degrees with slight sun, but overcast. I am grateful. I also hear "Born This Way" and think about how grateful for the KohHos who recc'd it to me. When "Make a Man Out of You" comes on I almost cry thinking about my CT05 friends. How proud of me they would be!

Mile Twenty: As a result of literally almost crying because of a song from Mulan, I start to realize my emotional sanity breaking down as my physicality weakens. I chuck some more orange peels when I have the chance.

Mile Twenty-One: Nac was supposed to finish the race out with me from here, but he is no where to be seen. I am running about half an hour faster at this point than I had anticipated, so I bet he will go there later. Oops.

Mile Twenty-Two: Back on the very busy main drag, but by this time (with most competitors as halfers, and the super fast marathoners already done) no one is around. Marathoners on the train are very very few and far between. It feels horribly lonely. A super busy street, blocking traffic, and no one around cheering or giving water. This is when I hit the wall. I am slowing. I wonder how Steve Prefontaine would have done in a marathon. Nac and I watched the Prefontaine movie yesterday afternoon. Apparently, the dude was kinda a jerk--despite what the hoards of inspirational quotes would have you believe.

Mile Twenty-Three: At a water station manned by a frat house, a guy tries to hand me a Twizzler with my water. I laugh and he goes, "What?! They're delicious!" This makes me happy, but I can't pick up the pace for the life of me. I say, "You guys are great!" And they bump chests and scream, "NO! YOU'RE GREAT!"

Mile Twenty-Four: Crazy twisty roads and starting to feel faint. I don't know where I am going. At one point I catch up to a man "running" just like me "near walking." Not competitively, I decide to pass him. I actually laugh because we are both "running" at a snail's pace. It probably looked like a slo-mo replay of an exciting challenge, but we were actually going at like 16-minute-mile paces.

My watch says 11:15--which is great because my goal was to finish, and the race closes at 12:30. I am golden. I could walk the rest...UNLESS THE TIME I HAVE BEEN USING IS ACTUALLY ST. LOUIS TIME ON MY WATCH! I wig out and realize I only have fifteen minutes to run the next two miles! I start frantically sprinting, probably resembling some kind of opossum that can't really run, but it trying SO hard. There's no way I'm gonna make it. I approach a volunteer and scream, "WHAT TIME IS IT?" He sees my insane fear and says, "11:16." Oh. I had switched my clock. My bad. The volunteer tries to pump me up. I revert back to my plodding pace.

Mile Twenty-Five: I enter a side street decorated with signs that say things like, "PRAYER ZONE! SOUTHERN BAPTISTS!" And am BOMBARDED by about a hundred people lining the street in both directions with Biblical signs and smiles and saying, "God is helping you through this! Jesus loves you!" which usually I would be kind annoyed by ("Southern Baptist ladies, y'all need to understand that our concepts of God are probably not the same.") but as I actually felt like I was going to die, I had to hold back tears. Emotions = on the fritz, whackoland big time. I also shed a tear while listening to Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love."

Mile Twenty-Six: I wanted to finish strong and return back to a faster pace. As I pass the frat guys again, they scream, "YEAH ALICE! YEAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" I know I am going to finish. I can't sprint to the end, but I run through the finish as a decent pace.

Spoils of the day.

Post-Race: I am immediately offered painkillers (which I deny...weird) and am led to a tend of people getting medical care. So disarming! I feel sore, but good. I hit the food tent, nom some oranges, and find Nac, who is very proud of me. In the car I realize I look horrible, and Nac has done a very good job hiding this news. Apparently, when you sweat and you let it dry, it evaporates, and you are left with a nice crusty salt mask. Who knew? Not this girl.

And the land sinks into mellow blueness.
Oh please, take me with you.
Let me skip the road with you.
I can dare myself.
I can dare myself.
I'll put a pebble in my shoe,
and watch me walk (watch me walk)
I can walk.


Trelawny said...

I am SO proud of you Alice! I am so so so so so proud of you!

courtneyfloatsyourboat said...

I am so proud of you, too!

Lauren said...

I'm SOOOOOOO proud of you, Alice! Reading this made me feel like I was right there with you, laughing and crying and loving your music choices! BY MY SIDE, FOR THE WIN!!!