FINALLY!!! I'm back. I lost myself for a moment. Please excuse my lapse. I am still learning to be a good blogger. Here's the continuation of my last blog post, a detailed experience of my first marathon... see Part IV
The last ten, piece of cake. Right?
But at mile 16 I had finally recovered, dusted myself off from my fantastic fall and was so happy to see my friends Amber and Cameron. And for the next mile, I caught Amber up on what had happened to me on my 16 mile journey. It was nice to have someone to share my experiences with. Being a solo runner, I really did cherish having someone to help finish this race. She was amazing. She came with more GU's, aspirin, and as we ran it was nice to have someone to run into the crowds at the water and food stations and grab me what I needed and even stuff I didn't know I needed. She was a true angel to have those last few miles.
At mile 17, I think I hit a small wall again. I was a little nauseous. I had taken some aspirin a little while back when Amber joined me and I didn't take it with any food or anything. Just water. It took a little while to get over the nausea, but eventually I ate an orange slice and it settled in. But for a good 4-5 minutes I was struggling. Note to all: if you take drugs in a race, make sure you chase or preempt it with some sort of food or GU substance. It will help more than you know.
Miles 18-21 went relatively uneventful. It was largely in the residential area of Pacific Beach (or as the locals call it: PB). It was entertaining nonetheless to see a large amount of residence sitting and standing and cheering everyone on. There were even a select few crazies that had opened up their garage to welcome runners in with food, drinks and one guy even set up a tiki-margarita bar. I wish I had had time to stop by, but I thought if I did I would probably not make it out alive.
Oh! I can't believe I forgot to mention that Amber (my running buddy) had made a shirt the night before that said "Go Yvonne" on it with a large arrow pointing to me. So, for the last 10 miles she ran with me, I would say a large portion of spectators were yelling out my name and cheering me on. It was truly embarrassing, hilarious and awesome all at the same time. And when I was too tired to smile, they forced me to. It was an inspiration I didn't know I needed.
And as we continued to wind in and out of the residential streets and down to Sea World, I saw everything from kids biking to adults running after people in offering up popsicles, Otter Pops, licorice, hard candy, watermelon, you name it it was out there at some point. It was pretty cool to see such a diverse group of people along the entire route, mile 1 to 26, supporting us runners. What a great way to bring a community together.
As we passed mile 21 and rounded out of Sea World territory, I was feeling good. Ready to take on these last 5 miles and finish this thing, go sit down, and have delicious Mexican lunch in Old Town and a nice cool beer. It had been nearly 3 months without alcohol.
It was then that I felt it. A cramp. Not in my side. Not in my hamstring, But in my foot. My right foot. And more specifically on the outside of my right foot on the part that is below the pinky toe. I tried to stay tough, and use my breath to breathe in to out and hopefully run it out. But about 5 minutes after it started I noticed it was affecting my running. So Amber thought it would be a good idea to pull over to the side and stretch it. So that's what we did.
As we stood there and she tried to help me stretch it. After a minute or two of this, I realized that it wasn't really getting any better. It was more of a sharp pain then a cramp. It hurt when I moved in certain directions and not in others. It was also then that I saw the 4:15 pacer pass me. Needless to say those that know me, know I am not competitive at all. So, naturally, I just stood there still trying to stretch out something I was convinced was more than a cramp. NOT! i grabbed Amber and said "nope, that's it" and off we went after that 4:15 pacer.
Then a few more minutes down the path I was starting to tear up I was in so much pain. This time I had to pull over to the side. I was in agony and I didn't know what to do at this point. I had already made it to mile 22. I had already gone through so much in the past 3 hours. How could I quit now. How could I not finish the last 4 miles! But was I going to be physically able to?
(By the way, just in case you are wondering why this recounting of my first marathon is so lengthy, it's because you have a lot of time to think when you are running for 26.2 miles. So there!)
...to be continued...