I think in my last post I mentioned I felt bad. Well it got worse. To the point that Thursday evening I didn't want to pack or do anything. I would sit on the couch and rest for 30 minutes and get up and pack and organize our stuff for 10, then I'd have to sit again. I felt MISERABLE. Started getting body aches and thought I had a fever. Freezing, sweating, couldn't breathe as my nose was completely clogged and my throat sore. Great, I thought. Friday I was to go on a field trip with the Kindergardeners to a dairy farm all day then head straight to Nashville to drop them with my parents and go to pick up my race packet at the Expo (a large feat considering the crowds and traffic at that time). I was in no condition to do any of it. I thought I was going to have to bail on the whole thing. Blessings of all blessings though, I ended up having some night time decongestant in the cabinet that had never been opened. Must have been on sale. It was one of those packs with night and day medicine. Yes. I got everything loaded in the car and took a pill and went to bed. Slept a bit though very restless. The next morning I could NOT wake. The medicine was still affecting me I guess. When I dragged myself into the bathroom, my eyes were bloodshot and swollen, my nose all nasty... it was seriously pitiful.
The boys got up and I had a serious conversation with the Kindergardener. My thinking was, if I could just get a few more hours rest and skip the field trip, I might be able to swing this race. Unfortunately for me, He was having none of that. Mommy said she was going and if she doesn't go, he's having a fit. And his fits are those that make you feel so guilty. He has the sweetest little pouty face and whimper. I couldn't do it to him. So I chugged some coffee and took a daytime pill. I dropped them off and went to clean out the car since his teacher was riding with me. The field trip was fun and I was feeling ok, but it was really cold. Took another pill at lunch. Picked up the other boy after the field trip and we headed out to Nashville. The rest of the day was ok and I decided I was going to try to race. I stayed up late watching the Predators play in the NHL playoffs and wasn't in bed until after 11:30. Didn't want to take the night time meds for fear of not being able to get up. Slept none until 1 when the Kindergardener had a bad dream and decided to sleep with me. Kicked me once, twice, three times. I slept across the foot of the bed. And "slept" is used loosely here. 5 am alarm came quick. I was up and jumped in the shower. considering how I felt the morning before, I was not that bad. Still stuffy head but manageable.
I went outside in a singlet and shorts to get in the car and it was already hot. Crap. Dad dropped me off at the race and I used the portapotty and headed to gear check. I swear you walk 2 miles before the race even starts if not more. It was getting hotter. Got in my corral and noticed the 2 hr pacer. Initially, before the illness, I had aspirations of staying with him... they faded quick. The sun came out and it was hot. I think the first 2 miles were ok. I had a modest pace of 9:15 or so but haven't checked my splits. My legs never felt good though. Did I mention how hot it was? After mile 2, every mile was a struggle. I usually get to 6 pretty easily and then tell myself to get to 10 and then get to the end. This time I was telling myself to get to 4, then 5, then 6.... yes, every mile was a struggle. I took everything offered - gatorade, water, oranges, salt... I had taken a gu before the race and at mile 7 I took another. I felt like I was running underwater. THE. WHOLE. RACE. Never had such a bad experience. It was so hot. Nashville is a very hilly race. You are constantly going up or down, but mostly up. I felt sick a couple of times, got chills around mile 8. Kept going. I think the last 5 miles are a blur. I really don't remember many details except finishing and seeing 2:15 on my watch. It was bad. I had given up on any type of time goal around mile 4, but 2:15? 2:06 was my previous worst.
After a few hours of thinking about it, I gained some perspective. Remembering how absolutely awful I felt Friday morning, it's quite the miracle I was even able to run. My husband called me afterwards and was even surprised I made it. He said usually he isn't worried, but after seeing me Thursday night and Friday morning, he didn't think I would be able to do it.
I definitely have second and third thoughts and apprehensions about the Chicago Marathon, but I also now have experience pushing through a bunch of painful miles. If I can train all summer, this experience may actually help me in my marathon. I know this is long, but it will be good for me to look back on and remember all I went through to finish the race. And instead of feeling like a failure due to my slow time, I actually feel like I did accomplish something by finishing.