UT Campus area, Austin, TX
For some reason, I found myself reading through some old blog entries here. I got to the ones about my first half marathon (aka, the unhappy one) and then my second (aka, the happy one). I figured I should keep things going and write something about my third half-marathon (aka, the unhappiest one of them all).
On November 17th, I walked in the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll marathon. I didn’t even up feeling very Rock-n-Roll, though. For one thing, I’m about 40 pounds up from my last half (in February – and that was already 10+ pounds up from my lowest weight). Secondly, I hadn’t been training like I should. Next, you have to add in the weather: humid with temps starting at 73 and then climbing to 85 (in NOVEMBER). Finally, I was walking this one by myself since everyone in my walking group walks at a much faster pace than I do.
I started out doing pretty well and was walking fast (for me) and strong. But, perhaps, it was too fast and the heat, pounds and lack of training really started to catch up with me…hard. I started getting dizzy. I started feeling sick to my stomach. I went from getting two cups of water at every water stop to getting three. I started slowing down more and more. Then, I was so dizzy I almost fell over. Luckily, I was standing next to a pole. I grabbed on until the world stopped spinning and then slowly made my way to the medical tent that was nearby. They made me lay down and put salt under my tongue while they put ice bags under my armpits, on my forehead, under my neck, and started icing my legs. I felt like an idiot. I kept waiting for them to tell me to get into the “sag” van – the lovely named van for those who are going too slow to make the cut off time. They didn’t.
After a bit, I got up, took an ice towel that they offered me, and started walking again. The sag van kept hovering. I kept hoping they would make me get in. They did not. I was too stubborn to ask to get in. So, I kept walking…slowly. All I was concentrating on was putting one foot in front of another. Whenever the route went into a slightly shady area, my pace would pick up. I wasn’t trying to pick it up, I just did. As soon as we were back out in the sun, I’d slow down. Finally, four hours and twenty five minutes after I started, I limped across the finish line.
You are supposed to finish the half within four hours. I did not. They still gave me a medal though. Even though, from most perspectives, it represents failure (weight gain, lack of prep/discipline, etc), I think it actually means more to me than the one I got for finishing the happy half. I could have stopped. I didn’t. Now I need to remember that and work on getting my ass in gear more frequently so that the next half I do (will I?) won’t feel like such a failure.