This morning was no different. My alarm went off and my mind immediately went to the 18-mile 'tune up' race I was slotted to participate in. The ole’ stomach was still a little icky, so I hit snooze. Twice. Finally it stopped cramping, and I somehow got myself out of bed.
Honestly pure pride was my motivation today. This past Friday I had gone to my first department lunch and had announced that not only was I to run the marathon next month but I was to do the 18 miles today. Damn public race results keep a person honest.
Due to the snoozes I was behind on my morning schedule and then to top it off the trains were a mess. I was late for the race. I literally ran a half mile to get my number then put my bag in check and finally cross the starting line thirty seconds before the cut off. Murphy’s law this course started with Harlem Hill, My heart rate was already higher than it should have been crossing the start line, then add in a super steep incline? Yeah, way to go rockstar.
The first five miles were HORRIBLE. My stomach was still bajiggity, and because of that I was extra dehydrated. The only reason I didn't quit was I had to get around the six-mile loop at least once to be back near the baggage check. Okay, that wasn't the only reason. But it did keep me going. One foot in front of another, just keep moving and go as slow as I felt like dammit.
Then something amazing happened. I started to feel better. Also, having started ten minutes behind the pack had left me isolated and discouraged, but after five miles the leaders started to pass me on the way to their second loop, (The race was three times around the great loop of central park) Their passing me gave me company and encouragement, it was great! Best of all my stomach stopped rebelling and I felt normal again.
Told you running was good for the pipes!
The rest of the race went smoothly, and got to be more fun when I started to pass all the slow people and the runners who had cashed. At one point at mile fourteen I touched my face and felt a lot of rough granules there. It is normal to get dirty running outdoors, and especially so in central park. So I made a swipe to get off the dirt, looked at my hand and...it was white. Salt people. I had a crust of salt surrounding my face! Weird but kind of neat at the same time.
Which brings me to my super rave, I am absolutely IN LOVE with
Recent studies have determined that caffeine is not a diuretic after all, and when running it actually boosts oxygen delivery and cardio efficiency. The orange flavor tastes pretty good, some people complain about the consistency but with rewards like these who cares? It helps you keep going and feel good while doing it by enabling your body to stay fueled with water, sugar, and oxygen. AWESOME.
Overall my average pace was ten seconds a mile slower than it should have been, but frankly my dear I don't give a damn. I was all out sprinting at the end, feeling great and not gasping for air. And now I know that I can indeed run the marathon, it is physically possible for me to achieve. (Knock on wood no injuries)
Oh, and when I finish the marathon, I will cry. Guaranteed.