It took a lot of work for me to squat down for this picture right after finishing the marathon! :)
Friday morning I had a quick court hearing and then picked up Sophie and my running partner Jim and we headed to Fargo. My back was still quite sore - no more pinching or pulling, but a steady pain. Driving seemed to aggravate it, so Jim took over and I chilled in the back seat with Sophie.
Four and a half hours later we arrived in Fargo and met up with Jim's wife (who was in Fargo for work) at our hotel. We hit the expo right away, and were able to park close to the Fargo Dome and did not hit any terrible traffic. This was obviously the perfect timing, because as we were leaving we drove past lines and lines of cars trying to get in for packet pick up (and the Friday evening race events). We picked up Olive Garden to go and went back to the hotel. After a relaxing evening stuffing our faces with pasta and playing at the hotel pool with Sophie, we had the lights out and were in bed at 9:30.
The alarm went off at 5:45 and Sophie was wide awake asking to go to breakfast. Sidenote: Sophie loves staying in hotels. She thinks she is a big shot. She especially loves continental breakfasts. Anyhow, I had everything laid out so I was dressed and ready for the race quickly. Back? Sore. I was worried about the race. When we went downstairs for breakfast, I could see outside that it was windy and raining. Beautiful.
We caught a shuttle from the mall to the Fargo Dome and had plenty of time to get to the start line. At the start the rain had stopped but it was humid. This is probably a good time to note that at my last laser zapping session the chiropractor gave me some Biofreeze and told me to use it during the race. Right before heading to the start line, I rolled the Biofreeze all over my lower back and right hip. I put it in my check bag. And then decided to carry it during the race. I held onto that little roll on tube of Biofreeze like it was my baby all 26.2 miles.
So the race . . . have you seen those shirts about race strategy, starting slow and then slow down? Yep, that was pretty much me. Whenever I tried to push the pace, I could feel my lower back tightening. And I really wanted to finish. So I just ran slowly. And walked the water stops. I kept this up and felt strong (but slow) for most of the race. About mile 16 -17ish I felt like I was struggling more, but still was able to run between the water stops. By mile 21.5, the wheels pretty much fell off and I walked more between water stops. But I kept going.
Random notes from the run: My stomach was weird the whole race. I only ended up taking to Gu's - one at mile 7 and one at mile 15. By mile 19 I couldn't take the taste of Powerade any more and only drank water. I used my Biofreeze four times during the race - so thankful I rescued it from the check bag and carried it. Although it didn't completely mask the back pain, it made it more tolerable. Around mile 19, I ducked into a porta potty to pee (and to really pour on the Biofreeze). I realized too late that there was no toilet paper. I guess pee running down my leg isn't THAT disgusting. It was humid - and I think the first time I've run in any humidity since oh, September? I was a salty mess.
When it felt like I could run no more, I ran a couple of more miles and was finally at the finish. Sophie was there was Jim's wife and I stopped to give her a hug and a kiss before crossing the line. My clock time was 5:26:something. I didn't wear a Garmin (it drives me crazy in rain/humidity with its crazy screen switching). My slowest marathon yet. But I was so happy that I finished.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, Sophie and I were on the road back home. Four and half hours in the car without a shower? I swear almost harder than the marathon. By the time I got home, I was a shivering, achy mess. I took a shower, some Advil, and went to bed. Today I engaged in some "active" recovery cleaning the house - all the chores I avoided last week to try to heal my back. I am still quite sore but planning a swim and bike for tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!