Sunday, May 22, 2011

Race Report - Fargo Marathon

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!

18 comments:

Marlene said...

I can't believe you got in the car to drive home after that! You deserve another medal.

Sorry that your back and stomach did not fele great - as if 26.2 is not hard enough! Way to tough it out. Congrats! Recover well.

Teamarcia said...

Wow tough race with that achy back but you did it! Congrats!

bobbi said...

That just sounds HARD. Sorry your back and stomach decided they didn't feel like playing nice, but GREAT JOB finishing despite all that!

JK said...

Very gutsy, and impressive sticking with it. Nice job.

P said...

You are a SUPERHERO!! I am so impressed with how you pushed through such a tough race! So what if it wasn't your fastest, you earned lots of hardcore points for this one!

Julie said...

Way to go Heather! Nice job! I love your outfit...super cute:)

Katie A. said...

Congrats chica! You survived! Be proud!!! I have so done that jump in the car right after - never again! Have a good recovery week! Big hug!

Richelle said...

Fargo is a LONG way from the Cities. I can't believe you drove home AFTER finishing the marathon! You are one tough chica! Congrats! I don't know if I would have been able to take the pain.

On a side note, I loved staying in hotels when I was a kid. I especially loved ones with swimming pools. :)

What a cute photo of you with your daugher!

Diana said...

Congrats on grabbing that finisher's medal! I would have to agree with everyone else in regards to driving home right after....that had to be rough on the back.
Hope all feels better soon!
BTW....Green Bay May 20, 2012
Just throwing it out there!!

Nobel4Lit said...

Congrats! I ran this race also and saw your feed from 21 Days (Jess). Sorry it was so tough... the humidity really killed me. I am still dreaming about that pizza they gave at the end.

B.o.B. said...

Way to tough out a marathon lady. You really pushed and finished. I hope you know how kick a$$ you are for just finishing. That would have had DNF all over it for me. Rest up and make sure you get that back checked out if need be. Congrats on a hard earned and much deserved finish!

Christine said...

Congratulations on finishing the marathon!! No matter how fast or slow you are you still ran 26.2 miles, that is amazing!!! I hope your back feels better soon.

Tish said...

Heather, you're incredible. I would have wimped out for sure, at the slightest pain in the car on the way there. You finished, and in reasonably good time. CONGRATULATIONS! Your Sophie is beautiful. I love the picture of the two of you. You're setting such a good example for her. Kudos.

DRog said...

total Congrats on the finish. Way harder to do when ur battling thru not feeling your best. way to grind it out from 16 to the finish!!

D

Aron said...

Way to tough out and finish when you weren't feeling great! Congrats on another marathon :)

Jeri said...

congratulations on yet another marathon finish! You are an all star. :) And I can NOT believe you drove home post race. It took me until about 7pm to get out of my almost catatonic state. that was a TOUGH race especially with the humidity.... seriously... I think I forgot what that is.... :/ No worries, I'm be reminding of it REAL FAST now.

Any idea what's on tap for the fall? I may head to the cities for a half or two.....

Beth said...

I'm so sorry that it took me so long to read your race report. You did it! It was humid and an achy back is not good. Very smart to pack along the biofreeze and you stuck with it! I think you should be really proud of your race- it takes a lot more stamina to stick it out when you are hurting than when everything is going perfectly. Recover well!

Jill said...

Oh gosh, that was a tough race...I can so relate to not wanting to stomach any more sugary electrolytes (a sign of dehydration for me)...but I love love love your strength and determination to finish that race once and for all. Shows a lot of character and how tough you are. Congratulations!!!