Well for anyone keeping score (and I am), the score is now Marathon 4, Riley 0. Another very frustrating attempt at the marathon for me today. But I'll keep my head up and try again. In all honesty today was not an ideal day to try to get a good marathon time under my belt, but I should have adapted to the conditions better than I did. Here's the rundown:
I met Bryant at 345 to catch the buses, after a night of tossing and turning. The bus situation ended up being perfect for us. We were on one of the last buses and got there with only 40 minutes to go. That was perfect for going to the bathroom, warming up, and dropping our bags. I tried to go to the bathroom twice, but couldn't go the second time. This worried me as I usually go three or four times, so I was scared I wasn't emptied yet. But what could I do?
At the start I got to catch up with Scott, Steve, Jon etc. I finally met the one and only Sasha at the start as well.
The gun went off and we were off to a good pace. I wanted to average high 530s for the first seven miles. I was just behind Scott and Sasha at mile one. In front of them were the three Kenyans, Jon, Jordan Perry, Steve, and two guys I didn't recognize. I glanced back and noticed Bryant was ten meters back or so. Mile one was 5:33. Sasha and Scott sped up a bit on mile two and I chose not to go with them. I wanted to stay conservative and in the 530s. Bryant slowed down a bit more and I was immediately running solo. Mile 2 5:31, Mile 3 5:36, Mile 4 5:36. Finally I looked back and Bryant was making his way up to me to work together. I slowed a bit to let him catch up by mile 5 and we began working together. Sasha and Scott were about 20 seconds up and Jordan had slowed to run with them as well. Mile 5 5:42. Around mile 6 the wind picked up and we agreed to switch leads. I led mile 6 and Bryant mile 7. We passed the two guys I didn't know on this stretch. Mile 6 5:37 Mile 7 5:44. We caught up to the trio of Scott, Sasha, and Jordan at Mile 7. Sasha asked me to take the next mile leading at this point. But we were moving faster than them and I didn't really want to slow down the effort too much. I did scale it back a bit and figured if they wanted to come with they could and we'd work as five, but they ended up staying back and only Bryant came with me.
The hills were starting and we scaled back pace and effort a bit. The wind was howling in our faces bigtime at this point and the next ten miles or so were extremely windy with a constant, brutal headwind. I led mile 8 up the hill and Bryant mile 9. Mile 8 6:03 Mile 9 6:10. During mile 9 I told Bryant he needed to grow a few more inches so I'd get a better draft off him.
Mile 10 was downhill but was one of the windiest of the race. I was back in the lead and we came through in 5:39. We were now running on concrete as opposed to asphault and my knee noticed the difference immediately. My knee has been bugging me lately, but tape has been doing the job. But it started aching here.
During mile 11 I knew I needed that dreaded potty break. I apologized to Bryant that he'd have to work alone in the wind now as I had to stop. I stopped just after mile 11 (5:48).
I wanted a fast potty break, but the toilet paper would not cooperate! The roll was unopened and glued shut. I could not get the stupid roll open, it was so frustrating sitting in there wasting time trying to open the toilet paper! Finally I got my hulk on and ripped like a quarter of the roll off and got what I needed...sheesh!
I came out of the potty just as Sasha was passing and Scott and Jordan had already gone by. I think I must've been in there for 1:10-1:15 (and it could've been 20 seconds with a cooperative roll!) I immediately passed Sasha back and tried to get back in a groove. Up to this break I was feeling awesome despite the wind, but after the break I could never really get back in a groove. Mile 12 was 7:05.
I tried to make my way back up to Scott and Jordan who were roughly 30 seconds up maybe? I ran mile 13 in 5:56. Running in the wind solo after a stop was rough on me. I came through the half somewhere close to 1:17 I think. I grabbed a gu at 13 and held it in my hand slowly nibbling it until 14. My stomach didn't want it at all, but I knew I had to have it. Before the race I calculated I needed 500 calories during the race and this gu would only make 200! Mile 14 was 5:45. Somewhere around here I caught up to Scott and Jordan.
I had a decision now, slow down and work with them or try to get back up to Bryant. I didn't feel great but I didn't want to slow the effort either. So I went by them and started to track Bryant's progress. I was definitely making ground and thought I may be able to get up to him within 2 miles and start working together again. Mile 15 was 5:51
Running solo in the wind was starting to really fatigue me and the legs still weren't back in full groove from the stop. I look up...am I still gaining on Bryant? I think so. This was a hilly mile. Mile 16 6:06.
During mile 17 I look up again. Am I gaining on him? Nope not anymore he's advancing further ahead. Crap, I'm on my own most likely the rest of the race. Mile 17 6:11
During mile 18 my left calf started to cramp. No no no, not again. Crap I need a gu! There's one at 19, I can get there. Mile 18 5:57
I get to 19, grab a gu and drink a powerade, even though I hate taking powerade while running. It makes my stomach upset, but I needed calories bad! The powerade did it's job. No, not at helping me, but at getting my stomach upset. I have a few nasty burps, fighting off vomit and then try to get the rest of the gu down. Mile 19 5:56
Ok, 7 miles to go. My calf is cramping bad, but I can still do this. My knee is aching bigtime too, but nothing I can't endure. Mile 20 6:16
Just after 20 I hear footsteps and look back to see Scott and Jordan. I know I can't go with them, so I just give Scott a low five as he passes and say good job. Jordan kindly says hop on and come with us, but it wasn't going to happen.
I need water bad! I'm getting very dehydrated, but 21 is close and the aide station there. Mile 21 6:18. I grab a water and it's only one fourth of the way full. Are you kidding me? I need water! And I get like 2 ounces. Freak! Now I have to wait two more miles. Oh man I need water bad. And calories! I've only had 300, I needed 500. Oh man I'm in trouble.
The wheels start coming off here and the quads and right calf join the cramping party. Mile 22 6:32.
I am still sitting in 8th but I am hurting bad. I want to stop and stretch the calves, but no I have to get to that mile 23 aide station. I can get there. Don't stop. Don't stop. Get to the aide station, then if needed stop and get lots of powerade! I get there just barely, but I am lightheaded and my arms are completely numb. Mile 23 6:52
I stop and drink three cups of powerade and two cups of water. I try to stretch my calves and then attempt to run again. But it wasn't happening. Come on! Run, get going again! My legs almost give out and I stop and sit down on the curb. Get up and finish. Get up. I get up again and try to walk but I can't even walk in a straight line. I think I'm going to pass out. I lie down on my back on the sidewalk. Some kind half marathoners stop and give me water and gu. They help me up and I try to go again for a third time, but I still can harldy walk, let alone run. I'm freezing cold, despite hot temps. I think for the first time that I may not finish.
Finally the next guy passes me, who I don't recognize and tells me I can do it. I wish he were right. I try one more time and nearly fall over. I finally decide to call it quits. I ask a bystander for a phone and for the second straight marathon I make the shameful call to my wife to ask for a ride. Total bummer!
I cross the road to lie on some grass and wait for her. Another bystander tells me to get up and walk. She helps me up and offers me a ride. I tell her my wife is coming. She goes to her car and grabs me a drink. I thank her and walk crookedly along the sidewalk waiting for Amy. She pulls up and gets out to help me walk and I almost cry from the combo of pain, shame, and the look of concern on her face. We drive to the gas station and get me some gatorade and food to try to recover.
Bryant ended up running a brilliant race and almost caught Jon for 3rd place. I feel like I let him down by having to stop and him facing the wind alone. Sorry Bryant if you read this.
I am frustrated and upset, but I won't give up. I will get a win against this marathon soon enough. One of my favorite quotes from the TV show Lost is "Struggling is Nature's Way of Strengthening". And I definitely struggled today.
Moving forward I need to do better at taking in calories during the race. I knew I needed 500 and I only took 300. What? Did I think the number would magically change to 300 and I'd be fine? Dumb of me. Second, I need to solve my bowel issues, because when I stop I have the hardest time getting going again. I tried immodium this race but I guess it didn't help like I had hoped.