After my foot scare and getting the green light to run, the big worry going into race day was the weather. All along we had planned on running in sun and heat. Two storms were headed our way though and there was a 100 percent chance of rain for the Valley of the Sun. And 15 mph winds. I was pretty nervous, but then remembered that we have done all of our training in northern Arizona, where wind is an everyday occurrence. And, who can forget when we ran 12 miles in the freezing, pouring rain on the day of the Christmas Parade?
The night before was very uneventful; drove to Phoenix, made a quick stop at the expo, carbo loaded at Olive Garden, went to the Gilbert house and laid out race stuff, and in bed by 8:30. I think I slept pretty good until 2:30. Then I was tossing and turning until my alarm went off at 3:45. We left the house at 4:15 in time to get on the bus that takes all the runners to the start line at Usery Mountain Pass.
|Usery Mountains photo courtesy Arizona Oddities|
At this point it started to rain! We dropped our gear bags off, put on our trash bag ponchos, visited the port-a-potties one last time, and made our way to the start line. Just as we found the 3:45 pacer the cannons shot off and the race started.
Miles 1-4 were downhill and easy peasy. I said adios to Larissa after the first mile and settled in with the 3:45 pace group. It rained for about the first 20 minutes, but I didn't mind. It was a nice distraction.
Miles 5-6 were uphill, but I stayed on with my pace group and had a GU. I couldn't believe how fast it was going by.
Miles 7-10 I was loving life! I was so happy to be running and felt great. I ate half of my PowerBar and was still with the 3:45 pace group.
Miles 11-15 I started noticing some ball of foot pain and it was getting uncomfortable to run. Not good. As I passed the half marathon point I checked my watch, 1:51. Not bad! I finished my PowerBar and hoped the pain would go away like it did on my 20 miler a few weeks ago.
Miles 16-20 were into a headwind and now the top of my foot started hurting too. I took another GU and knew my goal time of 3:45 was slipping away.
Miles 21-25 I was miserable, wincing, and limping. I promised I would drop out as soon as I saw Jason or a medical tent. But I saw neither and I didn't have a cell phone with me so I just kept trudging along. I alternated between walking and jogging.
Mile 26 I was in a sad and pitiful state, but when the 4:00 pace group came up behind me I said, "Oh heck no, not again!" and started running as fast as I could all the way to the finish line.
I finished in 3:58.
I walked around the finishing line looking for medical help or Larissa, but could find neither so I did the worst possible thing for my muscles and sat down in a chair. When I took off my shoe and saw what I had done, I started sobbing.
Just then Larissa walked up to me and immediately left to get medical help. The people all around me were freaking out that my foot was broken and offered me ice and Advil. They brought me a wheelchair to get to the medical tent and that was the most embarrassing thing ever. How can I possibly run 26.2 miles but need a wheelchair to go 30 feet? A doctor examined my foot and recommended I get an x-ray. They gave me some ice and sent me on my way.
I wish I had a different ending to this story. My training partner (who did every single run with me for 18 weeks) ran a 3:34 and qualified for Boston; I limped across the finish line and may never run again.