Monday, September 30, 2013

Meep Meep

Hello all!

Welcome back to my blog.  A lot has been going on in the past 22 days (since my last post).  I'm going to have another post about the move in a couple days.  I'm going to use this post to talk about the Akron "road runner" Marathon, since the pain memory is still fresh.

I drove in from Virginia Friday starting at 3:30 in the AM.  After some gas and potty stops I found myself back in Canton, Ohio.  It had only been a week since I was on those same roads but it felt like forever.  No attempt was made to improve conditions of said roads..

But I digress!

I met my friend Joey for lunch and we caught up.  After that I made my way to my old office to pick up my new laptop (which was shipped to my old office because?).  From there it was time to do some expo-in!  I wouldn't make the trip alone.  James "product of science" Monroe, Adam, and Bryce came along for the ride.  It was cool being with fellow runners at the expo.  In the past I had gone with my wife, my wife and her sister, and Savannah.  They weren't too impressed.  We serpentined the expo floor, stickers were purchased, tri bikes were drooled on (Bryce and Adam), and running swag was picked up.  The awesome thing about Akron is they don't give their full marathoners shirts.  Oh no!!  They give Brooks running jackets!  Another cool attraction the expo had was a car with every participants name on it:

Hey! I know him!
After the expo I made my way to my in-laws to see my wife and girls.  It had been a LONG week away from them, which I said I will get into the move and that week in my next post.  Be patient!

I hadn't run in the past couple weeks (and only a few other times the couple weeks before that) so I wasn't confident about the race.  At the expo I saw something on Facebook about staying positive and positive things will happen (while Adam and Bryce were drooling).  With that in mind I started to say positive things about the race, my performance specifically.  I started to believe in myself.

Personalized bib name, and the blog name "running for h2o" compliments of my friend Matt Regimbal
The same guys I went to the expo with were also going to be my dinner partners for the evening.  The four of us, family in tow, had a pasta dinner.  Yum yum.  I was looking forward to the race...

Saturday morning came quickly and I met up with the rest of the high mill runners (and Adam).

Running is fun!!
Before we knew it the horn blew and we were off.  2013 Akron Marathon was a go.

My plan was to bring down my pace and try to sustain it as long as possible.  Everything was going good the first 8 miles.  I didn't see anyone on the course that I knew.  My wife and fam would be coming later to see me finish.  Everyone else had family with them but I was in the back of the pack so they had moved on to see their loved ones by the time I passed.  At mile 8 someone said my name.  It was Scott Radcliff!  Scott and I had been running partners for the past couple years.  Actually, the first time I recreationally ran outdoors was with Scott.  It was a frigid February morning.  The temperature was 10 degrees (not including wind chill).  I was wearing shorts.  I kid you not, shorts!


He had finished the second portion of the relay (Akron has the largest relay in the country: FACT) and waited for me.  We ran the next couple miles together.  We got to catch up about my move and his recent return from Colorado with other leaders from High Mill.  Aside from friend and running partner, Scott is also one of the small group leaders at our church.  Aimee and I were in his group.  Before the pack of runners headed out of downtown Akron Scott broke off.  Having him wait for me and run is a testament to his character.  Hard to find friends like that.  I was now back to running by myself.

Or so I thought!  Right before the halfway mark Adam's wife Erin shouted my name and ran with me a hundred yards or so.  When she headed back I made a restroom stop and was back on course.  Not for long though...

The wheels fell off between miles 14 and 15.  My legs had no strength.  I was in some good pain.  At one point a spectator yelled out "you're looking great!!" to which I replied "that's debatable!".  I got a couple laughs out of that one.  I'll take it.

For the next 10 miles I would run for 20-30 yards until my muscles spazzed to the point of almost buckling.  It was mostly my calf muscles but every now and then my quads would join in the fun.  It was evoking a range of emotions.  At first it angered me.  I would stop and clench my fists or rip my hat off and smack it against something.  Later on it made me upset.  I wasn't going to be quitting though.

There was one mistake I have to mention in regards to my race prep.  I had the wrong shorts.  The pair I brought had built in spandex under the shorts, but it didn't have the positive effects because they were older and stretched.  I wear it under my shorts to avoid chaffing.  With that said, I chaffed.  Badly.  To the point that I stopped at an aide station for Vaseline (and a couple tylenol because I thought it would help my muscles).

I was looking forward to the last couple miles because they were predominantly down hill.  Going up or down hill actually helped my muscles from spazzing.  On the final downhill my left leg locked up.  Total pirate peg leg situation.  I still ran.

I'm not trying to make myself sound courageous or strong to fight through the pain.  The reason I was in pain was because I had been an idiot for the month leading up to the race.  Not running is a horrible way to train for a marathon!  The last few miles I thought to myself "I hope they still have medals left"...

The finish line was on a baseball field.  Before I turned into the field I stopped to stretch.  Pride is a silly thing, people.  I had to make sure I ran the whole length of the stadium and across the finish line without stopping.

I made it!

I heard Bryce yelling, and probably the rest of my friends and family, but I didn't look for them.  Eyes on the finish.  If I made eye contact I would have lost it.  After crossing the finish I had a little trouble breathing, which was helped by first aid volunteer.  Aside from that, and complete exhaustion, there wasn't much to report in the finish area.

They did have some medals left though:

They also gave towels as finisher gifts

I soon caught up with those who waited for me.  James, his wife Ranita, Kayla (who ran the half), and her husband Cory watched me finish but had to leave before talking with me.  Hearing this blew my mind.  They had finished between 3-4 hours before I crossed the finish and still waited!!

Fellow marathoners Bryce and Adam.
My wife is thinking "Oh god.. he's touching me..."
After pictures were taken and gear was unchecked my wife, father-in-law and I made our way to his car.  I got into the backseat and every muscle starting at my quads down to my feet freaked out.  It will go down as the single most painful experience in my life (since I can't birth children).  I am not exaggerating, ask my wife.  I wanted to ball my eyes out but I was too dehydrated.

It's been 2 days since the race and I'm still in a good amount of pain.  I can't keep my legs in the same position for long or they stay that way.  I'm looking forward to my next marathon.  Redemption will be sweet.

The other High Millers/Active:Water runners did great:

James ran his first half at 1:37.
Kayla ran her first half, on two bad knees, at 1:54 or so
Duane ran his half at just over 2 hours
Adam ran his first full under 4 hours
Bryce ran his first full just over 4 hours

I'm stoked for everyone's accomplishments.  Akron knows how to put on a good race!  I will run it again someday.  Maybe even all 26.2 miles of it!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome race recap, sorry to hear you had troubles starting at mile 14 but it's those tough miles that make you stronger for your next marathon.