Well it's been 1 week since the BMO Vancouver Marathon. It's taken me the whole week to reflect on what happened and to move forward. What I thought I was most ready for turned out to be one of my worst nightmares.
I started my saturday morning feeling excited and ready to race. My coach, running partner L and I all met at my house to do 1 last easy effort run before L and I headed out to catch the ferry.
The weather was fabulous. We were so excited.
We got to Vancouver checked in to hotel and headed down to the expo to have a little fun.
Spent some money, wandered around and headed back to the hotel to put our feet up.
After some rest we went out for pasta dinner. We had all of our kids with us so we hit up the Gastown Old Spaghetti Factory. I stuck with my usual veg lasagne. Sticking to my usual plan.
We walked back to hotel for an early night. I wished L a good night sleep and planned to meet her in the lobby at 7am.
After a restless night I woke up around 6am. Stuck to my usual routine of Stocked oats and coffee and took a banana with me to eat 30 minutes before the race. Again sticking to my usual plan.
I always get nervous so I spent a lot of time at the port-a-potty. I knew I was doomed with no turning back when I pulled up my pants and my transit card fell down the hole.
No turning back now!
L and I had plenty of time to get ourselves ready and to the start line. We were in separate corals so I dropped her off at hers and continued on to mine. I got put in the sub 4 hours which is exactly where I should be. All of my training was bang on. There was no reason I couldn't hit a sub 4.
The gun went off and I started off nice and easy. First km was a 5:40 min/km. Exactly what I had discussed with my coach. Ease in to things. That's exactly what I did. I eased in to my 5:15-5:20 pace by the second and third km. I felt pretty good but I did feel like my legs seemed a little heavy for having a once proper taper. I kept going.
I saw L on our out and back. We were both on track. She looked great! She claims I too looked great. We gave big smiles and waves.
When I was 40 minutes in I decided to take a swig of my Gu. That's when things felt a little off. My stomach was not happy with my Gu. Again, nothing new. These are the same flavour of Gu that I have been training and racing with for the past 2 years.
After I hit the 10km mark I thought I would try some of my mint Run Gum. It's got caffeine in it and always seems to perk things up for me. Again, I just wasn't feeling it.
After I hit the 20km mark I really started to feel off. My stomach was not happy, my legs felt like lead. There is no way I should be feeling this way before the halfway mark. Something was off.
Luckily I saw a port-a-potty up ahead before I really got sick.
I ducked in unsure of what end bad things were going to happen. My stomach revolted and I threw up in a discussing poop filled port-a-potty.
At this point L more then likely passed me because we never saw each other again. I decided to keep running but I had to significantly slow my pace. I ran another few kilometres and threw up again. I decided to try and walk for a bit.
I finally aw my husband and kids around 26km. I threw all of my stuff at them. Gu, salts, Run Gum. None of it was helping and I couldn't bare to carry anything. At that point I was so sick. Should I have pulled the plug then and there? Probably, but I didn't. My mind said don't quit.
I trudged along crying and suffering. My lovely friend Ellen (she sold me her amazing P2) caught up to me and saw how wrecked I was. She was so kind to comfort me and see if there was anything she could do for me. I told her not to worry and that she needed to keep going.
The rest of the race consisted of my walking a lot. I tried to run when I could but my stomach bubbled up and then I would throw up. I did 22km solely on water. It was the only thing I could stomach.
I have not a single photo of me running the marathon which is probably for the best. I'm sure I looked like something from a zombie apocalypse.
Even though I have done Iron Distance, this race broke me down like nothing else ever has. Usually if I'm fatigued or not feeling well simply walking gets me to the finish line. That day the simple act of walking hurt me so badly it made me cry out in pain.
You never know your true strength until you put your body to the test.
I managed to run the last 3 kilometres. One of my Soas team mates was out cheering on that last stretch and I was so weak I couldn't even acknowledge her.
I tried to push myself the last stretch collapsing at the finish to one of the medical volunteers and again throwing up. He tried to take me to the medical tent but I said I was fine. I really wasn't fine.
Luckily my husband was right there and got me out of there. I just wanted to go home and go to bed.
But, I finished.
It took me a few days before I started to come around. I suffered from involuntary muscle spasms for 3 days. After lots of Nuun I finally was able to shake those. My immune system was weekend as well. As I sit here and reflect I take another dose of Advil for my sore throat.
So what happened? Food poisoning? Caught the flu at the wrong possible moment? I really don't know.
Now that I've had a chance to reflect on everything I look back to see what I would do differently. Would I have pulled the plug before it got so bad? I don't know. I just don't quit.