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Monday, November 28, 2011

The marathon I wasn't meant to run

I have to split my recap of the Mississippi Coast Marathon into two parts: I need a whole post just to describe what went wrong that day.

Let's do this bullet-point style, shall we?
- The night before we had a birthday party and we missed packet pick up.
- The morning of the race I forgot that I was staying at my in-laws' house and that they have tall beds. I dropped heavily to the floor upon waking and rolled my ankle.  It swelled.
- I charge my Garmin before we left - but somehow when I turned it on it was completely out of juice! I didn't even bring it.
- Last year, it took 20 minutes to get to the race start from my inlaws' house. The guards at the gate of the Stennis Space Center simply waved us through. This year, hundreds of cars were backed up as guards checked ID's against a list of participants. Um, slight problem, many people had others driving them to the race! It was such a mess. We didn't even get up to the booth until after the race start time - luckily the directors delayed the start by 20 minutes.
- After showing our IDs, my hubby thanking God he is a federal employee and got in with his federal ID, we got lost heading to the start area! When we finally got to the start hubby picked up my number while I got in the short port-a-potty line.
- I made it to the start with minutes to spare, but they were out of T-shirt (they're long-sleeved, so I wanted it as a pajama shirt).
- Hubby let me borrow his ipod nano, which has a stop watch, in the hopes that I could at least see my time if not my pace. I started it at the gun, but when I checked it at mile three it warned me of low battery - when I tried again at mile 5 it was totally dead! I had no watch and there is no time on the course, so from mile 3 onward I was going by feel! 
- The weather. Oh, the freaking hellacious weather. The forecast looked bad enough:
Look at Sunday's perfect weather to the right. Gimme a break. 

But reality was even worse. Before we even started, a thermometer at Cypress House where we started showed 80 degrees. Basically it was upper 70's to lower 80's throughout, with unbearable humidity. It was like suffocating - there was no relief until FINALLY a rain storm started, which was after I finished!
The worst part, however, was the wind. The course is windy anyway - it's tree-lined highways that act like wind tunnels - but Saturday, with a rain storm brewing, there was a ferocious headwind about 50% of the time. As luck would have it, most of the "tailwind" direction was well-blocked by trees and buildings, so we got no benefit from that (I did feel a substantial tailwind for about a mile of the loop - it is a double loop course). The wet, warm wind was so bad that it actually blew my tightly-wrapped bun out, and I had to re-do my hair. I was hunched into the headwind for so much of the race that my BACK chaffed from being curved against my jog bra. My back has never chaffed before. Besides that, the wind whipped my glases from my face and blew salt from my hair into my eyes. My shirt kept blowing up into my face. I could barely hear my ipod. Misery. Utter misery.
- As usual for this course, the Gatorade was watered down to the point of uselessness, and the Gu that was promised never, ever materialized. Dangerous for a race in this kind of heat.
- I had made a list of thanksgivings to pray about during this "training run" race, as a distractor. When I realized my Garmin was dead, I also penned in mile splits. Hahahahahaha. My sweaty self made short work of that index card! It fast became unreadable.
Not that I ran anywhere close to that pace anyway.
Sounds like a complete disaster, right?! Come back tomorrow to read how I eeked a PR and a first-place win out of that mess!


  1. Oh my gosh! Did you seriously PR after all that?! Wow, can't wait to hear. What a nightmare lead up!

  2. I can't imagine worse conditions! Need the next installment!

  3. Aw man you're gonna leave us hanging!! :P

  4. You are a trooper. I think I would have broken down and cried.

  5. Wow, craziness! Looking forward to the recap!

  6. Ohh..It's a nice idea that you join a marathon. Know what? Marathon is a nice way in losing some weights. Thank you for sharing and Congrats.

  7. Wow, I think I might have got right back in my car and gone home! I am so impressed that you managed a PR! Way to go, I can't wait to read the second half!