Sunday, June 10, 2007

NOD Marathon Report

Brutal. That describes the day for both Eric and I. Not because of the course - it is beautiful with rolling hills and long flats. The last few miles run along the Sound, which is spectacular. Not because of the race organization either - it is fantastic. I highly recommend this marathon. No, the brutality came from within. Final time: 6:05:53 by my Garmin. It wasn't pretty. Eric dropped at the half. Let me tell you the story...

It starts with Eric getting home from Utah about 10:00 Thursday night and getting up early to head to a meeting up north. I was up for Pilates, then down to the street festival to set up, then an hour or two back at home before I went down to the festival for the day. Eric called about 4:30 and said he was heading home and that he was going to come straight to festival to hang out. A couple hours passed, and no Eric. I wasn't too concerned - after all, Friday night traffic in Seattle? Finally about 7:00 I got another call. Eric started feeling sick on the way home and barely made it in the door before he was tossing his cookies. Uh-oh. I stuck it out till 8:00 at the festival and came home to find Eric sick in bed. We decided we'd figure things out in the morning.

The morning came, and Eric still felt rocky. I prepped to make the trip alone. He told me he wanted to come, to give him another half hour. He perked up a little, so we loaded the car and left. We made it to the hotel, then over to the expo (cool tech shirts and real bargains on shirts from a couple years ago), then back to the hotel. Eric slept for a few hours, while I started and finished an easy, trashy novel. We decided to go find dinner - we picked out a local pizza/pasta place. I called Ray to see if they wanted to meet us there, and amazingly, they were already at the same place and had just ordered! We got there and had a nice, leisurely dinner with Ray, Jane and Melissa. Eric kind of picked at his spaghetti and was very quiet. We went straight back to the hotel and watched a made-for-TV movie, then went to bed.

This morning Eric bounced out of bed, said he felt pretty good and was going to run. We caught the bus to Sequim (for those of you who know my sweet husband, you know we were on the first bus, and you know we were in Sequim two hours early!) They had a hall open for us to hang out in and we passed the time visiting with other Maniacs and lots of other runners.

Finally it was time to start. I started a little tentatively, worried about my calf. Melissa was beside me, worrying about her knee. It was a little painful with each step, but not too bad. Our first mile was 11:50 - not real fast but okay. If you remember a couple posts back, I had A Plan. I was really, really good today - I stuck to my plan like glue. I ran seven minutes/walked one. I kept my pace slow - purposefully. I really did okay - I hit the half at about 2:36. I was feeling sluggish and tired though - slow like molasses.

The weather was warm, with the sun peeking out. I had my windbreaker and short sleeve shirt off in no time, was running in my MM singlet. The wind kept picking up and picking up and the sky got darker and darker, and it was getting cold. I put my short sleeve back on and felt a little better. Melissa left me about mile 15 or so and shortly after that it started to rain. I added my hat and gloves. The wind was blowing really hard and it wasn't too long till I was soaked and cold. I pulled my windbreaker back on. By this time I was having trouble on the uphills - but not with my left calf. It felt perfectly fine. I was having trouble with my right abductor. I stopped several times and stretched it - my guess is it was overcompensation for the injury on the left - I have been limping since Vancouver - walking and running. I ran both Tacoma and CD'A favoring my left side. I think it came back to bite me today.

On the upside - I saw five single deer on the trail, and one group of three. Melissa and I saw a quail family - two adults and no joke - about 20 babies. They were tiny, cute and fast. Oh, and the other thing I have to tell you about happened about mile two (sorry Melissa!) Melissa was looking across the farmland, commenting that she could see runners on the far side of the fields when she ran straight in to a traffic cone. She kind of stumbled and knocked it over. She fixed and ran up beside me with a grin on her face and I burst out laughing - too funny.

Anyway, back to the final miles. At about 13 I shifted to the run seven/walk two as per The Plan. At about 20 I went post-to-post - from sheer sluggishness. The thing is, there weren't any posts - it was forested, then beach. So really, it was tree to weed clump, or shadow to sun (yes, it came back out for the final two miles), or from the rock to the curve. I was leapfrogging two ladies - one of whom was walking faster than I was running. I finished between them - the walker lady beat me out.

I could finally see the finish in the distance and tried to run a little more - I actually pulled a 13:13 out of my hat for the final mile. I saw Eric at the chute - he ran out to cheer me in - and I noticed right away he was fully dressed and carrying an umbrella, which was unusual. A lady at the finish put my medal around my neck, handed me a drink and threw her arm over my shoulders. I must have looked bad, because she was talking to me like I was delirious: "Now, let's keep you moving, we're just going to walk around a minute, then I'll take you to this nice man, who'll take your chip off". I followed along without saying a word. Fortunately, Eric came along and rescued me - he put his arm around me and took over. He said I did not look like I finished strong - but at least I finished.

Eric told me he'd pulled out at the half - he was feeling sick, he had no energy and his calf hurt. A friend he met at the training camps came up behind him - she's a doctor - and asked what he was doing. He told her about being sick Friday and yesterday and about how he felt. She told him he needed to quit - he was out of glycogen and he was too sick to take in any food. I'll tell you how sick he was - first he took a DNF - when there was a really cool medal to be had - that's one. Then, he let me drive a good portion of the way home - completely against character- that's two. We went to Starbucks twice this weekend and he didn't get anything - that's three. He came in the house, hit the shower, and is now asleep.

That's our story. It wasn't a pretty day for the Barnes family. I'm sure we'll sign up for this one again - simply because Eric needs to finish it, and I want a better time. It's funny. I promised to take this one really easy. I did. I didn't have any breathing problems, though I had a lot of pain. So even though I was walking more - following The Plan - I still had hopes of a 5:30. I knew it was unrealistic, but I couldn't shift it from my mind and I was really bummed when 5:30 came and I still had 2.5 miles to go. Obviously, I didn't do those 2.5 miles very fast. Still, I'm just happy I pushed through and finished.

So this is the end of my season of dreams. Ten marathons, two 50ks, two half-asses and a 50 mile relay in eight and a half months. I'm pretty well satisfied with myself. I don't plan to have a season like this again - these last eight weeks have taken their toll - strains and pains, tired body and the recurrence of some past problems. I think I could handle one marathon a month just fine, maybe with a couple halves thrown in for fun. We'll see what my next October to June season brings...

37 comments:

Michelle Sarabia said...

Congrats on pushing thru the pain and everything else. You had an incredible season full of major accomplishments.

Michelle Sarabia said...

I hope Eric feels better soon. See you both some time this week.

olga said...

And you should be - satisfied! Michelle and Eric, you guys had an awesome season, and will have many more to come. I am glad Eric had smarts (or sickness?) to pull off, he's got bigger game. I am sorry about your acjes - you now have time to take good care of those. You did good, Michelle, be proud, very proud!

robtherunner said...

Sorry to hear about Eric. I am glad to hear that the race sounds as well organized as it was two years ago. I think it is definitely one of the best marathons around and certainly worthy of a return trip. Congratulations on a great season. Enjoy the rest and return to normalcy.

maniac hippo said...

I'm sorry to hear that such an incredible season for you ended with a whimper.

I'm even sorrier that our respective schedules will have us not crossing paths for so long. I miss you guys already! I wish I lived closer so I could come by and give both of you some TLC.

Jack said...

Maybe not the best note to end a season with, but you had an incredible season, respect! I hope Eric feels better soon, bummer.

Try@thlete said...

Have a well-deserved rest both of you.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Sorry it was so painful, but you made it. You deserve some rest and to be back to your routine. Ian't wait to join you once school gets out to gain back my strength!
Jenny

Wes said...

An incredible inspirational season... Showing us how to get it done. I do hope Eric feels better soon!

JustRun said...

Wow, Michelle. Congratulations on a tough finish. More than that though, congratualtions on a fantastic season! I'm so envious!

Hope you and Eric feel better this week!

Sarah said...

Congrats on finishing an awesome season! Hopefully you'll be able to return to NODM under better circumstances. Its a great run. Rob told me that Eric had been tossing his cookies. Better now than at WSER. Hopefully you'll both get some good rest this week.

scott keeps running said...

well, congratulations on the great season. wow!! sorry you felt it ended so brutally, but you finished and WOW! (again) what a season. you should be extremely proud of what you accomplished and also proud of the motivation and inspiration you're giving to others. now on to the ws100... can't wait to hear about that one.

wendy said...

Congrats on finishing, Michelle! It sounds like a beautiful course to run on, and a great course to end your season with.

I wish it had been more fun for you, brutal doesn't sound very fun, but now you have something to look forward to for next year!

You've had an amazing season, and you're a 4-star MANIAC! =) How cool is that!

Great season, Michelle. You are an inspiration.

Steve said...

My how expectations change. You ran a good time and finished on tired legs after a long series of back to back long runs. It's interesting to hear how we want to excuse ourselves for not running PR's every time (which you did several times this year). It’s about challenging yourself and doing your best. You’ve done more than you dreamed of a couple years ago. Revel in your marvelous accomplishments and rest so you can enjoy the summer of fun running. We’re very proud of you and amazed at what you’ve done.

Darrell said...

That's a huge heap of races you strung together. You sure are a trooper and an inspiration for sure. Enjoy the ease of the summer break and lets see what you throw together next season.

Laufenweg said...

you are just amazing! a super-girl! :-) wow. enjoy your summertime. hope your "sweet"hubby is feeling better!

Meghan said...

Michelle,

My goodness, what a tough weekend! Congrats on toughing it out though, that speaks oodles about your mental drive! Sorry 'bout Eric being under the weather, also.

Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

Donald said...

I suppose you were overdue for a day like this, just going by the law of averages. Keep your chin up - I'm sure better races are ahead.

E-Speed said...

I'm glad you are going to get a break now. I think your body needs it! Hope Eric is feeling better! Congrats on yet another marathon finish!

Anne said...

Season of dreams indeed. I've truly enjoyed reading all about your adventures in marathoning and do hope Eric gets over his stomach bug soon. He did the right thing by pulling out early. There's always next year.

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow. That is quite the story. I hope Eric is feeling better. As for you, you have a lot to be proud of this season. You've accomplished a great deal. One less-than-stellar race does not a runner make. It's the rest of it... and you've got it all going on, girlfriend.

Joe said...

Mama said there'd be days like this....

Boy, did you ever show an example of perseverence, Michelle. I'm happy you stuck with your plan and even shifted to longer walk sequences as the abductor hurt more. So sorry for Eric but he was fully dehydrated and a DNF was probably wise.

Wow, what a season it has been for you, though!! Who'd a thunk it a year ago, eh???

Makita said...

I'm just now tuning in... from the sounds of the previous comments, you've had a remarkable season. Bummer that it ended on a dismal note but kudos to you for pushing through and finishing! I hope Eric is feeling better.

I look forward to visiting again and hearing of your adventures in the offseason as well as the new season that will begin in the fall. :)

psbowe said...

I'll say you had quite a season. I don't think many of us can measure up to what you have accomplished in just that one season...you're certainly a go-getter! Congrats on the achievement thru the good and the ugly!

Nicole said...

You guys are troopers.

Sarah Elaine said...

Michelle,

Thanks for the other note re: the Calgary runners. Maybe one day it'll be you and me out there on the road together... if I can keep up with you.

Sunshine said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing adventures. You are an energizing inspiration.
Best of healing and restoration to you both.
And here's to the next awesome season.

Addy said...

Wow...what a season. You're such an inspiring woman and I've really enjoying following along through the tail end of the period. Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us!

Congratulations on so many amazing accomplishments :)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, Michelle, what a season of dreams. it's amazing, how far you came. time to rest, take care of yourself, your body! recharge and get ready for the next season :)

Julie B said...

Congratulations, Michelle, on your great season. You did it! Enjoy your rest and recovery along with a big satisfied smile upon your face. Good work!

adam said...

Sounds like a perfect time to take a breather. Congrats on a great season! I have a hard time believing that after you go to WS100 and see all that running inspiration that you will be able to keep from running! But good luck with your rest as well.

Thomas said...

I know I'm late - I've only just come back from my holidays. That's one hell of a season, Michelle. It's more than I've done in my entire running life! You should be proud.

Sunshine said...

We will be thinking about your last weekend run when we do Grandma's this Saturday... Forecast is for hot with precious little breeze off Superior. Maybe my mantra could be "run for the fun of it" ??
Fish oil is good, I think: omega 3 oils. Best wishes.

Ryan said...

Way to spin a positive attitude on the weekend Michelle, even with Eric’s unfortunate run in with the bug! Cheers to going above & beyond you’re dreams this season…you really rolled along this year! Enjoy the down time and I’m looking forward to hearing about your crewing adventure @ WS!

Robb said...

Wow...crazy event for both of you. Get some rest girl...you've been working hard!! Go Eric Go!!!

Annette said...

That's quite the running season! You are quite the queen of running! Take care of those injuries.

runliarun said...

The plan worked!!! That is the most important. You passed the last threshhold, and your heart was in it.

The season of your first marathon was beautiful, heroic, inspiring, unforgettable, and indeed made of the substance of dreams.