I’ll start this lengthy report answering the question on everyone’s mind. Did I mess my pants during the race? The short answer is no, not really. I had a very unexpected squirt at mile 15, but other than that, did not so much as stop at a porta-potty to pee. I know, weird, right? I swear my body did well with the lack of fiber and dairy in the days leading up to the race. Plus, not by my choice, but I was unable to eat the night before the race or morning of. While I wouldn’t recommend this, I think my tummy being empty was key. More details on that later.
I’m going to be honest. Last week sucked. I was all nerves. I could not shake this feeling of almost dread about the race. I was not excited, I was anxious. I wanted to meet my goals so badly that I was putting tons of pressure on myself. I love to run, but my love of running had taken a backseat.
So, Saturday had me on edge. After a good day of distraction with the kids’ soccer game and piano recital we dumped them on my parents and headed up to the expo in Ft. Collins (45 mins away). It was pretty small and dumpy with just a few tables set up in a dark and windowless room. Schwag bag was nothing but one Hammer gel, a too small tech shirt and some coupons. We did get to see Tara and then went to drive some of the marathon course. This lifted my spirits a bit and got me kind of excited even. I mean, who wouldn’t want to run this (It’s the Poudre Canyon. People around here refer to it as the Poudre – pronounced “pooter.” If they are taking a drive in this canyon, they say they are going “up the pooter,” which always make me laugh. How can you say that with a straight face)?
We then headed for home. I’m such a control freak, I had it all figured out - get take out: buttered noodles with chicken. Go home and eat, have a small glass of wine for the nerves, put bib on shirt, chip on shoe, set coffee maker, lights out by 8:30pm for a 3:00am wake up call.
What’s that saying about God laughing when we make plans? All of my intentions fell to shit when we walked in the door at 7:30 and I took a look at my dog, Lucky. Let me remind you Lucky is not so lucky because he has three legs and a penis that always hangs out. Like lipstick, but much grosser. On this night, Lucky was especially unlucky as his eye was seeping goop and it looked like he had had a stroke. He was clearly in pain and sick. I took him to a pet ER (never in the eight years we’ve had this dog have I had to do this). I figured it was only 7:30pm, so if the vet quickly took care of the problem, I would be on time for a 9pm bedtime. Six hours of sleep? Perfect.
As the hours ticked by I realized I would not be going anywhere anytime soon. I learned that Lucky needed the eye removed and it would be a late night. I started sobbing. You have to understand. I love my dog, but I’m not someone who is going to sink tons of money into keeping an old dog with a big penis alive. But how can you put a dog down because of a bad eye? And my kids are so attached to this damn dog. And I might be a little attached too.
Emma (at age 3) with her dog, Lucky
The vet must have thought I was especially emotional about my dog losing his eye. After all I was carrying on like Jake from the Bachelor. Yes, that was part of it. But the other part was that I needed to get to bed for the race, dammit. I considered not doing the marathon. How could I do it on no sleep and all this stress? Finally, I called my friend who is a vet and we decided to give Lucky pain meds and take him home and do the surgery first thing Monday.
I got home at 11:30pm. I had not had my dinner and couldn’t eat it anyway. Lucky had a cone on his head and was high from all the drugs. He was running into everything. I had a glass of wine and tried to sleep. I got to sleep by midnight. 3am came early and I looked like
It was not pretty. I was not pretty. In fact, I was downright stressed and depressed. I felt for sure I would bonk at mile five and run a really slow race. All that training out the window, for nothing. I would be lucky to break my first marathon time of 4:03.
But, here’s where the human spirit perseveres and prevails!! I met Tara at the buses at 4:15am. She was as much of a mess as I was. We were both hoping for a rock slide or avalanche so the race would be called off, but we would not be quitters. It was a lifesaver having her there on that long bus ride up the canyon. We tried to eat, but there was some dry heaving. The girl behind us threw up. We got off the bus in darkness and both laid down some nuggets in the porta potties. We huddled up for warmth at the start, hugged, cried and started out.