Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cleveland Marathon: Part II

As I headed off into the neighborhood streets past Edgewater I began telling myself "focus on your breathing, keep your upper body relaxed." I remember the year before at this point in the race I had encountered a few of the wheelchair racers and had to run around them, but for a few seconds I thought to myself, "I would never be able to do what they do." I rounded the corner to begin my journey back into downtown Cleveland. I crossed the 10k mat and I knew my time was pretty good. I began telling myself okay 1/2 way done. Hunt down mile marker 7. One mile at a time. Worry about the finish at the finish. I was doing well until.... oh crap, I have to do #2 AGAIN for the third time that morning!!!! Uuuggghh!!!! Well, I thought I have run having to go to the bathroom before. I will just hold it until the end. Big mistake. The next 6 miles were very uncomfortable. I got back onto the freeway and enjoyed a quick mile downhill at mile 8-9, but then coming up the hill and into Frankli n I hit the wall.I remember the Walrus saying that he blew up on the same in the same spot last year and my time on the hill sloooowwwed significantly. I kept telling myself you're almost there, push through this. I covered the neighboorhood in a blur and as I made the turn to Lorain I had another flashback from the year before of a spectator holding a sign that said "run and do not be weary." I kept thinking it is all in my head. I went numb when I hit the bridge and said "F#ck It!" I focused on the people about 200 meters in front of me and began chasing them down. Then I focused on more people and just kept pushing myself. I passed the 11 mile marker and thought only 2 to go. You can do this. I was breathing well. My form was holding steady and other than my gastrointestinal issue flaring it's ugly head I was in the zone. I did not see a 12 mile marker because I turned off the marathon course before it so I figured I was almost there when I saw the Walrus running back toward me. He had said he wasn't coming back for me this race, but I later found out he couldn't help himself and he wanted to be there to push me to the end. Aaawww, he is the best. Together we clipped off the last 1/2 mile or so at a great pace for me. I made the turn to the finish and WHAM!!! That was it. I was literally going to explode, so I made a decision right then and there to walk and regroup. The Walrus went crazy yelling, "What are you doing? The finish is right there?" He threw his hands up and pulled off the course. I walked for about 20 seconds and then picked it back up for the last 100 meters. Oh shit, I thought, I need a bathroom and with that I rushed through the gates to the nearest porta-potty. After I went to my car to change and grab some water, but I had given myself such an upset stomach that when I got to the car I puked for about 5 minutes. I learned my lesson that day....when nature calls....answere IT!!!

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