Still...we were so positive all the way to Charlotte. My stomach was doing flips...I chalked it up to nerves and adrenaline. The gun went off...and off we went. Our first few splits were 8:30, 8:00, 7:55, 8:00, 8:10...By the 12th mile, we were set to finish about 6 minutes ahead of our qualifying time. By the 12th mile, my stomach exploded and there were NO PORTA POTTIES. I had some stomach pains for a couple of miles, but I still thought it was all the adrenaline. It wasn't. I had the norovirus. I held off saying anything to dad until the 16th mile, because we were still right on target to finish 6 minutes ahead of our goal. But my stomach started cramping again and I noticed a beautiful green porta potty. I ran in...threw up twice...walked out with my upper thighs shaking (as they do when you have a stomach virus). We ran into the Marriott for me to clean myself up, where I proceeded to throw up three more times. I walked out of the bathroom....cleaned my face..and dad and I took off running.
I ran the final ten miles of the race with potassium cramps (from losing all the gus I took, the powerade I drank, and the breakfast I ate) and stomach cramps. My lower back hurt from my bowels screaming at me to stop.
Dad and I finished the marathon pretty strong, even thought I seriously considered quitting at the Marriott...on mile 19, mile 21, mile 22, mile 23, mile 24 and even up to the finish. Dad and I crossed the finish line 20 minutes short of qualifying...which was extremely heart breaking and disappointing...but I was ecstatic that the battle was over. I actually think I was more excited for a heated...indoor restroom and new clothes than anything else. In retrospect, I wish I would have felt good enough to really enjoy the presence of my family at the finish line. I could hear little Layla's voice yelling, "go go go"...it was so sweet. I honestly don't remember much of the finish line or the first 10 minutes after I finished..its all a blur.
The biggest disappointment was that my post marathon meal/treat was a jug of Pedilyte....which didn't entirely stay on my stomach. I was really looking forward to some pizza, Mrs. Fields cookies and butter pecan ice cream...BOO! My body ached this morning in a way its never hurt before. The Charlotte course was difficult...but I think it was the energy depletion that left its mark on me when I rolled out of bed.
SO...now for Boston...
Dad and I are running the United Healthcare Marathon in May, which is a Boston Qualifier, and the Marine Corps in October. We are hitting the road tomorrow to pick up our training again :-). I'm kind of excited to be really working toward something still....I'm going to be a stinkin machine by May...haha!
One of the best things about Saturday was my sweet little Layla An...she didn't care
that I was pukey, sweaty or stinky...she loved on me anyway. And even though I was exhausted...I wanted nothing more than to hold her and squeeze on her. In fact, she and I both insisted that I carry her back to the car after the race :-) I can say this though...one day when she meets a challenge and wants to give up...I can speak to her from experience. I have never been so physically and emotionally challenged in all my life.
BUT...that's over...and I'm on to the next one. But first...I'm going to attempt to eat a peanut butter sandwich. Wish me luck...I probably need to eat a whole loaf's worth of sandwiches...