Grandma’s Marathon Race Report

>> Sunday, June 22, 2008

Or, “This course smells a lot like dog doo and dead animals.”

Or, “So that’s what the inside of a Medical Tent looks like.”

I really want to start with a HUGE THANKS to everyone out there that has sent me advice of one form or another regarding all this marathon training hubbub. It has really meant a lot to have people checking in to see how things have been going. When I started blogging about 2 years ago, I thought it was going to be more of a one-way “lecture” and not so much of a great discussion. Thank you all for helping me! On longer runs, I really feel pushed by all of you - I think to myself, “Well, if this doesn’t go well, I have to answer to the blog-o-sphere!” Thank you all for being a part of this trip with me!

Many of you commented on my last short post. I want to get the first half of the story up so that you all know that I’m doing just fine. This post will start out fun (as usual), but then it will head south quickly. I’ll finish the marathon story in the next post. I’ll try not to be too long-winded, and there will be lots of photos (as usual).

Friday: the day before:

Borsch, came over. Shortly after that, Steph got home from work. Then Pharmie called to let us know that she was done with work and we could come pick her up. We were all off to Duluth! This was going to be my first stand-alone marathon, Steph’s second, and Pharmie’s 9th. Borsch was coming with his bike in tow so he could ride near us on the course and carry any goodies we could desire. How sweet is that?!

It didn’t take too long on the road before the girls were wiped out:



We arrived at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and we got our housing figured out. We were staying in a 2 bedroom suite-style dorm. Here are the ladies after we got checked in:



We found our room, and Steph couldn’t figure out the fridge:


It opens on the other side, Steph...

Once Steph finally got in, we stocked the fridge with the essentials:


Water, athletic drink, and boxed wine

The girls hit the snacks:



Then we headed off to Justin and Kelly’s house (no “Season 1 American Idol” jokes). They are friends who live in Duluth, and Kelly was running the half-marathon the next day (20 weeks pregnant). They hosted a big pasta meal for a bunch of Twin-Cities-Folk who made the trip north. Here are all the runners:



I guess the little guy on the slide isn’t running, but we let him be in the picture anyway. And do you see how tall Luke is? (He’s on the other side of the slide from me.) He’s not standing on a hill; He’s just 6’10”.

After the meal, we went to the expo to get our race day stuff. While we were down there, I had to buy this sweet, sweet triathlon magnet:



On the way back to the dorm, Pharmie snapped this photo of Lake Superior with a large ship and small rainbow:



We got back to our dorm, and started getting things ready for the big race. I filled out the “Emergency Contact” and “Medical Problems” portion on the back of my race number. Under “Medical Problems,” I put “very hairy.” And under “Medications and Doses,” I put “Nair, and lots of it.” Below that, I wrote “nothing, really” just to make it clear I was joking:



Borsch showed us the spreadsheet that he made (and laminated) that contains the expected mile splits of the 3 of us. He set it up so he would know when to be at specific mile markers in order to see us the most possible times. Geek.



Speaking of geeky charts, here was my wrist band with my expected times listed that I was going to wear during the race:



The first column is miles. The second column is individual mile times (they start at 7:15s, drop to 7s, and drop again to 6:45s). The third column shows my overall time at each mile. It has me finishing in 3:04:25. The fourth column (which is incomplete), shows a few times that would be achievable if I was feeling REALLY good, and could run each mile 10 seconds faster than listed in the second column. That final column has a finishing time of 2:59:55, which would be a super day. OK, so I guess Borsch isn’t the only geek who makes charts...

We were all ready to hit the hay, so Pharmie and I pushed our 2 single beds together. Just for cuddles. Not “adult” cuddles.



Saturday: race morning:

We awoke around 4:45 am. Well, we had our alarms set for 4:45, but I was wide-awake around 4. And it took me a while to get to sleep the night before, so I was going to be working on a solid 2-3 hours of sleep. We all had our pre-race oatmeal, lubed up with sunscreen and Body Glide, and got all ready to go.

There was a bus (well, a HUGE convoy of buses) that took everyone from campus to the starting line in Two Harbors, MN. Here are the sisters walking to the bus:



And here’s Borsch on his (yet-to-be-named) bike with all of our race stuff in his backpack:



We got to the line, and it was LONG, but it was moving fast:


The line ends on the other side
of the building in the distance



The 3 of us hopped on the bus and rode 26 miles to the starting line. Borsch hopped on his bike and pedaled his way 26 miles to the starting line.

In Two Harbors, at the starting line:

All 3 of us got off the bus and instantly got in line at the porta-potties. I left a nice little present there. We sat and stretched, and waited for Borsch to arrive. While we were waiting, Jeremy found us. Jeremy is fellow St. Paulite who ran the Winter Carnival half marathon with me, and is currently training for IM WI this fall. We chatted for a moment, and then Borsch arrived. He snapped a photo of everyone hanging out, along with a bit of “port-o-john row”:



Then we grabbed a photo of us three runners (behind us is 1 of 3 “port-o-john rows” at the start):



We listened to the National Anthem:



We all said our “good-byes” and “good lucks”, and we went to find our spots in line. I ran down the side of the huge starting chute until I saw the 3:15 and 3:10 pace groups. I was planning on going out on pace with those groups. So I hopped the fence and took my spot. Here’s the starting line filling up as people were getting in line:


The starting line is behind the toilets, well right of the
yellow tent, but you can see people backing up for blocks.

While I was finding my spot in line, the girls decided that they needed one more poo-break, so they did a quick potty run:



The Race:

Out of nowhere, an air-horn sounded, and we were off. I knew I needed to stay calm and stay on (or near) the pace chart on my arm. I was really excited at this point. The crowd was very heavy, and I wondered how long it would take to disperse. I did VERY GOOD at not jockeying for position - I tend to run through a pack of people at a race, only then to try to run through the next pack. I was not doing that. I was staying calm and cool, hanging out just behind the 3:10 pace group.

Mile 1 - 7:13. Perfect. Right on track.

Mile 2 - 7:05. A little fast. I eased up a bit.

Mile 3 - 7:13. Sweet.

At this point, I was feeling great! I had passed the 3:10 pace group, but I was just barely running in front of them (not going too hard). I was running easy and keeping the pace right where I needed to. I wasn’t trying to push too hard, and I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing. Just after the 5K mark, I spotted Borsch with the camera:



I was feeling as good as that smile looks! I felt like if I kept to the game plan, I’d be in for a good day.

Mile 4 - 7:06. Again, a little fast, but not out of control.

Even though some of these times were 10 seconds faster than I had on my pace chart, they weren’t TOO fast. In fact, 10 seconds faster per mile would drop my 3:04:25 expected finishing time to just under 3 hours (as highlighted above, near the photo of my pace chart wrist band). So I was still right where I needed to be.

Mile 5 - 7:09. Doing good, just 6 seconds fast.

A quick check of the pace chart showed that I was just 32 seconds faster than what I needed to be at this point. Again, just a little fast, but not CRAZY fast. I felt good.

Just after mile 5, I saw Sven Sundgaard from Kare 11 News in the Cities (local weather-guy). He was a spectator. I said “Hi Sven!” and he shot his head up and said “Hey there!” He looks fit and toned on TV, but in real life he’s down-right buff! And super tan! He was there with his buff and tan “man friend.” (If your from the Cities, you KNOW what I’m talking about!) And a few miles later, former Saturday Night Life funny man Al Franken was cheering for everyone (for those of you from out of state, Al’s making a run for Senate here in MN - he was raised in a Twin Cities suburb). I shouted and waved: “Hi Al!!” He waved back, all smiles. Around that point, I also cut all the way across the course to high five two boys with their hands out. “Are you guys waiting for high-fives??” I shouted as I ran over to them. Their mom was just past them, and she remarked “What a smile!...” When I ran past. You know me: all smiles.

Mile 6 - 7:08. Feeling good.

Mile 7 - 7:07. Feeling good.

Mile 8 - 7:09. Feeling good.

Look at that consistency! The last five miles were all within 4 seconds of one another! That was a confidence booster! I was in control and still going strong.

I did a little something dumb at the mile 7 water stop. If you look in that photo of me at mile 3, you can see the 2 gels I was carrying. At mile 7, just before the water, I ate one of the gels. I followed it with some water. A bit after the aid station, I looked at the 1 gel left in my hand. It was the one with the top torn off that had just been consumed. I had thrown the full, unused gel on the ground in the sea of paper cups in the water stop, and I had kept the empty one that I just ate. Damn it. I hoped that I would be OK until mile 17 where they were handing out gels. Oops.

Mile 9 - 7:15. A little slower than the last few miles, but right on pace. Good.

Mile 10 - 6:53. What?

Things got weird around mile 10. It wasn’t one thing; it seemed like little bits of everything. I just stopped feeling like myself. I couldn’t figure it out. I had gone on plenty of runs at the pace for much longer than this, so it wasn’t the speed. It was a little warm, but the heat usually isn’t too big of a deal for me. I was drinking water, but not too much. I had a good nutrition plan that has worked fine for other long runs. Nothing made sense. At this point, I already started running mile-by-mile, where you simply try to make it to the next mile marker.

Mile 11 - 7:10. Hurting.

Mile 12 - 7:08. Hurting. But not knowing why.

I didn’t even know where I was hurting from. I had a little side-stitch, but nothing horrible. My heel had gotten a little sore, but again, nothing horrible. Why did I feel this way?!? I was pissed off at myself.

Mile 13 - 7:20. Dazed, confused, weak, pissed.

I knew I was nearing the end of my day. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I thought to myself “If my achilles snapped or my knee really hurt or I fell and got all cut up, then I’d know why I feel like I have to stop. Now, I really just don’t have a reason for feeling this way!” It was more than frustrating.

I ran through what I thought was the next mile marker: mile 14. But it was just the 13.1 mark (the half way point). I wasn’t watching my watch, and it felt like those 46 seconds and 0.1 mile were another full mile. Looking back, I think I was in worse shape than I thought at the time. It was a little scary later that night when I realized I didn’t run just over 14, but just over 13.1 instead. My mind was gone.

Half marathon split - 1:33:48. I was still 22 seconds faster than my goal time at this point.

I was done. I stepped off the road, and out of nowhere, I threw up. Let’s just say that barely digested Endurolyte capsules (salt tabs), Power Gel, and a Power Bar do not make for the prettiest barf. Monochromatic, yes. Pretty, no. It was fairly, oh, let’s say “gelatinous.” I’ll spare you the gross details. Yes, I, Steve in a Speedo, known for being gross and nasty, will leave out the gross and nasty stuff this time.

You’re welcome.

The salt tabs were still a little intact, and everything else was this repugnant, white, foamy mess. I watched it drop down between the long grass blades in the ditch. It was like a buffalo load of rotten semen. Oops. Did I just take it past “gross and nasty” as you’ve come to expect from me? Well, I was dropping out of a race, but it wasn’t taking my sense of humor.

I jumped across the road to an opening in the trees that had a GREAT view of Lake Superior. I went towards the breeze. I thought I’d see if the cool lake breeze would help. I also had the thought that Homer had in an episode of “The Simpsons”: he was about to receive some bad news, so he asked “Can I get the bad news in a happy place?” Then they cut to Homer having fun on a roller coaster being told some bad news. (I think I have that right; I don’t remember all the details.) So I thought, “If I’m going to drop out of this race, I’ll do it in a scenic spot.” I haven’t said this enough in my life: thank you Homer Simpson.

I was looking over the lake for a few seconds, just above this little rocky ledge. I quickly became a little faint, and backed away from the mini-cliff. “Not smart to be right here,” I thought. Someone from a nearby Med Tent saw me swooning, and he ran over.

“Are you OK.”

“I think so,” I said. As I said it, I nearly started crying. Wow, that came out of nowhere.

“Do you need medical help? Can I get you anything.”

“No, I think my... I think my day is done. I’m done.” Now I was fighting back tears. “Can I stop here?” I asked.

He went on to tell me that it’d be a long wait here, but if I walked up a mile or so, there was a bigger Med Tent that had a drop-out bus that was going to be taking people to the finish line. He asked if I’d be OK to walk to the next stop. I said yes. I think he radioed my number in and officially took me out of the race.

As I started walking, I started thinking that I could still salvage something from this race. I thought I could start running again, even slowly, and still finish my first marathon. How quickly my options changed from “slower than 3:10,” “better than 3:10,” and “maybe even sub 3” to simply “finish” or “not.”

I started running again. Pretty quickly, my vision started to dim. Everything slowly started getting darker and darker. It was like they were turning down the lights to about 40%. I wasn’t feeling faint, I was just slowly going blind.

“Holy shit. Time to stop.”

That was that. No more running. Just get to the next station, hop on a bus, and call it a day. Don’t die. Kaeti, a local blogger, gave me the advice of “Aim for not dying,” and I e-mailed her to thank her, because it was surprisingly simple, good advice!

I was fighting back tears. When I finally stopped to walk knowing that my day was done, there was no one around except for one guy about 50 feet ahead. He gave me some encouraging words as I passed, and I noticed that he had an IM WI 2007 finishers shirt on. Talk about fate punching me in the face.

Here’s where it got hard. As I was rounding a corner, walking up to the Medical Tent, there was another cross street, which meant another big group of spectators. I had walked that last mile with no one around. Now, there were people right next to me telling me “You can do it,” and “Stay strong,” and “Over half way there.” Those are all great, generic things to hear while running a race, but hearing them while in the process of dropping out sucks. The truth was: I couldn’t “do it,” I wasn’t “strong,” and I was already “there.” I kept my head down to avoid eye contact because I was really tearing up and feeling sorry for myself.

I’ve never treated spectators so shitty. Just a few miles before, I was cutting across the course to give high-fives; I was waving and thanking bands; I was waving at kids who had cowbells and screaming “More cowbell!” Now I couldn’t even look them in the eye.

I didn’t know it at the time, but as I was walking through those people, Borsch had spotted me in the distance. He snapped a photo:


Full image


Cropped in on me

See? Head down, mouth clenched, fighting back emotion, being a total ass to the great spectators.

That was it. I couldn’t take another “Hang in there” from the crowd, as I knew there was no way I was going to finish. I jumped the guardrail, turned my back to anyone nearby, and let it all flow in celebration of my first DNF:



68 comments:

Rainmaker 8:55 PM, June 22, 2008  

(Holy crap, first comment!)

Here's the good thing - if you have to have a DNF, you go strong and do it on a marathon. None of this DNF on a 5K stuff. Go big! And really, you'll sort it all out, and rock on another marathon.

P.S...you know you wanna do Philly Marathon.

Viv 9:16 PM, June 22, 2008  

You look like you were in pain, man, You did what you had to do. Hang in there. It did look like tons o fun leading up to everything.

KodaFit 9:22 PM, June 22, 2008  

Yikes! Sorry to hear about this... Hope you get it all sorted out and get back into your normal groove soon.

Did you figure out what caused it, or was it just a case of not being your day?

Either way, you're still my idol when it comes to running!

MissAllycat 9:28 PM, June 22, 2008  

I got that threesome sticker at the expo, too. :)

You pictures are so sad. So sorry, man! :( But don't worry. We still love you!

Kevin 9:37 PM, June 22, 2008  

Good to hear you are OK. Its good that you knew when to stop and say enough. Youll be back out there doing a marathon in no time

Tea 9:45 PM, June 22, 2008  

well....now....we both got our first DNFs today. I'm sorry to hear about yours. I hope you're doing alot better...physically and emotionally.

Laurie 9:49 PM, June 22, 2008  

I never in a million years expected to cry while reading a post from you. I am so sorry you didn't have the day you wanted to have. You will.

Pip 9:52 PM, June 22, 2008  

Aaargh Steve, now my heart's breaking for you. If it makes you feel any better, I threw up and DNF'd at the halfway mark of my first half marathon. Only, I was standing around letting off very ungracious F-bombs. I think you had a little more dignity!

You did the right thing stopping ...

J~Mom 10:18 PM, June 22, 2008  

Oh my gosh I want to give you the biggest hug around your neck. I am so sorry you went through that.

I am glad you are ok now!!

nwgdc 10:21 PM, June 22, 2008  

steve! i'm amazed by your writing...even in this circumstance. i can't wait to read more.

on a sidenote, i can't wait to tell my dad that he made your post! he's in the picture of you walking into the last aid station. he's on the "lake" side of the road holding a yellow flag...you can see him but it's kinda blurry. my parents were camped out there waiting for my wife (i hadn't arrived yet).

amybee 10:26 PM, June 22, 2008  

I know you are disappointed, but it just wasn't your day, and that is OKAY.

There will be other, stronger marathons for you.

Glad you were smart, pulled off the course and are getting better.

Julie,  10:31 PM, June 22, 2008  

..there is nothing worse than awesome spectators when..you just feel like crap. Hope you feel back to your regular self again soon. And...congrats on kicking Grandma for 13 miles!

RunBubbaRun 10:33 PM, June 22, 2008  

I know a DNF does suckass. it really does.. But hopefully you can find out what went wrong..

I know there are other races, but I know this will sting as well..

But you got the speed plus the tidy whites to get you through another day.

Molly 11:04 PM, June 22, 2008  

I could repeat what everyone has said along with a couple of other things that should be said...but what it really comes down to is that I am glad that you are OK and I will look forward to reading about your next marathon!
TAKE CARE

CoachLiz 11:08 PM, June 22, 2008  

Steve,

I know exactly how you felt. Mile 13 is where it all fell apart for me in LA. I remember walking past all of those cheering spectators in front of the Staples Center and I had tears running down my face behind my sun glasses as they shouted at me to "HANG IN THERE!" when all I wanted to do was double over in pain.

I don't normally do races with an iPod but I was thankful I had it that day to crank up the mind-numbing techno music to drown out the noise of the crowd and gut my way through it.

A gastro-intestinal melt down is the worst. I am glad to hear that you are doing better.

Running To Stand Still 11:13 PM, June 22, 2008  

I'm sorry it wasn't the finish you expected. I am still amazed by how well you did the first half and know you will do great on your next go at it.

Kathy 12:25 AM, June 23, 2008  

What a huge bummer man. Some days are just not meant to be aye.

Still, I'm glad the sense of humor was not lost, cause that would have been a bigger BUMMER!

Buffalo semen - yeeek

Chris 1:18 AM, June 23, 2008  

That sucks man. But there's nothing you can really do when your body rebels against you. Don't let yourself get beat up about something that was beyond your control.

Marcy 6:29 AM, June 23, 2008  

Awwwwhhhhh homie that was brutal. Real brutal. Thank God it didn't wreck your sense of humor though ;-) Glad you are OK!

Sue 6:41 AM, June 23, 2008  

but you didn't crap your pants, right?! Glad you're okay...rest and recuperate and blog on!

TriSaraTops 6:47 AM, June 23, 2008  

Awwwww, Steve...

I'm sorry buddy.

You did the right thing. Seriously hurting yourself is not good. There will always be marathons and I have no doubt that you will BQ. NO. DOUBT.

Thank you for the barf commentary, BTW. I almost hurled up my english muffin.

;)

Wil 7:01 AM, June 23, 2008  

As life definingly horrible as that moment was - and you know exactly which one I'm talking about; the one in which you knew this was not a drill and it was really over - you will come back stronger than ever in more ways than just running or enduring or racing.

Expect it to suck a lot for a little while, to come in waves sometimes, but expect it to pass too. It will, and when it does not only the fart jokes, but the hair down there commentary will start flowing again too, and with ease, just like nothing ever happened. But you'll be different now all the same; better in every way, my friend.

I'll buy you a beer at WIBA this weekend to celebrate ;)

xt4 7:48 AM, June 23, 2008  

Wow dude, that last photo - a little heartbreaking.

I've no doubt that, like everything else, you'll handle this in such a way that we'll all learn from it. Looking forward to WIBA this weekend.

Jenny Davidson 7:51 AM, June 23, 2008  

Rough. You take care of yourself now!

Kaeti 8:08 AM, June 23, 2008  

I'm glad you made the tough (heart-wrenching) decision to stop — much better than passing out in the middle of the course and being trampled (and/or soiling yourself). You made the right call by taking care of yourself.

Just remember that this is just your *first* marathon, not your last.

Flatman 8:21 AM, June 23, 2008  

I'm hurtin' for ya dude...

E-Speed 8:24 AM, June 23, 2008  

It's really scary how quickly you went from being on pace to being extremely sick. I am glad you are okay!

J-Wim 9:13 AM, June 23, 2008  

(((((BIG HUGS)))))))
Flukey thing I'm sure, next time will be great.


PS- You can't scare me with barf commentary - I do that for a living.
PSS- bigmike has that SAME sticker on his car!

a.maria 9:51 AM, June 23, 2008  

aw man. i'm bummed for you. you look so sad in that last pic. i hope you figure out what happened, i can't imagine the frustration of going from feeling so great, to not even KNOWING why you feel like such crap.

but you're a strong runner, and a great athlete... this doesn't change that.

Erin 9:57 AM, June 23, 2008  

I'm so sorry.

I've also learned, though, that spontaneous crying is a sign of much deeper physical trouble -- bonking, or otherwise being just out of wack. You did the right thing. No race is worth putting yourself in the hospital -- or worse -- for. There will be other marathons, and you will rock them!

Jade Lady 10:24 AM, June 23, 2008  

Sorry to hear about your day. Although it must have been so difficult, it was the smartest thing for u to drop out - dimming eyesight..wow..that's not good. Your body was trying to tell you something...

Waiting for your next post to hear the rest of the details..

Jumper 2.0 10:31 AM, June 23, 2008  

My vote is that it is something you ate. Especially since Pharmie had side stitches too. It either didn't affect her as badly or you had a lot more of the culprit to eat than she did.

Take care. Your sub 3 hour marathon is just a matter of time now!

Kellye Mills 10:57 AM, June 23, 2008  

Well yeah... I know that sucks. But... you are NOT weak or neither is it that you CAN'T do it. It just wasn't your day. I'm glad you had your moment to let it all go. Now chuck it off, recover, and figure out which one will be THE one for you!! :)

jen 11:17 AM, June 23, 2008  

Oh Steve.. I'm sorry. Those last pictures made me teary. :( I know you had worries about the race, but this just came out of nowhere. There's nothing you can do though, it just wasn't your day and you were very smart to drop out. You could have gotten seriously sick and hurt if you'd continued. Rest up and don't worry about it. We're proud of you for trying. :) (hug)

Kim 12:42 PM, June 23, 2008  

jezus steve, my heart goes out to you buddy. you have trained your ass off, and this race will not be the end of you. im so glad you didnt die, and i bet that you didnt even get any nut chafing!

chia 12:47 PM, June 23, 2008  

Buffalo semen? Dude that's so not vegan.

You're the only person talented enough to make me laugh so unexpectedly I pee a little in my aeron then five minutes later make me cry like a little girl.

Keep writing, you freaking rule!

How did the girls do!??!?

sRod 1:02 PM, June 23, 2008  

Holy crap man. I'm glad you're still alive.

I can't say to not beat yourself up over it, because--if you're anything like me--you will. Try to find the lessons in the race and take them with you in to the next one.

Colleen 2:00 PM, June 23, 2008  

Steve - I took myself out of the Chicago Marathon 4 years ago at mile 17. My ENTIRE family was there (I'm talking cousins and all). Talk about a hard decision... but I would have done more harm than good by continuing. I think that decision was WAY harder than finishing any of the other marathons that I've done. It's happens to all of us and you know what... you did the right thing! Keep your head up dude! You're one hell of a runner!

monica 2:21 PM, June 23, 2008  

um, i can't believe it's not glaringly obvious to you and everyone reading just what exactly went wrong here...

YOU SKIPPED THE ADULT CUDDLING. DUH!!!

seriously though steve, after coming home and trying to track you, it was heartbreaking to read your post that read "DNF." and then the next day, my favorite lady at imcda also posted a DNF on her blog. neither of you deserved that kind of experience, but you both played it smart. no reason to end up in the hospital. med tent alone is close and scary enough.

i do wish for you that you're able to figure out just what went wrong and when you're ready you'll be back to tackle the marathon again. you're smart, you're fast, and you're funny as hell, so you're still my hero, dnf or not.

keep us posted on how you're feeling, what your thoughts are, and what your next plan is. but please please PLEASE spare us the barf details, although i know my pleas will not stop you. you're Steve in a Speedo after all!!

RBR 2:55 PM, June 23, 2008  

I am so sorry about your first marathon. I hope you can figure out what went wrong, but good show pulling out and not hurting yourself. When the lights start to dim your brain is screaming "uncle". Smart of you to listen.

I have blog-stalked you through IM WI and all of your 5K wins, this was an amazing post. As always I am inspired by your talent, your humor and your honesty. Thank you.

cindy 3:31 PM, June 23, 2008  

Steve...I'm glad you're okay now. That had to be just awful and so frustrating :(

Lana 4:43 PM, June 23, 2008  

So sorry, Steve. There is pain, and then there is GI meltdown...you can handle pain, but there's not much you can do with GI meltdown. Don't be too hard on yourself. You will learn much from this experience - promise.

Dana 5:59 PM, June 23, 2008  

I'm really sorry to hear about your DNF. But you were smart to stop & not try to finish w/ everything you had going on. And I fully agree w/ Lana,this is DEFINITELY an experience to learn from. The bumper sticker is too cute!

triguyjt 6:58 PM, June 23, 2008  

steve...so sorry that it did not work out for you.. nothing i or anyone else says will take the sting out... but hopefully you can process this...regroup and move on to the next challenge.

good luck

Shawn 8:16 PM, June 23, 2008  

Keep you head up...You definately have the heart and soul to try it again...And Kick its azzz!

Kickstand Pam 8:33 PM, June 23, 2008  

I hope you are ok - your ego will mend - I just hope you are medically ok (is that proper english?)

The best advise I ever got was race with your heart not your watch :)

ShirleyPerly 9:10 PM, June 23, 2008  

Oh man, can't imagine how tough it must have been to have everyone cheering you on when you know it's not going to happen. But, in the big scheme of things, this is just one race. Really, it is. You'll be back with a vengeance, I'm sure of it.

The Clyde 9:14 PM, June 23, 2008  

Shit happens Dude, nothing you can do about it. It's like the first time you get arrested. It's real scary and it sucks, but the second time it's all good and it's nothing to worry about. (Not that I'm wishing you another DNF, I'm just saying it's always harder the first time you go through something....)

faithrunner 9:30 PM, June 23, 2008  

Oh man, it sounds like a rough race for you. You really started out strong, way ahead of me! I started behind the 3:30 balloons, but definitely couldn't keep up with them. You can't control how your stomach feels during a race, crap just happens. At least you didn't get injured because that would take months to heal. I know you'll get back up on the horse and try again. :) It's what runners do! I'm sorry the race didn't go well but I hope you keep your chin up because you are amazing! Recover well.

Sixteen Chickens 9:39 PM, June 23, 2008  

Thanks for the great description of the barf even though there were no photos.

I hope you figure out what went wrong. That's got to be a more than a little scary.

TriShannon 9:54 PM, June 23, 2008  

Steve,

So sorry to read that the day did not go as planned. Hold on to the knowledge that you are an amazing runner. It just wasn't your day and sometimes that happens. You made the smart, albeit heartbreakingly difficult decision. Hang in there.

21stCenturyMom 11:47 PM, June 23, 2008  

Oh man - so broken hearted for you. What a drag. I can hardly wait to hear what the diagnosis is, though - must have been something strange.

This also is a reminder that no matter how well prepared we are the wheels can come off - and sometimes they just do.

Anne 4:09 AM, June 24, 2008  

Look at all the love in this comment thread, Steve! Some of us can only imagine what you went through; at least one of us was once in your shoes (and power puking Gatorade barf is pretty nasty too, especially when it lands on your shoes and legs by accident!). You'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong, but you also won't give up the goal. No one who wears their underwear outside their shorts at the occasional competition gives up that easily.

Rural Girl 6:29 AM, June 24, 2008  

Steve, that's alright. I'd have been bawling way before that, like back at the buffalo semen puke part. That was really hard to read. There is another race ahead of you and you will succeed.

Lisa - Slow & Steady 7:33 AM, June 24, 2008  

Sorry that you had a bad day. At least you were still walking. Hope you get it all sorted out for next time.

Tri to Be Funny 8:16 AM, June 24, 2008  

Thanks for sharing this with all of us. God knows, we all have a lot to learn. We're human and this is supposed to be fun! Hang tough!

Chubby ----> 8:44 AM, June 24, 2008  

I'm very sorry to hear about your day, Steve. Chin up.

Mon 9:47 AM, June 24, 2008  

I'd have fallen when i first got sick and made people rescue me! Way to go on making it even further and off the road! That's strong right there!

GoBigGreen 10:23 AM, June 24, 2008  

SS:
Sorry...that does suck. And you know that the postive side is..I didnt hear anything about your achilles hurting! Victory!
Ihope to see you around the Y, come into the ladies locker room, the view is better in there.
(And maybe get arrested but at this point you could talk your way out of Tamara or Chuck calling the police.)
J

bill carter 1:52 PM, June 24, 2008  

Hi Steve

Dude, you are a star. I've seen some of your times for races and know how good you are. The marathon is a nasty beeetch and it has kicked my butt every single time. The margin of error in a marathon is so small that if your body is having a bad day (as obviously happened to you) it can pretty ugly fast.

Congrats for having the courage to not hurt yourself. You WILL be back and better than ever.

teacherwoman 2:22 PM, June 24, 2008  

Oh man. That totally stinks. I hope you are recovering from this well... you'll get 'em next time, Tiger...

Triseverance 3:23 PM, June 24, 2008  

Sorry dude, that really sucks. It had to have been the Gel or the powerbar you had for breakfast.
Anyway try to put it behind you and move forward.

Nat 5:38 PM, June 24, 2008  

I'm sorry Steve. It was a very hot day and you couldn't do anything about your stomach. You'll do another one and you know we all will be cheering you on!

jeanne 11:34 AM, June 25, 2008  

i'm late...but i'm still sorry! it takes a brave brave man to post photos of himself crying...like a girl. just kidding!!!!

seriously sucks. what was the going blind thing about? I am SO GLAD YOU DROPPED OUT. Instead of dropping. ya know? you did the right thing.
:)

Mendy 8:25 AM, June 26, 2008  

Ahhh... Steve, that must suck but you did what you should've done. You listened to your body or else it could have turned out much worse. I think you did great, and you'll have your Marathon another time.

Like Lisa, I want to give you a big hug! That last photo is priceless... shows how much passion you have for the sport.

See Zanne Run 4:29 PM, July 09, 2008  

that is one great race report ... sorry it didn't go as planned, but i've just read about a kabillion of your posts & know it won't be the last marathon you run.

i had a similar situation at marathon #2 - got to see the inside of an ambulance (once i was lucid enough from oxygen mask & glucose IV to actually open my eyes) ... its no fun. you never know what that 26.2 will throw at you.

thanks for stopping by my blog - am thrilled you did, cause now i found your cool digs ... i'll stop by often - love it!

Julianne 10:54 PM, October 19, 2008  

My eyes somehow landed on this particular line (DNF Part 1) on your sidebar and read this post. Man. This was tough to read. I FELT your pain. It happens to the best of us. At least you knew your limit. Well, and the barf... Poor Steve!!! :-(

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