I left off just inside the finishline… I stagger past the people with the foil wraps because I have never needed one before. I was trying to walk to the right some where the post race food and drinks were but my body was drifting off to the left. It was a strange feeling. I think I would have been better off jogging to it.
Despite the plethora of options, I went with 1.5 bananas and a chocolate milk. Food wasn’t particularly appealing in the 5 minutes after the race. COL was ushering me towards the elevator that would take me to the massage area (loaded with 50+ professionals volunteering their time to rub all over sweaty folks… they’re crazier than I am).
My masseuse was sweet but was acting like I was made of porcelain. I told her nothing specific was hurt but that I could feel in my quads and hips that they were used up. I saw other masseuses taking off runners shoes and massaging their feet but she never moved to do that and I didn’t want her knocked out with the likely odor of my feet.
I did have a bit of a hard time post massage. I was freezing so I doubled back for the foil wrap. Then I got disoriented (I do that on a normal day much less post marathon) and could not figure out how to get out of the stadium. I almost started to cry. I knocked out my phone and all of my belongings 3 times and no one tried to help pick them up (can’t blame them, bending over is a bitch post race). I grabbed a second chocolate milk and followed the large flow of people that led me to the exit. I slowly made it back to the hotel having to stop and look around for things that I remember when I was walking to the start point earlier that morning
I had a required National Guard meeting to attend at 1500 and by the time I moseyed into my hotel room it was after 1300. I showered and joined Jim down at the bar where he recovered with Blue Moon and I continued to drink water and ate my banana. Typically, I get a massive migraine post race and try to eat a full meal asap because I will collapse into a mini coma. I was trying to look at NASCAR stats on the screen on front of me and was having trouble focusing so Jim went and got me a couple Aleeve. I don’t know if I can credit solely the Aleeve, but something about this race day was even more perfect than the race itself. I never got that “inevitable” migraine. I cannot put into words how thrilling that truly was for me. We discussed the race and we discussed how neither one of us wants to run a marathon again. He laughed when I said it and reminded me that I’ve already signed up for a marathon in January. DAMN. I’m cursed to run at least one more 🙂
Attended the meeting where I watched so many others collect awards for terrific and amazing times. It is inspiring in so many ways, but slightly discouraging. I still felt like I didn’t belong but was insanely thankful I was there.
FINALLY, it was dinner time. Jim and I knew that we wanted sushi. We considered going where COL went to enjoy a dinner together and then realized we didn’t give a shit. We wanted sushi. I ate 3 entire rolls and strolled out of that place happy as could be.
I enjoyed a few sips of wine out of a plastic cup. Okay, I didn’t enjoy it. It tasted terrible because it had no business being in a plastic cup. I don’t drink, but it was free and I thought it would be nice to have a celebratory drink with Jim. We parted ways before 7pm and I was sound asleep by 8.
The trip home was relatively uneventful (except for the old people and sweaty smells I had to endure from Atlanta to Columbus via Groome) . I did get to enjoy breakfast and 3 hours of coffee time at the airport with Jim. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this weekend like I did had he been anyone but who he was. Think about it, you haven’t heard about anyone besides him and COL… and for the most part, I was only with Jim. We were social outcasts. Everyone else was going out drinking or enjoying the complimentary alcohol, even the night before the race! They all seemed to know each other. I just joking saying that Jim and I were the smelly kids in class and COL only sat next to us because he had to (I’m not entirely convinced that’s not true). People get confused by the seemingly outgoing and talkative tendencies, but I’m truly antisocial. I can just talk your ear off, ESPECIALLY when nervous or anxious.
Lastly, the lessons learned…
1. Go to a thrift store and buy a set of sweats before a race. Now I’m not saying I would have run a whole lot faster, but shivering for an hour an a half certainly took some energy.
2. Buying CEP compression sleeves was the best purchase I’ve made at an expo and the second best purchase was the thin Smartwool running socks. I knew coming into the Expo on Friday that I wanted to make these purchases, I almost passed it up. I need to trust my gut.
3. A half-marathon is my favorite distance to run, without a doubt, but like my brother (who’s favorite distance is reportedly a marathon) my favorite distance isn’t a challenge big enough. I want more even if I practically crawl to get there.
4. I fueled more than ever during this race and will do that more often.
5. I want to run a sub 4 marathon one day. I don’t see miraculously knocking off 24 minutes of my best marathon time by not training though, so I have learned that I need to heal and then slowly build up the miles and do this right.
6. I would like to return next year and represent the state of TN better trained. We shall see how that goes.
7. I race because it puts a smile on my face and a medal into my collection. I run (or dream about it) because that is the one thing my brother and I can share no matter what distance separates us. Running is the one thing we both understand; I believe running chose us rather than we chose running.
8. The females faster than me also don’t have the body I do. They are small, lean and look like runners. I look like a CrossFitter that runs and am perfectly okay with it. I like my back and shoulder muscles. 🙂
9. I’m bringing headphones and plugging them in on planes from now on so that I can pretend I cannot hear the person next to me if I need to.
10. I look forward to my first 50k this fall.
11. GU farts are silent and deadly. Bah-hahaha.
12. Chocolate milk and bananas will be my immediate post race go to (take note hubby if you don’t see chocolate milk at the finish line, you know what you need to do)
13. My ASICs were like pillows for my feet. I think I might have just abandoned Muzinos.
14. Lastly… Just take the damn foily wrap thingamajig. There is a reason they offer them.