It was an exciting weekend. I arrived later in the day on Saturday and went over the expo to get my stuff. Fun to see my name listed! Then I joined my group for dinner that night. The mood was frivolous and fun. An electric mixture of nerves and excitement surrounded us. The race had arrived. Most of us thought we were ready. Nice is a gorgeous place and the course ran all along the sea front. Great, except for the sunshine bearing down on me!
Sunday we woke up, ate some breakfast, got our stuff together, took group photos and got ready to wander over to the starting line.
|The entire Women Running the World group from London.|
|My favorite running pal, Denise, even though she is much faster than I am.|
The first 10K (6 miles) were great. I enjoyed the route and the company. I was feeling fine. The next 5K (3 miles) were OK but the heat was starting to make a difference and I was finding it difficult to cool down. I was squeezing sponges filled with water over my head every chance I could but the sun was now out and it was bearing down a bit much. The course was set up in a such a way that you ran out towards the airport, turned around and came in another 4 miles to the finish. We began seeing some of the runners from our group on their way in and it was fun to see how people were doing. I was happy because my hips, feet and quads were doing well, but the hotness of my head was starting to bother me. Once we made the turn, I was braced for the 4 miles in to the finish line.
I was still just trying to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, hoping to not have to walk. I was drinking water at every station and took a couple of boost gels along the way but I could tell that I was running out of gas. It was frustrating as my legs felt good.
Finally a 17K (10 miles) I had to walk a little just to try to regroup.
I was bummed about this as one of my goals had been to not have to walk. And I didn't have to walk because of body aches and pains, but instead because of feeling off balance and overheated. At 18K(11.1 miles) we started to run again. Just 2 more miles. (I was with one of the coaches who was great. She kept encouraging me, trying to distract me, just keeping me going.) I was pretty much shuffling along at this point, a bit concerned about passing out or throwing up. I tried to just keep on keeping on. The last 2K (1.5 miles) were very tough. I was feeling pretty rough by then, overheated and absolutely running on empty. I did finally see the finish in sight and crossed the line. I had finished under 3 hours with only a little walking.
People from my group were there cheering me on but I was in such bad shape that I had to seek out medical help. Unable to find it, a group of us ventured down to the sea where I promptly pulled off shirt and got in the water.
|The fantastic women from church who got me into the business in the first place!|
It has taken me a few days to sift through all of my emotions and disappointments to allow the accomplishment of finishing to emerge as the top feeling. I am really glad I finished. I had just wanted to finish in a much stronger fashion!
|Our spectacular and amazing coaches.|
I will never again be trying to do this for the first time. But as most of the runners told us, at about 18K during the race you will be thinking, "Never again. This is so stupid. Why in the world am I doing this?" A few hours after the race, you begin to consider doing another one and by the next day you are making plans for the next one! I have seen myself wander through these emotions and of course, I am motivated by a desire to improve my time and finish better!
|Pre-race, our beginning group plus coaches|