Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monaco Marathon kick-off, circa 2001

5 minutes into today's long run (note, the last long run in this hell for a while) I thought, "How & why would anyone train for something long right now?"

And then I had a flashback to my first marathon. 8 years ago this weekend was the kick off to my very first marathon, Marathon de Monaco. I was 23 years old, had never run anything other than one 5k in my life, and in for a life changing event. I was fortunate enough to not only have my roommate by my side to help me get out of bed, but also the best running coaches ever.

Erin (roommate) & I signed up for a fundraiser via work, the goal - raise money for UCP and run a marathon. All the plans were made, coaches provided. I'm not sure how it happened, but we had some paperwork that said the first group long run to be (this holiday weekend) Saturday morning, Mountainview Park at 7:30am.

8 years later 7:30 sounds LATE, but back then, 23 years old and used to just getting into the good sleep from a night 'out' - that sounded like hell. But, sure enough we made it. Only, little to our surprise NO ONE was there. Erin & I, all decked out in our running gear: boxers shorts, cotton t-shirts, stop watch & running shoes (true to size, mind you) showed up and there were the coaches, taking down the running tents, no one else in sight.

Apparently, we missed the memo - 7:30 was a typo, in this heat a 5:30am start was a must. Who knew? Not knowing what to do, we looked to Gus & Bettina. They assured us they would wait, and told us where the mile markers, and water stops were and sent us out on our way.

Of course I thought I would die. It was probably 100 degs and crazy humid and well, you read what I was wearing. Not exactly moisture wicking. But, we made it, and that run there, well it was the start of a whole new life.

I trained hard, followed the plan to a T, and was running great. Unfortunately, like so many times before my asthma and lung issues got in the way, and I was sick on the race - antibiotics plus marathon = rough time. My calculated estimated finish time about a 4:15 - actual finish time 4:54. Experience, priceless.

I'm glad I brought back that memory today. I had a very rough run, and I needed something to take my mind off of it. I couldn't get my body temperature down. HR too high. The plan was 11miles. We had a loop with 6.5 with the dogs and would finish the second part up after dropping them off.

Shane made the decision (smart one) that we needed to call it a day after loop 1. We were both hurting, overheated and dehydrated (1 hr weight loss 2lbs for me, 5 for him). We were gaining nothing with this run, but frustration. So, we got home, stripped and jumped in the pool...

Sure, we could have finished the last 4.5miles, but sometimes - the smarter thing to do is to just throw in the towel, save it for another day.

I have to say, the decision was made a little easier knowing that in less than 2 days we will be in Utah, where we have been promised a nice ass whooping by Benny, leading us on a 3-4hr hike.

I'm sure, I'll be sucking it up in the back, but that's ok - I'll be a little cooler, and happy.


Spokane Al said...

I highly recommend that you pull out the boxers shorts and cotton t-shirt for Troika and wear them for the entire race.

Then perhaps I will be a bit of a chance keeping up with you.

Jessica said...

Have fun on your trip! It is HOT HOT here...110 today, 114 on sat. Ugh!