Saturday, April 16, 2005

A double edge sword (or why I shouldn't have driven Hurricane point)

DistanceTimeRoutePace
16.3 MILES3:01.23My house, along bike trail, past Aquarium, past Lovers, past PG Golf course, turned around returned to Lexus dealership where I called wife and had her pick me up11:08.10


I began my day by going to the Treadmill to pick up some GU and various items. I got there at 9:20 a.m. only to discovered it didn't open until 10 a.m. So, since I was already at the finish line (Crossroads), I decided to drive down the coast and check out the route. What a big mistake that was. If I wasn't already in fear of the hills, I am now petrified. I don't think the first 9 miles will be that difficult. The final 17 will pure hell. It isn't just Hurricane Point. There are a number of steep hills afterwards. Hills that I know I can't run very well. And I can only imagine the type of pain and suffering I will be feeling if I actually make it that far. Why couldn't I have chosen a flatter marathon? I truly believe if this marathon was flat I would have no problem finishing. But the sight of those hills has shaken my confidence to the core. Almost to the point that I contemplated driving off one of the cliffs and ending it all then. If only I hadn't put myself on the hook.

That said, I got home around 10:30, stretched and set out for my longest run to date. Many people warned me that I shouldn't try to push it one week before the marathon. Maybe not, but I needed to test myself somewhat. I needed to see how I will feel at mile 16.
So, off I went. My knee is still somewhat fragile and through the first five miles I felt OK. Then, around mile six, my knee started to hurt. Cursing because I felt if this happens on race day I am toast, I pushed through the pain. At mile 8, the pain subsided, at Mile 9 it was gone, though tender. I turned around then and headed back towards Seaside. Around mile 11, I began to get real hungry. This has been my routine. I had already downed two GU packs and decided to finish off the third and last. It didn't help much.
At mile 13 I became light headed. I kept drinking water and splashing some on my face. My time slowed but I didn't care. My legs began to tire somewhat but I kept pushing. At mile 14, I was really begininng to tire out. I kept pushing. At mile 16 I decided that might be enough. I called my wife and jogged maybe a half mile further before she picked me up.

So here's what I think. There is no doubt I am in trouble. My hope is that there will be fruit and better revitilizing stuff at the aid stations. I feel like if I can not get so hungry and so light headed, I may have a chance. The reality, though, is that I had trouble with 16.3 today and ran a very flat route. I have seen what awaits me and I am very afraid.

Everybody says the race atmosphere will push you through the tough spots. I have been relying on that since the turn of the year. I know that I did not put in enough miles through my training. But I cannot quit. I know this. Better to collapse on the course than to not show up. Maybe something miraculous will occur. Maybe some divine intervention will carry me to the finish. Maybe....

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