Why I didn’t P.R. or How I Became a Die Hard Runner at Mile 10

Well, I guess I missed a post yesterday, didn’t I? Sorry about that, I had an excruciating migraine headache probably due to stress or worry or something, but in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t get a P.R. at the Blue Moon half Marathon yesterday. I finished in 2:06:54, official chip time.

blue moon half medal

I’ll have a full recap and review for you tomorrow but in the meantime, let me tell you briefly why I didn’t PR.

Last week, Mom and I were running around a lot and even though I was able to run, I didn’t run as much as I would have liked and I ate sort of crappy. I didn’t realize just how crappy until Thursday or Friday of last week when I got stomach cramps while running and so I tried to clean up my diet at the last minute.

Unfortunately, on Saturday I ate 3 bagels because we were busy and they are quick and easy and hello, carbs! I just didn’t think about the fact that my bagels have 7 grams of fiber each…yeah, I know, but all I was thinking is carbs for the race and I didn’t eat anything after 9 on Saturday evening so I thought everything was good.

On Sunday morning I woke up feeling great. Because of the time change I woke up at 4:30 instead of my usual 5:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. No worries, I got up and started to prepare for the race. About 6:30 I started to get worried when I realized I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom but we had to leave, so off we went and at start time I still hadn’t been able to go. My biggest worry was that I would get cramps and have to slow down. Little did I know…..

I started the race strong and was holding a 9:05 pace all the way through the 8th mile. I was well on my way to a sub 2 and I felt strong and was ready to push harder and finish the last 5 miles.

Then mile 9 happened.

Mile 9 will forever be emblazoned in my mind as the desperation and countdown to humiliation mile. My lower stomach began to cramp, my hands became clammy and sweat began to form on my brow.

Two minutes to blast off, we are approaching Defcon 1, Elvis is leaving the building! IT’S GO TIME! Must find restroom NOW.

I ran to the next volunteer and then stopped and asked where the nearest restroom was. She wasn’t sure. I seemed to remember the pre race email stating there was a restroom at mile 9.5 or 9.75 so I continued on and slowly started to run to the next volunteer, where is the next restroom?

She told me but guess what? I couldn’t find it. Mile 9 was finished in 10:35 and I was now pissed. I was waisting precious time. My sub 2 was disappearing before my very eyes. Desperation was at an all time high!

As mile 10 began I knew I had precious few minutes left. I thought about running across 6 lanes of traffic to hit the McDonalds, or darting behind the homes along the course. I thought about the embarrassment of NOT finding a suitable place and what that outcome would be, and then I did the only thing I could do. I found a trail that looked like it led to a park or an area that might have had a bathroom and so I followed it, except that it only led to another road and a bunch of houses on the other side. Lucky for me there was a thick patch of trees in between.

And that, my friends, is when I became a die-hard runner. I pulled those shorts to the side and I Paula Radcliffe’d right there. Right there amongst the privacy of those trees, I spent 5 of the most uncomfortable moments of my life, and then I ran back to the race and joined the group as if nothing had happened.

When I crossed the finish line and saw the time, I was heartbroken because I knew I could have had a sub 2 finish and I didn’t.

Later, when I told MacGyver what had happened he laughed his head off but when he finally stopped laughing he said, ‘hey, look at it this way, You still finished with a good time and you beat a lot of people, and in reality you did better than a lot of the people who finished ahead of you because none of those people had to stop and take a shit.”

Thanks honey. I feel so much better.

Please tell me you’ve had an embarrassing moment during a race? Anything? Please share it with me.