Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Rather Large Hiccup

We left Colorado yesterday morning to make the trek to Utah so I could run the Utah Valley Half Marathon again with my mom today.  We were feeling good, enjoying our drive through the mountains when our car started making the most awful noises imaginable--like the engine was going to fall out on the road.  Yes, this was our good car, not our clunker college car.  We pulled off at the Georgetown exit (about an hour and a half into our journey), and found a mechanic.  He was entirely unhelpful; wouldn't even look at the car.  By that time the car wouldn't even turn on.  We had to get towed a couple more miles up the canyon to a different mechanic, only to have him tell us that the problem was with our transmission and we wouldn't be back on the road that day.  I was trying so hard to be stoic, but my heart had dropped to my shoes.  Besides the obvious financial shock of having our transmission go out (not a cheap fix!) it was becoming increasingly clear that I was going to miss my race.  I signed up for this race in October, and I have run over 400 miles in training over the past 5 months in preparation for this.  I thought of all that work, now seemingly for naught.  Our little family piled into the tow truck (which I have to admit, the boys were thrilled about), and $350 and an hour and a half later, we were back in Parker where we started.  I was devastated. 
Luckily for me, I have a husband and a father who were both very determined to get me to Provo in time for the race to start.  Driving our second car wasn't really an option; we probably would have ended up  with both cars in the shop if we attempted that.  But Dad and Adam called airlines and rental car companies, trying to figure out a solution for me.  Finally, by 12:30 PM, 5 hours after we left the house for the first time, we were back on the road, this time in a rental car.  So the trip that should have taken 9 hours took us 14 instead--but we made it!!
I hardly slept at all last night.  McKay, overly exhausted, was having a difficult time sleeping and ended up in bed with us.  He moaned and cried, thrashed and kicked all night.  Then I was up again at 3:30 this morning with my mom to catch a bus that would shuttle us to the start line.  
The race started well for me.  I ran a quick pace down the canyon--I was on track to finish far faster than my time from last year.  Just after mile 9, though, my body just quit on me.  It was probably a combination of a 14-hour car ride, no sleep, and terrible nutrition the day before the race.  My mind was telling my body to keep going, but my body had just had enough.  I had to walk.  The hardest, most emotional part of the race for me was watching the 2-hour pacer run by.  I knew I had to finish ahead of him if I wanted to beat my time from last year.  I also knew if he passed me, I would never be able to catch him again.  And yet, I simply couldn't keep the pace.  
My mom caught up to me just before mile 11, and we finished it out together at a slow jog.  We came in at 2 hours and 8 minutes, 8 minutes slower than my time from last year, and a full 10 minutes slower than my goal time.
Am I disappointed?  Yes.  Definitely.  It's frustrating to spend so much time training and working toward a goal only to have my body fail on race day.  And yet, under the circumstances, I still feel I did the absolute best I could.  Shortly after my race was over, I puked--I definitely pushed myself to the limit!
Now I am alternating between thoughts of running another half this summer (REDEMPTION!!), or taking a long, long break from racing.  I'll have to keep you posted on that.  

Mom and Me, Mile 12


It's always a joy to see my boys at the finish line!

My sister was a volunteer at the race again this year

And here's my mom and me finishing it out:


Michelle said...

Way to go!!! WOW, what a trip, I am sorry to hear about the car troubles...but I am happy you made it! You did awesome. It's hard not to be so hard on yourself but don't be! I know it's frustrating when you have trained so hard but given the circumstances you did more then rocked it!! Seriously! Way to go! :)

Beth said...

Oh no -- I'm sorry! Sorry about the car (ugh!!), about the lack of sleep, about your finish time and having to walk. You have worked hard for this; I'm so sorry it didn't turn out as planned! I'm glad Adam was able to get you there in spite of everything, and seriously, you did awesome considering all that happened. You are still laps ahead of me and I am still thoroughly impressed!

Mary Ann (Crockett) Ahlstrom said...

Running that many miles is an accomplishment in and of itself. What crazy conditions leading up to it. Congrats on your time! You did great (while I get the whole - not-what-you-hoped-for bit too.) I think they have a half in georgetown at the end of the summer here in CO. I hear it's beautiful and a great race for time since it's mostly at an downhill incline. Just FYI.

Kendra Kaiser said...

Congrats Meggin and Barb! You FINISHED! We are so proud of you. You are so loved and supported by your husbands, you are so blessed. Don't stop running, you'll regret it.

MamaT said...

Okay that is impressive, but I can't say I don't blame you. If I paid money to do a race and invested lots of hours, I would have wanted to do it too. Good job, even though the results were not what you expected, never doubt that you are someone who will make it happen and finish the race. I hope the rest of the vacation is enjoyable.

Shannon Gish said...

OMHeavens - I love this family of yours. Way to go! Finishing is what it's all about.

lanita said...

I know it's not the ending you wanted, but to the vast majority of the population, you're a ROCK STAR! Seriously. Way to go and way to finish, especially under the unfortunate circumstances.