Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Of course I want to write about the Austin Marathon, but I need to describe it in perspective starting with the day before -- and that's too much for one post.

So I'm starting today with the day before, and we'll take it day by day from there.

Saturday, February 16

After having had bronchitis (etc.) for 10 days, feeling better (and running) Wednesday and Thursday, on Friday I felt like I was getting sick again,and on Saturday I was worse, with a headache and scratchy throat and just feeling sick all over. Got up early, though, to feed the creepy critters (45-minute project) and be ready to drive Steve to work, which I had to do in order to keep the truck to go to packet pick-up.

TriSkatemom and I had plans to meet for dinner, and I was dying to meet her finally, after previous near-misses.

So I drove Steve 45 minutes to work, then drove back to Austin and picked up my number and race packet. I called Skatemom and we decided, instead of dinner, on a relaxing, sleep-inducing pre-marathon soak in her hotel's hot-tub. I can't tell you how good this sounded to me, since I live in an RV with no bathtub, and was currently aching all over. I wandered slowly around the expo looking at stuff I either didn't want, or wanted but couldn't afford, and feeling worse and worse: tired, thirsty, headachey, sandbags for lungs, sandpaper for eyelids, and finally thought, there is no reason for me to be here, and I went home.

I figured that my only hope for even considering running was to go to bed and stay there. I knocked on our neighbor's door and asked if she could do me the tremendous favor of taking over the afternoon feeding of the creepy critters. I even called Skatemom and cancelled our hot-tub plans. I mean, I felt THAT bad. And I went to bed.

I had to be up again at 4p.m. to go pick up my husband, and I wanted to hit the sack at 6 when we got back, but I hadn't packed my race stuff yet. And then I got the runs along with my other symptoms. I was tempted to just say, "I'm not packing, I'm skipping it, I'm sick." But I took some Imodium and Tylenol and vitamin C and thought I might make one of those miraculous recoveries, so I continued to go through the motions, behaving as though I were running the next day, just in case. Pinned my number to my shirt, tied my chip to my shoe, packed my gels in my hip pack, wrote my name on my pre-race garbage-bag warmups (so Skatemom and I could find each other), did everything as though I expected to run, even including shaving my legs for the occasion....even though I was 60% sure I wasn't running.

In bed finally at 8:30, loaded up with medicine for cough, cold, pain, and sleep, I debated whether to bother setting an alarm clock, or just forgetting the whole deal. I set two alarms, and fell asleep feeling like crap.


TxTriSkatemom said...

I knew you had to be feeling sick to bail on the hot tub after rhapsodizing about it earlier in the day!! This just makes your race day so much more amazing to me. Can't wait to read part 2.

ShirleyPerly said...

Oh man, just a teaser! I can't wait to hear how you pulled this marathon off. Sounds like you were headed for a DNS. Be back soon.

Ellie Hamilton said...

Yup. I honestly began mentally composing my "race report" Saturday, and its title was "DNS in Austin." I was distinctly entertaining that possibility, and also, for the first time ever that I can remember, the great feasibility of a DNF.