A1A Marathon: A DNF to the Half Marathon and a Tribute to Aaron
I was not going to write an RR at all but I wanted to share Aaron's life and remembrance just a little.
So, I wanted to honor his passing by finishing today's marathon. However, life never turns out the way we want it to, so I ended up DNF'ing the marathon and finishing 17 miles and get the half marathon medal. My story goes like this:
2 Weeks Prior
After the ING Marathon, recovery was going well. However, after almost 2 years of no bouts of piriformis, I got one two weekends ago. It started quietly and nothing to worry about but as the week went by, it went from sore to ouch sore. Some days I was limping; most days I would go to bed crying from the pain. It was funny that the only time the piriformis and lower back did not hurt was while running.
So, I cut my miles a lot, rested, went to the chiro and the sports medicine. The sports medicine gave me some relaxants and prednisone, none of which I have taken yet (I had a pain of 2 when I visited him and now it's at 0.05). He wants to do an MRI to make sure I don't have a herniated disk. I don't need an MRI to tell me what I already know. It's piriformis and I have no herniated disks. By the time I went to the doctor, the pain was no more. However, my piriformis is still not at 100%.
Did I tell you I fell the night before Valentine's Day? We were doing Valentine's Dinner at Smith & Wollensky's when part of the floor was slippery and I fell hard on the knee on the side of the piriformis. I got no attention from everybody, my husband told me I was "always on the floor, pffftttt" and nobody was concerned. I kept rubbing my knee all dinner long.
So, knowing all that had happened, I took this week easy. I did nice slow runs that caused me no piriformis or knee issues. Still, I ran in the last two weeks less than what I am used to run in one week. On top of that, the night before the marathon, I realized I had a UT infection.
RobinCD is here in Miami and Chiqui74 and I got to meet her and go to the expo and to lunch. She is awesome!
So, I knew the A1A Marathon would be a challenge and I was willing to do the half marathon if my body so wanted. I still don't know what happened today but I complied with how I felt.
To honor Aaron, I included part of his poem on my bib:
It was hot and humid (71F 97% humidity at the start, but only 68 dewpoint, so not really that bad). It was 81F by the time I finished. Most of the course is shadeless and by the beach, so we get very warm when we hit the last 3 miles of both the HM and the FM.
Edit: Forgot to add a picture of me:
I was struggling since we started. I was drained of all energy and did not know why. DH thinks is from the infection, but by then I did not know. I had made a conservative pace schedule by starting at recovery pace for 2 miles, then long run pace for 7, then, try to hit easy pace. I was hitting all these paces but the paces seemed off. My piriformis was sore and getting tighter by the time I quit the marathon, but nothing bad. It was just not 100% and I did not want to injure myself. We passed the point where the HMers turn around and I was so tempted to do it then, but I pushed on. By Mile 10 (1.5 miles later) I stopped at the water station and asked them whether there was a pickup back to the starting line and they told me it would take another 2 hours.
So, I made the decision of whether to walk/run the next 16 miles so as not to angry the piriformis or go back. So I turned around. I caught up with the 3 hour halfers at their Mile 9ish and I joined them. It was so hot the winner of the marathon did not pass me until Mile 11 (24 of the marathon). People thought I was one of the female winners and I didn't want to waste time correcting them. I finished and got into a fight with the medal girls because they kept insisting I had to receive the marathon medal and they did not understand that I HAD NOT FINISHED THE MARATHON. They even said, it does not matter! It mattered to me, stupid. So, I finally convinced them to give me the half medal, went to the results tent and got mine changed to the HM and waited for my friend to finish the full.
I am very happy with my decision. I am still super drained from running 17 miles (DH thinks it's the infection) and I've spent the whole day sleeping, I prevented the piriformis from injuring itself more, and I still finished a half marathon. I am just a little sad that I did not finish the marathon in Aaron's honor.
I'll leave you with something we prepared after he passed away. I am not sure whether it's a poem he wrote (I was told it was) but whoever wrote it, it's an inspiration to us all.