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.

Today, I wanted to finish my 8th marathon in honor of Aaron Cohen.  He is one of the two cyclists that were hit this week by an AH driver (Miami has plenty of those).  He did not survive.  His death hit our running club very hard, because we all knew him, some more than me.  He was a great triathlete and an awesome person.

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%.

Valentine's Day:
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.

This Week:
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.

RIP Aaron.


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