After I finished, got my medal, and had my picture taken, the first person I saw was my mom, who gave me a hug. Then I saw Steve who gave me a kiss on the cheek which must have been pretty nasty for him. The area just outside the finish was pretty crowded, and I needed to get out of there. I became extremely nauseous and thought I may blow chunks all over everyone around me. I made my way through the crowd, but there was really nowhere to go and hurl. I made a beeline for some bushes and pretty much collapsed on the ground. By now I was also dizzy, and could barely move. I couldn’t even talk, except to say that the smell of the cigarette butts on the ground were making things worse. Luckily, I am not a puker by nature, and the feeling passed within a few minutes. It also could have to do with the fact that there was nothing at all in my stomach to puke up. I was still quite dizzy, and my mom went off to try and get me something with calories to drink.
After sitting on the ground for a good while, I was able to get up and head a few steps over to a concrete fountain and sit on the edge of that. That was about the point where I almost shit my pants. Literally. My stomach, which had felt good all day, was revolting. There were no portos in sight, so I was more than relieved a few moments later when that feeling passed as well. My body was in utter confusion, and I think it just didn’t know what to do. I was in perpetual motion for nearly 13 hours, consuming nothing but liquid and gel. Then I crossed that finish line and came to a sudden stop. My body was screaming WTF??
My mom was unable to track down something to drink, and the thought of putting anything solid in my mouth was out of the question. I was slowly starting to feel better, which I could gauge by my increasing ability to talk to everyone. My friends Steve and Cammie took off to go home, and a few minutes later so did my mom and Joe. Steve helped me into the building to retrieve my gear bags. I was cold, so he also helped me put on my warm up pants and fleece. I couldn’t imagine sitting down and trying to get back up again, so here is Steve removing my socks as I stand there helpless. Thank goodness he was there to help, or I don’t think I would have made it. We got my bike, and started the 1 mile trek back to the hotel.
As we started to head back, we ran into my friend and training buddy James, who had finished about 20 minutes before me. He was missing one of his bags, so we waited while he went back to try and find it. At this point I became dizzy again, and had so sit on the ground. Another athlete was walking by with a plate of post-race food and a cup. He asked if I was ok or if I needed anything, and I asked him if he had any Gatorade. He gave me his only cup, and when I asked if he was sure I could have it he said “Yes, take it. You need it more than I do.” I guess I looked pretty rough. I needed the sugar, and after drinking it I felt better.
Walking back to the hotel was not as bad as I thought it would be, I think the walk actually helped my legs a little. Our hotel was just off of State St, and as we were walking, the race was still going on. There were plenty of racers still walking/jogging/shuffling down State St, and I was so glad to be done. There were not many people left out cheering for them, and the feeling was sort of lonely.
Back at the hotel, I got in the shower while Steve walked to Jimmy John’s to get me a sandwich. I still wasn’t hungry, but I knew my body needed some food, so I ate the whole thing slowly. A little while later I was out in the hallway getting ice for the cooler, when I saw a Barq’s Root Beer in the vending machine. I normally am not a soda drinker, but suddenly it looked like the best thing in the world and I had to have it. I went back and got some quarters, and let me tell you, that root beer was just about the best thing I had ever tasted.
I didn’t crash out until probably around midnight, and I slept though until about 7:20 the next morning. I went down to the hotel breakfast for some coffee, and then James and I walked to Einstein’s for bagels. I headed back to the room and began the daunting task of packing up all of my gear. I took a quick shower and we headed home.
Once we got home, Steve headed to work for the afternoon, and I decided to get my grocery store trip over with right away. As I was shopping, I suddenly became overwhelmingly tired. When I got home I promptly fell asleep on the couch for about 2 hours. I was surprised that my body was not overly sore. Don’t get me wrong, it did hurt for a couple of days, but no worse than after I’ve run a hard marathon.
It’s two weeks later, and I am definitely not fully recovered. I did absolutely nothing for one full week, and this past week I did one swim, one easy run (bad idea), played 2 soccer games, and went to spin class this morning. My legs are definitely feeling it, and I’m going to continue to take it easy for probably a couple more weeks. It’s hard because I want to work out, but I know I shouldn’t be pushing it.
And now for the big question – am I going to do it again?? Stay tuned and find out in my next post…