Forgive me while I continue to work out this whole self-hosted site thing. I know the blog doesn’t look the same, but it will soon! This is important because I am installing an e-store so that I can sell the highly anticipated Team T-Rex shirts! Unfortunately, I know very little about the interwebs, so this is taking longer than I intended. Stay tuned.
Last weekend, Team T-Rex headed to South Dakota to attempt to run our first marathon in two or three months, depending on which member of the team you’re referring to. I hadn’t run more than 10 miles since the beginning of July, when I half-ran, half-walked the wonderful Missoula Marathon. Amanda and I have been training, but we quickly realized that we needed to basically start from square one where marathon training is concerned, so we’ve been slowwwwwlllllyy building up, to a whopping 10 miles run 2 weeks before the race. Yeah, this was sure to go well.
Amanda and I flew into Minneapolis together and met Kate at the airport. If you’re noticing that Minneapolis is not in fact in South Dakota, you would be correct, but we love a cheap flight, so we gladly drove the 4 hours to Sioux Falls. It was actually a lovely drive – so lovely, in fact, that I was inspired to sing “America the Beautiful” because there literally were amber waves of grain all over the place.
Some people do not like looking at endless crop fields. I do not travel with those people.
We arrived in Sioux Falls to pick up our packets in the blazing sun. No, seriously. In Minneapolis, Amanda had decided we needed to go to Walmart to try and find scarves and hats (not out yet), and in Sioux Falls we were sweating. The weather was supposed to be cool the next day, but we found that hard to believe. We quickly found Anders, who was rapidly expanding our pre-race dinner, and interestingly enough had just warned us that the only Maniac in history to ever be kicked out of the club was there in Sioux Falls. Kate and I had heard of him, but didn’t know his name, so Anders told us to watch out – the guy had been kicked out for cheating (cutting race course short) and for extremely offensive and inappropriate remarks towards women…uh, great.
We headed inside to check our chips, and while we were there, we saw Lyle, a fellow Maniac. All of a sudden, this random guy started talking to us and asked if we were Maniacs/50 Staters. He seemed a little odd, but we said yes and carried on a polite conversation. He then said he had planned a Maniacs/50 States dinner (news to us!) and that we should come join him at the diner located next to the Motel 6. Uhh….? He then turned around to introduce himself to Lyle, and then we heard him say his name and Maniac number.
The nightmare had come true.
It was THE disgraced Maniac. We literally spun around and ran for the door. We did not pass go. We did not collect $200.
I’m sure his fake dinner (which suddenly seemed all the more creepy once we knew who he was) was super fun, but we had our own to attend – at a local brewery, of course! We headed to Granite City Brewery and met an epic crowd.
Anders was fashionably late as usual, so he sent me over to the bar to find his friend Denis, who he described as “in his sixties and Irish.” Ok, well Irish people don’t exactly have a specific look, and there are plenty of men in their sixties, so I just walked over to the general vicinity of one and generically said “Denis?” And sure enough, I’m good at stereotyping because it was Denis indeed. A highlight of the night was him realizing that I am the writer of this blog, of which he is apparently a fan.
“Where I work, you aren’t allowed to read personal stuff, so I take my phone into the bathroom and read your blog there. One time, they sent in a nurse because I was laughing so hard they thought something was wrong!” – Denis
And that pretty much sums up Denis, my new favorite Irish person.
Race day dawned bright and early, and Amanda, Kate and I were all excited. We had decided the night before to do a walk/run strategy, since we were all grotesquely undertrained and didn’t want to have to crawl across the finish line, so we were going to run for 3 minutes and walk for 1 minute throughout the race. We missed the Maniacs picture, but in our defense, we didn’t know there was one and we totally would have made it on time had we known. So we took our own little picture before the start.
So much for a cute pre-race picture. The weather was AMAZING! It started out in the 40s and by the time the race was over, it was in the 60s. I cannot even begin to describe how refreshing it was after running in the heat and humidity of South Carolina all summer. The three of us started together and couldn’t stop laughing over how great it is to only have to run for 3 minutes before you get to walk. Such a wonderful concept!
At the dinner the night before, our friend JC had mentioned that he would probably see us out on the course because he was planning on running “slow” since he had been injured for 6 weeks. The problem is that JC is a 3:27 marathoner, so slow for him is still faster than any of us can run. Imagine our surprise when he caught up to us around mile 3! I guess he wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to run slow. He adapted to our walk/run system quite nicely and stayed with us for the rest of the race.
We all felt surprisingly good throughout the race until I started to feel really, really sick a little before mile 12. I thought some Tums might be able to help, so I mentioned that I hoped they had some at the water stop that was coming up. JC ran ahead and asked the team of football players who was manning the water station if they had any Tums, and they did! Score! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep running, but I knew that would help a bit. And sure enough, I was good for another 3 miles or so. At that point, we realized this was going to be an ongoing issue, so JC became my own personal hero and asked every single person we ran past if they had Tums. People outside their houses, people on the street, random employees of stores who happened to be outside – no one was safe. Fortunately, this resulted in us amassing quite a supply of Tums, Rolaids, Pepto…whatever we could find. And trust me, it was totally necessary.
One of the highlights of the course was running through the downtown of Sioux Falls itself, which is a very vibrant and cool city, surprisingly. No offense, South Dakota.
We also got to run through Falls Park, which is what the city is named for.
I was still hanging in there, but it was ugly. I was having to take Tums/Rolaids/various other stomach meds every 2 miles and even then, I still felt terrible. The acid just kept coming up my throat and it burned like hell. Cute, right? By mile 20, I was feeling so awful and had slowed down a lot. We kept going, but JC and Kate eventually split off and ran ahead, finishing a few minutes ahead of Amanda and I. I had to stop and throw up 13 Tums and a whole lot of stomach acid.
While keeled over in the bushes, I found myself wondering why the hell I subject myself to this. I vowed to never run another marathon again. I decided that I would go to New Hampshire and Maine at the end of the month, but I would not run. In fact, I would never run again. Yes, this was the logical conclusion. But alas, Baby Jesus had some bigger plans in store for me. When Amanda and I got to mile 25, we decided to try and run the last 1.2 miles straight, which would be my first ever “Hastings” instead of the former “Cupido” – the previous name for running the last 1.2 miles of the marathon. At the last water stop, all the teenage volunteers formed a tunnel for us to run through and gave us high fives, and it was exactly what I needed. I remembered how much fun I have at these races and realized that no matter how bad I feel, I always have fun – and that’s saying something, because this was probably the sickest I’ve ever been in a race.
This is officially the last photo I will ever take holding hands across the finish line. Know why? Because Kate and JC took a better one, and I’ll be copying it from now on.
I pretty much collapsed after the finish and laid down for awhile. Some of my fellow Maniacs laid around me for a lovely picture.
Anders’ Swedish cousin Steve insisted on taking a picture with me to prove that he had in fact met me. Sorry I’m not sorry for being so famous.
So I survived my 22nd marathon and 18th state thanks to Tums. If anyone from Tums is reading, I am currently accepting offers of sponsorship. And in case you were wondering, I did not technically overdose on them. You are allowed to take up to 16 per day. I checked in order to prove my mother wrong.
But uh, yeah. I’m going back to the stomach doctor next week. Baby needs some new meds, clearly. It’s good to be back.