Sunday, June 05, 2005

Race Day in San Diego

Up very early to drive to the start. Anita, Kai and Gizem were race crew so we could drive right to the start. Jim and I headed off to the starting area.

I had a clif bar, some coffee and then some gatorade just before the start.

Moments before the race start, the corral was packed. There was almost no way to get in. Stood in line, outside the corral, waiting for the start. At the start, the crowd surged and it still took several minutes just to force our way into the corral, which of course was moving rapidly. Once in, though, fell into rhythm quickly.

OK, I pushed too hard. And I didn't drink nearly enough fluid. I was moving pretty fast. Too fast. By mile 8 or so, I realized I was sweating way too much. At the halfway mark, my split was close to what I wanted. Unfortunately, my condition wasn't, and I was only half way through (distance-wise). At mile 16 the cramps started. This was really bad. At Tucson, I had made it to mile 22 before I cramped. In all my training, I had done 20 and 22 mile runs with no cramping. Now, at mile 16, the cramps were starting. Yes, I was dehydrated. Fought the cramps for 6 miles. Alternating running, walking, stretching (in various orders). By mile 22, was feeling sick and stopped to try and use the restroom. Big mistake. Apparently, running/walking acts like a second heart, pumping blood from your extremities to the rest of your body. When I stopped, my blood pressure dropped. Things started going dark. I had just walked past a medical tent so I turned around. I just about passed out as I crashed on one of their cots. Ice packs under my arms, legs lifted. Lay there for ten or fifteen minutes. Ate salt. Drank water. Sat there for ten or fifteen minutes. Drank more. Ate more salt. Hung around for another fifteen. Forty or fortyfive minutes after crashing there, I finally gathered the resolve to finish the marathon, even if it meant walking the rest of the way.

On the plus side, the cramps had stopped. Also, by the time I finished, there was no more lactic acid build-up. My recovery would be fast. My time was about 5:35. A far cry from my first marathon (4:00:01 in Tucson). Disaster. I learned a lot about myself. I sweat a lot. I need to drink 4 times the amount I was drinking that day. Start with something salty before the race, maybe some pretzels. Maybe a bigger breakfast. I also had the resolve to finish it. Bravo.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

So What Happened Next?

Saturday we left Phoenix for San Diego. We were a couple hours out of the city when I realized I had left my wallet at Mom's house! Too late to go back, I would never get to the expo. But I needed my ID to pick up my packet at the expo. Called Janis, she went and got my wallet, then faxed a copy of my driver's license to our hotel. When we got to the hotel, got the fax and took it to the expo. Got there just in time. They were kind enough to let me pick up the packet using my photocopy.

That evening went for a 2 mile jog around the area, then to bed to rest up. Morning would come early.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Road to San Diego -- Phoenix, AZ

Day seven began with breakfast at Millie's in Tucson. After final stops at the Tucson Mall, we drove up to Phoenix. On the way in we stopped at Ikea. Big store -- lots of pretty cool stuff. They try to be customer-centric, but the layout of the store forces customers to navigate in very strict routes (past as much merchandise as possible). Gizem hated the place. We finally arrived at Mom's house in the afternoon. Ran some errands, tried fixing the barbecue (seemed like an ignitor problem but the replacement didn't fit so I replaced the old one -- still works but is slow to ignite all the burner openings), and the four of us had dinner with Mom and Janis and Dan.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Road to San Diego -- Tucson, Arizona (Part 2)

Day five began with an easy 3 mile run. I timed the run so that I would finish at the north end of the Williams neighborhood, a very pretty all natural desert environment dotted with adobe houses. It's a great place to walk through for a cool-down. No more running until Saturday when I will go for a 2 mile run in San Diego to stretch out the day before the marathon. After breakfast was a trip to the airport to drop Anja off. We were running late and were about halfway to the airport when Anja realized she left her purse back at the house. Can't get on a flight without ID so we had to go back for it. By the time we got to the Frontier counter at the airport, she had missed her flight. The good news was that they did not charge her the $50 to reschedule. The bad news was that she now had to fly out of Phoenix. So I spent most of the day driving her up to Phoenix, turning around, and driving back to Tucson. When I got back, we all met up at the Park Mall theater and went to the new Star Wars movie. OK, it wasn't bad. Not as good as episode 5 (Empire Strikes Back), and some of the dialogue was really terrible, but the drama was still engaging and the special effects were great. Tomorrow will be our last day in Tucson.

Day is spent mostly poking around town. Kai is getting a haircut, Anita is looking for shoes, Gizem is shopping for souvenirs, and I'm just on the lookout for free WiFi. Unfortunately, the coffee shop I planted myself in while Kai was getting his haircut has WiFi, but it's not free. I have to connect later in the day. We made a stop at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. Too bad they are in between exhibits. Only a small selection from their archives were on exhibit. Finally got to Rainbow Guitars. Interesting that they're selling the same guitar I just bought (same price too) -- a Gitane Maccaferi-style acoustic (small oval hole). After a small lunch at El Taco (it's a dive, but they have a great green chili meat burrito), and an Eegee's stop, I made it to Beyond Bread where they have free wireless access. I see that the forecast for San Diego is a low of 61 and a high of 68. I'd prefer temperatures in the 50's, but it will be fine. Anaheim is supposed to have a high of 75 next Tuesday when we are planning on doing Disneyland -- looks like good weather for a while. Tonight will be dinner with some old friends, the Pyne's, then packing up. Tomorrow we drive up to Phoenix.