For all of you who didn’t know, ten of our Multisport Club, The Trilanders, did the Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon…one, and Half-Marathon…nine. Since I was the last to finish, I’ll give you a quick, down and dirty version of the results.
Diane finished first, hopped in a shuttle to a local hotel, and flew out by 3PM. They tell me she was in the 2:08 range for the half. Jean ran the entire run, still hasn’t checked her time, but thinks she is in the 2:20 range. Patti and Nancy started out together, did finish but not together, and no one has told me what their times were, so there. Stacy started with Jean, started feeling not so well, and finished, but was quite sickish for quite some time. I don’t know her time either. Tom started several corrals in front of me, told me his entire training schedule included 15-18 miles of running (total) between Memorial day weekend and the race. He says his time was in the 3:15 range, even with all that training.
Judy and Kevin were supposed to start in corrals 22 and 23, I think, but moved ahead and started way before I did. They walked most of the race and finished in the 3:30 plus range which included two long bathroom breaks. Not the “reading the newspaper” long, but had to wait a while for a porta john to open up. That leaves two of us. Bill did the Marathon and had his usual pre-race barf to start things out right. He had trained well, but was having some achilles issues during training. A short version of his race goes like this…he was on pace until mile 18 or so. The sick-to-the-stomach feeling reared its ugly head again for a couple of miles. He then hit the proverbial “wall”, and his pace slowed. Sometime during the last six miles his quads, yes both of them, cramped, and he limped into the finish in 4:40 or so. His first and, he says, last Marathon. Congratulations Bill!!
That leaves me, and I know all the gory details. Most of you know I’ve been having right knee issues since May. I tried some limited running and in September ramped it up. The knee rebelled and I couldn’t run at all since then. The most I had done was a couple of five mile walks in Florida, and a couple of 4.38 mile walks in Phoenix. So who in their right mind would actually do the 13.1 mile half marathon? No one, which proves that I’m legally insane.
The debacle began before the race ever started. I got an e-mail from the race director who said that I had two entries to the race. One would be canceled and my entry of $85.00 would be refunded on my credit card. I sent back an e-mail saying there must be some mistake and that I had only been charged once in September. She sent back a response that said someone else must have signed me up and that my money would be refunded. I responded by asking if there was more than one John Walker. She sent back an e-mail sayingÂ that they matched name, birth date and e-mail address, so unless there were two people with all of those things the same, I would be refunded my entry. I sent back an e-mail saying no one had taken responsibility for signing me up, so I shouldn’t get a refund. She responded by saying “have a nice race”. Case closed.
I should have known that things may not go well. When we all went down on Friday to pick up our packets, I got mine right away. I had told them when I signed up that I should finish in about 2:10. With the knee thing going on, I didn’t update that information, knowing that I could move back in the starting area to a later corral. For those of you who don’t know what a corral is, it’s just what you would think. All the people who plan to run at a similar pace are placed in a group, separated by clotheslines. The fastest start first and then the corrals leave at equal intervals, but your race time doesn’t begin until you cross the start line.
My packet said that I expected to finish the race in 4:40 (not 2:10), so they put me in corral 26, the very last one. Since I was going to walk the race anyway, I didn’t mind. But when I went to pick up my race shirt, they had medium for my shirt size, so that’s what I got. You all know that there’s no way this body is getting into a medium t-shirt without me looking like 10 pounds of crap stuffed into a 5 pound bag. Apparently they deleted the wrong John Walker, or they changed all the details to get back at me for all the e-mails. At any rate, the race started, and it was 47 minutes before I crossed the start line.
I walked what, for me, was a brisk pace (16 minute miles), never stopped for anything, and finished at a 16:45 minute mile pace. The knee was sore every step, but not sore enough to quit. Afterward it didn’t bother me any more than if I had done a 4 mile walk at a slower pace. I forgot to hit my Garmin at the finish line and hit it a minute or two later, so I think my time was 3:37ish. I was happy with that considering I had no business doing the race at all, but my feet were another matter. Since walking is a different foot plant and push off than running, I had forgotten about the issues I have with long walks. Blisters!! I had a blister the size of a silver dollar on the pad of my right foot, one the size of a quarter on the pad of my left foot, and one the size of a quarter on the bottom of my left heel. My big toenail on my right foot had turned a blue (several shades) and was on its way to black.
Afterward I walked like I had done an Ironman race, but the only thing sore was my feet. The blisters are not sore any more, but my big toe throbbed all last night and all day today. Jean picked up some peroxide, I have a needle in my dop kit, and I’m contemplating drilling a hole in my toenail with the needle to relieve the pressure. I cringe just thinking about it, but the throbbing is keeping me awake and Jean doesn’t want me catching up on my sleep while barreling down the road at 70 mph.
Just (Where’s The Doctor When You Need Her) Jack