I have never been so glad to be done with a race in my entire life.
Following the conclusion of the race, I kept running, and ran directly into the medical tent, where I calmly informed the EMT that I needed fluids.
Here’s how it went down.
Saturday morning, I woke up around 5 with a stomachache. SHOOT! So I ran down to the car, grabbed some Tums and a Prilosec, and waited for them to kick in. They kinda seemed to, and by the time we’d made our way to a very chilly start line, I decided that I felt okay. And off we went.
It was cold, but not unbearably so. I’d dressed perfectly. A thin, long-sleeved Brooks top, a Brooks Nightlife Vest, stuffed to the gills with goodies, gloves, and 3/4ths tights. On the feet were the Glycerin 11 (an excellent choice of a shoe), and some Smartwool socks. When it felt like my hands were going to fall off, I palmed my boobs under the vest, and as silly as it seems, the warmth made the ride really comfortable.
I stuck to the plan. About 6.5 miles in, I started with my first bit of nutrition, and the nagging tummy ache that had been bothering me started to flare up. I tried everything to push it away. I breathed the cool, fresh fall air. I house shopped. I focused on music. But it wouldn’t leave. By the time another 6 had passed, and it was time for more nutrition, I couldn’t do it. I nibbled at another piece of Clif Shot Bloks, and the stomachache started up, worse than before.
The stomachache was too real. Katy Perry came on with ‘Roar’. And I dissolved into tears. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared this, but I get hyper-emotional during races. It’s an introspective period of time, and the thought of the message of the song, the stomach pain, and the fact that I was over halfway in the race got to me. Get it together, Cheri. Someone is going to see you crying and think something is really wrong.
I literally pulled over in a field, and the stomachache was just too much. I barfed in a field. Everything I’d eaten, all the water, and all the nutrition was gone. A cop looked on, sorrowfully. But I couldn’t give it up, I was only like 8 miles from the finish!
So I knew that I’d lost all my nutrition and all my water. And the thought of eating was producing more vomit. So I kept up with my water, and trudged through the last bit of the marathon.
I did it.
It was abysmally slow. I was a little sunburned. But I did it, run-walking that last 8 miles or so. Once I finished, I med-tented, explained to them what had happened, and let them check my levels. I was fine, understandably a little dehydrated, and not feeling like eating ever again.
I finished. I’m a two-time marathoner!! And upon an appointment with a gastro, I am totally ready for the next running adventure.