Friday, May 31, 2013

U-City Memorial Day 10K

The 39th annual University City Memorial Day run was this past Monday.  According to the event organizers, this is the oldest continuous 10K race west of the Mississippi.  So it's got that going for it, I guess.

U city lion

I think that lions are the city's mascot or something.  There are lion statues everywhere in this town.


Rob and I both ran the race last year (in what was apparently the 38th annual event), and I had a lot of fun.  10K is a distance I don't get to run very often, and I forget how much enjoy "short" races like that.  I was looking forward to it again this year.

On the night before the race (Sunday), our friends Cara and John were in town, and we met them for Shakespeare in the Park.  Of course we rode our bikes over there.  Even though it was only a few miles away, there were some hills, and my legs could feel it.  This didn't bode well, but I decided not to worry about it.  The race was only 10K (what could possibly go wrong?), and my expectations were pretty low.  Really, I just wanted to have fun.  So I went ahead and drank a Schlafly, some Prosecco, and a just a smack of Cara's Straw-Ber-Rita.  That really helped keep the worrying in check.

IMG 1872

Rob and Will at Shakespeare in the Park, with a few thousand of our closest friends.

We left pretty early (about the same time the actual performance started) so that we could bike home before it got too dark and still put Will to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.  

The next morning I got up around 6am, put on my No Meat Athlete singlet, and managed to eat most of a Clif Bar.  I decided to wear my 4mm drop New Balance WT 110 Trail shoes (with a rock plate) for this 10K road race because... why not?  Then I headed out the door to run to the start line, all before anyone else in the house had woken up.

A crowd was beginning to congregate at the U-City Public Library (i.e., the start/finish area).  A guy stopped me and asked, "Excuse me, how do you get one of those shirts?"  This always happens to me when I wear any No Meat Athlete gear.  The answer is simple, "You can buy it online."

IMG 1875

Another guy stopped me and asked, "Are you really a… vegetarian?"

"Actually I'm a vegan."

*Gasp* "Where do you get your protein?!"

Gorilla protein

Luckily for him, it was time to start the race, so I didn't have time to give him a full lecture on how shockingly easy it is to live on plants.

This race was both a 5K and 10K, so I had it in my mind to line up around the middle of the pack--hoping that I wouldn't get too caught up with the 5K runners and start out too fast.  But as I stood there waiting for the gun to go off and more and more people crowded around me, I began to feel that I was way too far back.  I can become really judgmental at times like this, such as, if you are wearing mascara or have your race number pinned to your back, I assume that I can crush you.  I was so closely surrounded by people who should have been starting much, much farther towards the back, that it took me almost a full minute even to reach the start line once the gun went off.  And when I finally crossed the mat, there was no change in my pace.  I was walking-- completely boxed in by other runners.  Or rather, by people who basically intended on walking the race but had still lined up as close to the front as they could get.  

I was really frustrated, and I started maniacally weaving my way through the crowd--squeezing my body through impossibly small spaces and trying to get out of this congestion as quickly as possible.  But it lasted like this, with basically no relief from the crowding, for the entire first mile.

My time at the first mile was 8:10, which was pretty disappointing to me.  Last year at this race, when I had run a meh-slow time and had to stop and tie my shoelace during the first mile, I still managed a 7:45.  I will say that I think it can be advantageous to start out slow even in a race as short as this.  You don't want to burn off all your energy in the first mile.  But a nice and easy, slow start wasn't exactly what had happened here.  It felt like I'd put in closer to a mile and a half by the time I got to the first mile marker, what with all the frantic weaving I had been doing to get through the crowd.  Not a good way to start.  

On the bright side, the 5K runners turned to the right at mile 1 and the 10K runners went straight ahead.  At last, there was space and I could run.


Image credit: ChronoTrack

I loved the hills, I loved the heat.  I tore through the course, passing people left and right.  I got to mile 2 in 7:35.  This was getting better.  Made it to mile 3 in 7:32 and mile 4 in 7:31.  Last year at this point in the course I started feeling really bad and my pace dropped a bit.  But this year I was totally fine.  And there were only two miles left!  Considering that my last 2 races were 50 miles and 44 miles respectively, a 10K feels downright comical after that.  I tried to speed up, but only managed to hit mile 5 in 7:35.  My quads were a bit jelly and I started to feel like my breakfast Clif Bar was going come back up, but there was now just a mile left.  I got to mile 6 in 7:31 and saw Rob and Will cheering for me.  That made me feel like a million bucks.  The end was so close, and I finished it off in 47:38.  

10K finish

Image credit: ChronoTrack

This is not breaking any land speed records, but it was good enough to place me as the 12th overall female and 3rd in my age group.  Kind of hard to believe.   


This time may actually be a 10K PR for me, or at least close to it.  My previous fastest time would probably have been at the 2004 Christie Clinic 10K in Champaign/Urbana, when I ran the race as the "middle leg" of a 20 mile training run and spent the whole time laughing and talking with Jeff Riddle. But way back then, I don't think results were computerized (we got a postcard a week or so after the race with our finishing time written on it).  That postcard has not survived the numerous moves we've made both in and out of this country since then, so I have no way of knowing what my time really was.  I vaguely remember that I'd hoped to run the race in around 46 minutes that day and not quite made it.  So this one might have been close.  Regardless, I am pleased with my time.  Last year, running this race was much more difficult for me, and I only managed 49 minutes.  I was also happy because before this race, I was a little paranoid that switching to ultras had ruined me for short distances.  I spend so much time doing long, slow runs that I seem incapable of running "fast" anymore.  So this race gives me hope that I've not forever shut myself off from anything sub-ultra.

What I learned from this race: "Starting with the mayor" is not as good of a tactic for short races as it is for ultras.  Maybe I am just out of practice at this distance, or maybe I was just spacing out a bit, but I started way too far back.  I passed people the entire race, even to the end, and not a single person passed me.  That is somewhat of a good position to be in during a race, but in my case, I think it was mainly because I got off to a terrible start.  I mean, my first mile was around 40 seconds slower the rest of my miles, which were at a pretty much dead-on even pace.  And it wasn't because I was purposefully trying to take that first mile easy-- I was wasting a lot of energy to get out of the traffic jam.  I'm not sure how much that first mile either helped or hurt me.  On the one hand, it was good to start off too fast, but on the other hand, if I'd been able to run a 7:30 for this mile as well, I would have been tantalizingly close to a sub-47 minute time, which would have for sure put me in PR range.

Something else I learned from this race:  A hilly, night-time bike ride (after having a couple of drinks) is not necessarily a bad idea for a pre-race ritual.

Would I do it again: You betcha!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hyperemesis Awareness Day

Well, it is Hyperemesis Awareness Day again.


HG awareness

The HER Foundation recently asked survivors how they would respond to a news reporter who asked them to describe hyperemesis in one sentence (without using profanity).  What I said was: "Hyperemesis was nausea and vomiting so extreme that it felt like it sucked the life clean out of my bones."

I could have also said, "Hyperemesis was having people tell you 'Congratulations!' for something that's killing you."

You can read the other responses here.  Some are emotional, some are articulate, but all are more accurate than the magazines you see in the checkout aisle at the grocery store--the ones with Kate Middleton's face splashed all over the cover, the ones that seem to have completely forgotten hyperemesis exists.  I mean, I wouldn't wish HG on my worst enemy, so I certainly hope for the duchess' sake that she really is feeling better and that it helps to eat bits of lavender cookies throughout the day.  But that's not what HG is. For me, nothing helped except Zofran, and that only made me throw up less.  It didn't even put a dent in the nausea.  That was always, always, always, always there.  Always.

Sometimes I get the feeling that my sister and I should write a book about hyperemesis.  I guess I'll have to see what she thinks about that.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear William (45 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 45 months old!

Some very big milestones happened this month.  The biggest one was that for the first time in your life, I was away from you overnight.  That was terrifying.  For me, at least.  You were fine.  Grama Nan and Paw Paw came to St. Louis to watch you while Mama and Daddy went to do the Frisco Railroad Run.  You had a blast.  I am told that you never once fussed or complained.  You helped Grama Nan celebrate her birthday.

IMG 1732


Your next big milestone this month was that for the very first time ever, you wrote your own name.  Just like that.  You wanted me to draw pictures of the three of us (you and daddy and me) on your easel, and after I did that, I had to run into the kitchen to do something about a pan on the stove for dinner.  Quick as a flash, you grabbed the yellow crayon and wrote W-I-L-L  in the corner.

IMG 1747


You continued to enjoy playing with your Mr. Tato Head dolls.  It is so sweet to listen to you play.  You have now reached the stage where you make your toys have conversations with each other.  Sometimes I hear your toys saying things that you and I have said.  Too cute.

IMG 1733


It became springtime and you found some dandelions.



You developed a penchant for cinnamon toast this month.  Sometimes you run into our bedroom at 6am and wake me up so that I can go make you cinnamon toast for breakfast.  You help sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar.  You always make sure that I make a piece for myself, too.  



You learned a new yoga pose at school ("The Tree") and you demonstrated it to me.



You continued to practice the Handwriting Without Tearscurriculum at pre-school.  I continue to refer to the program as Handwriting With Tears.  The one time you used the iPad app version of this thing, some lady with a English accent kept telling you that you were making your letter B wrong, and it made me mad.  As long as it looks like the letter B, who the the heck cares how you make it.  Let's not stifle your creativity while you are still only 3.  (Or ever).  



 You helped me bake homemade crackers.  We spelled your name.  It took some coaxing, but you eventually ate all the letters.



Mama took you to a truck exhibit somewhere in Richmond Heights and there was nowhere to park and it was a little bit stressful, but eventually you got to climb up in a fire engine.

Fire engine


You helped me balance work and life by grading exams with me before bedtime.

IMG 1753


All month you have been telling us that on your home days you want to go to Nicaragua and the train museum and the butterfly store and Ashlynn's house.  We finally had a chance to take you to the train museum again and you were very happy about that.

Train museum


Steam engine

Little train


You have been so sweet and helpful this month.  You love cooking and baking with me.  You sometimes make a game out of picking up your toys.  After we had to have a big, old maple tree cut down in our backyard (mama was a little sad about that), you got a shovel and bucket and helped us transport mulch to all the flower beds.  When I wasn't feeling well and needed to lie down on the couch because my head hurt, you joined me and snuggled up tight until I was feeling better again.



William, I can't get over how great you are and how much I love hanging out with you.  You are the best little buddy in the whole world.  I love you so much!




Your mom

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Frisco Railroad Run - 50 miles of dreams and disasters

Immediately after Brew to Brew, I began to look for a 50 miler.  I mean, I'd just gone 44 miles--  50 seemed totally within my reach.  A quick Google search resulted in the Frisco Railroad Run-- several concurrent races (8K, half marathon, marathon, 50K, 50 mile, and 50K relay) along the historic Frisco Highline Trail.  Although it was only 3 weeks after Brew, this 50-miler seemed perfect.  The trail was made of my number one preferred running surface: crushed gravel.  Plus, doing a 50 miler on the heels of Brew meant that I had already put in the training-- I could just coast through the remaining days and show up ready.  If I waited several months before trying a 50 miler, I'd have to start training all over again from scratch.

When I told Rob about Frisco, he thought I was crazy and that I risked injury by doing two long races with so little time in between them.  Then he looked at the race website and began thinking that the marathon would make a great training run for his upcoming effort at Berryman-- a grueling 50 mile trail race he will be doing in May.  We decided to go for it.

We talked to my parents and they agreed to come down to St. Louis and stay with Will while Rob and I went to Springfield, MO to run Frisco.  This was a huge deal.  Will is over 3.5 years old and I have never been away from him overnight.  I did not feel at all ready for this, and in fact, I have told him that if he wants me to, I will be his college roommate.

Although I was highly anxious about the situation, I knew how much fun Will would have with my parents and that he probably wouldn't even notice Rob and I were gone.  So I agreed, with reservation.

Then on the Thursday before the race, Rob tripped and fell while running (with Will in the jogging stroller) and injured his knee, hip, elbow, and probably everything else in his body.  He was in so much pain that wasn't sure if he was going to be able to do Frisco.  I assume he will write a post about this on his own blog, and you can read all about it there.

On Friday, Rob packed his race clothes and tried to keep an open mind about whether or not he would improve enough by Saturday morning to run.  When we went to bed at the motel that night, it was weird and terrifying to be without William.  

We woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to the race. It was cool and misty, and the forecast ominously called for rain throughout the entire day. Rob's plan was to start and see how he felt, dropping out if need be.  My plan was to take a Pepcid AC (as our friend Chris has recommended for stomach issues during long runs) and not feel nauseated or vomit during (or after) the race.

Frisco start

Frisco start2

See, there's Rob in his No Meat Athlete singlet, going off the front, despite his broken knee.
Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography


I ended up starting more towards the middle of the pack than the back, which broke the one rule I had set for myself: Start With The Mayor.  This is a phrase that has been popularized by the Trail Runner Nation podcast, in which they describe how starting at the waaaaay back of the pack (i.e., with the town mayor) is a good strategy for an ultra marathon.  Keeps you from going out too fast and burning off all your energy early on.

Meli Frisco1

This is not the mayor.
Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography

I don't wear a GPS or heart rate monitor when I run, I just run by how I feel.  And I felt good.  It wasn't really raining that hard.  The crushed gravel path felt amazing on my feet.  I was going too fast, but I had no idea.  There aren't typically markers at every mile in ultras like there are in marathons, so I wasn't judging my pace.  I knew roughly where the aid stations were (i.e., 2.5 miles, 5 miles, etc), but I didn't even look at my watch as I went through them.

I was more focused on the interesting things I was seeing, such as a Joggler:

Frisco joggler

Believe it or not, he ran 50 miles doing this.

Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography


And the beauty of the trail:

Frisco scene

Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography


It was so green and lush.  There was farmland on either side.  Lots of cows and horses.  There were bright red cardinals flying through the air and rabbits and squirrels scurrying in front of us.  If there were a dictionary definition of my idea of a perfect run, this would be it.

I started to feel a bit warm in my rain jacket and decided to take it off.  My plan had been to tie it around my waist, but when I did that, I found that the jacket wouldn't stay in place and the way it bounced around annoyed me terribly.  I stopped and folded up the jacket into its little pouch and then tried to stuff the pouch into the already overloaded pockets of my Race Ready shorts.  This proved to be even more annoying than when the jacket was tied around my waist.  I gave up and just held the jacket (wrapped up into its little pouch) in my hand.

The cool mist might have turned into a light rain at some point during the early miles of the run, or else the mist was enough to make me become completely soaking wet.  My shorts sagged dangerously low-- weighted down by all the supplies I was carrying with me (a couple bars and some Clif shot blocks in case the aid station food wasn't sufficient, and my phone in case I got in distress and needed music or to call for help).  I tightened the drawstring of the shorts so that they stopped sagging, and this was an improvement, however, I tied the knot really tight.  I realized that with my cold, wet fingers, I would not be able to untie the knot and that my shorts were now so tight that I would not be able to get them off or back on.  This would make going to the bathroom really difficult, and I expected that over the course of 50 miles, I would have to go at least once.

Just keep running, I told myself.  But I was frustrated for losing a significant chunk of time to these various wardrobe malfunctions, and I was not pleased at the thought of running the rest of the race uncomfortable (i.e., holding my jacket, while my shorts were somehow simultaneously sagging and too tight. 

I started to feel really hungry around 1 hour into the race.  I ate some of the food from my pocket (hoping that would make the shorts less saggy), but what I really wanted was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Those seem to work well for me in ultras, and so when I got to the mile 10 aid station and they had PBJ's, I was overjoyed.  

Frisco aid2

Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography


I looked at my watch, and it was somewhere between 1:20 and 1:30 into the race when I got to mile 10.  It did not occur to me that this was way too fast to have arrived at 10 miles (i.e., an 8:30 pace might work for me in a marathon or 50K, but definitely not for 50 miles).  What did occur to me was that Rob would soon be reaching the halfway point for the marathon and turning around to come back.  Despite his injuries, I had a very strong suspicion that he was going to win this race, in a time of close to 3 hours. When I left the aid station, I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of Rob approaching.

Sure enough, I soon saw the lead pack of marathon runners way off in the distance, and Rob was in the front.  I cheered for him and snapped a picture as we met.

Frisco Rob

Frisco Rob2


By this point, I was running generally on my own, but there were other runners within sight both ahead of and behind me.  Solitary running had been one of my major concerns with Frisco.  Long races like this generally have few participants and can get very spread out.  At Brew, I have no doubt in my mind that I would have dropped around mile 20 if I hadn't been running with Jen.  Frisco was much different though.  The course was beautiful and interesting, and I relaxed a bit-- feeling confident that even if I ended up running in complete solitude for several hours, I would be okay.

I began to see more marathon and 50K runners heading back towards me on the path, and it was fun to cheer them on as we met.  Everything was going well for me at the marathon turn around point (13.1) and at the next aid station (15.5), which was near the 50K turn around.  I knew that the course as likely to get much more sparse from here on out because only the 50 milers were left.

Right around the time that I got to the 50K turn-around, the rain began in earnest.  Pouring, really.  It was okay.  I was fine.  Except that around mile 18, I thought I might have felt a little weird.  I decided to deal with it by stopping for a couple seconds to take a picture of an interesting bridge:

Frisco Bridge

 Like a bridge over troubled water.


Frisco Highline

Shortly after the bridge, all hell broke loose.  I don't even know how it happened.  I went from feeling slightly weird to getting (metaphorically) knocked off of my feet by full-blown, all-out, thinking-you-might-lose-your-mind nausea.  I tried to take a drink of water but just gagged it up.  My throat would not let me swallow.  I tried to take an electrolyte capsule, but the same thing happened and the pill ended up half-disintegrated in a puddle of stomach acid along the trail.

It took forever to make it to the mile 20 aid station, and when I finally did, the volunteer stationed there seemed downright angelic.  She asked me if I was okay and I said I'd been better.  Once I stopped running, I actually didn't feel quite as bad.  I ate 2 potato chips, sipped about 1/2 a dixie cup of Coke.  I decided to leave my jacket at the aid station-- I was tired of having carried it for almost 15 miles, and I knew I would pass back this same place and could pick it up again at mile 30.  

The volunteer at the aid station cheered me on and told me I was the first woman on the 50 mile course.  I had wondered about that.  Of course, I also wondered if I was the only woman on the 50 mile course.  It was hard to say, really.

When I left the 20-mile aid station, I felt better, more energized.  Less crazy.  It was a bit thrilling to think that I was the first woman on the course, and so I decided to run in a manner that befit such a title.  Which is to say, fast.  I figured that Rob had probably won the marathon.  What if I won the 50 mile??  We'd be a double threat.  It would be amazing.  Maybe it was the 2 potato chips and 4 sips of Coke I'd taken, but I felt giddy.  

Then it hit me.  I had 30 miles left to go.



In the pouring rain.

That was a long way.  And suddenly I felt terrible again.  So much nausea.  My stomach churned and I doubled over, dry heaving off the side of the trail.  

I couldn't run 30 miles like this, unable to eat or drink.  Gagging if I even took a sip of water.

And thus began my long descent into insanity.  

I realized that this was going to be my first DNF.  It has to happen sometime to everybody, doesn't it?  I didn't want it to be happening to me here and now, but I had to face the facts.  This wasn't just some little toe twinge or feeling too tired to continue.  This was my body refusing to cooperate, rebelling against me.  Even though I'd taken the Pepcid AC (to avoid this very thing) and done a good job eating and drinking early on in the race.  That wasn't going to carry me through another 30 miles.

DNF-ing would be okay.  Rob had probably won his race, and so that would make it worth the trip down here, worth the angst and anxiety of having slept away from Will for the first time in his life.  There would be other 50 milers, so long as I didn't mix up courage with stupidity and die trying to finish this one.  It wasn't worth it.  It wasn't like I was running for my life or to save my child or for any other real thing.  This was just a small-town race that didn't count for anything.  It was a fabricated event.  At some point you have to cut your losses.  You have to be realistic about the costs and benefits of either dropping or continuing.  Not that continuing this was even an option anymore.  It would be far better to live to fight another day.

I decided I would make it to the 25 mile aid station, the turn around point.  I would stop for as long as I needed, until I could at least take a drink of water, and then run back to the 30-mile aid station so I could pick up my jacket.  Then I would drop.

It took almost an hour and 20 minutes to cover the 5 miles between aid stations, but I had been going so fast at the beginning that it was still only around 4 hours into the race.  Rob was at the mile 25 aid station when I arrived, but he wasn't expecting me yet (I was supposed to be running 10-minute pace).

He said he got second place in the marathon, and he was limping a lot.  I swear that I told him I was dying of nausea and I would be dropping the race at mile 30.  Later he told me that what I said was something along the lines of, "I don't feel so great."

I lost about 10 minutes trying to get my sopping wet shorts with the the malfunctioning drawstring off and on so that I could use the porta john.  That was miserable.

I was able to eat an orange slice and take a few sips of water.  I was now freezing cold, and Rob produced a dry, long sleeve shirt for me to put on.  He told me to keep moving.  Walk for 10 minutes, he said, don't even try to run.  That would give my stomach time to settle and maybe I would be able to eat and drink something more substantial.  Just keep moving.

I moved.  I had to get back to the 30-mile aid station so that I could pick up my jacket and then drop the race.  I met everybody on the course who was behind me, as they headed to the turn around point.  Then they began to pass me.  There couldn't have been more than 20 people doing this race.  I went from being the first female to the third.  It didn't matter anymore.

Rob was at the mile 30 aid station when I finally made it there.  Still freezing, I put my jacket back on.  I sat down and took off my soaking wet shoes, shaking out little pieces of rocks and gravel (I wish I'd worn gaiters).  I tried unsuccessfully to eat.  I gagged up another electrolyte pill.  I still felt terrible, but maybe not as terrible as before.  I felt like I could make it to the next aid station, at mile 34.  Then I would drop.

Rob was at mile 34, too.  I felt so bad because he was cold and wet and limping.  He and the volunteers tried to offer me everything, anything, to keep me going, but running another 16 miles just seemed too far.  I missed William, I wanted to go home.

Everyone told me that the next aid station was only 3 miles away.    

Meli 37mi 2

Meli 37mi

Mile 37, I don't feel so great. 

Photo credit: Fun Memories Photography


It took me forever to get there.  I was exhausted from fighting The Nausea for almost 20 miles.  My quads hurt, the top of my left foot hurt, I was soaking wet and cold.  My phone was almost out of battery, so Rob took it to charge, and he gave me his iPod (a little thing that clips to the back of your hat).  I managed to eat an orange slice and drink a few sips of Coke.  Three miles to the next aid station.  And once I made it there, it would only be 10 miles to the end.

It was so hard to get started again.  The first mile out of the 37-mile aid station was excruciating-- I stopped half a dozen times to stretch out my quads.  But then something completely unexpected happened.  It was like the dark cloud that had been strangling me for the last 20 miles suddenly began to evaporate and I could breathe again.  My quads didn't hurt so bad.  The nausea even dissipated.  I ate a few Fritos, sipped some water, and didn't gag.  I have no idea how or why it happened.  I just kept listening to Owl City (the only thing on Rob's playlist I could tolerate), and I ran.

This is what I always hear people say happens in ultras.  You experience these troughs, these low points.  But you make it through them and come out feeling strong again.  That's exactly what I had done.  I had ridden the wave.


Mile 42.5

Mile 42

Rob was not expecting me quite so soon at the mile 40 aid station.  I ate another orange slice and sipped some Coke.  I was out of there within 2 minutes.  

I went through a few more lows and highs during the last 10 miles of the race, but each step brought me closer to the finish line.  Rob continued to put his own pain aside and meet me at every aid station.  The volunteers continued to stand out in the rain and offer unconditional support and encouragement.  I sped up over the last 10 miles, but it wasn't until I got to the last aid station (2.5 miles to go) that I knew I was going to make it.

I crossed the finish line 10 hours 15 minutes and 55 seconds after I had begun.  I absolutely could not believe I had made it.

Mile 50


#handsoverhearts for Boston


A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered for me.  A guy (maybe the race director?) gave me a trophy and told me I was the second place female.  Apparently one of the women in front of me was a "masters" (over 40) and in a separate category.  Even though there were only 6 women who managed to finish this race, Rob and I had still come through as a double threat:

Team Ragfield

I got cleaned up a bit, and then we headed for home.  As the finish line euphoria waned, I lost count of how many times I threw up in the car.  Luckily, my experience at Brew had forewarned me of this possibility, and I had brought a bucket.  It was a long trip back to St. Louis.

We finally pulled into our driveway about 10pm.  My parents were happy to report that Will had been a perfect little angel and was asleep in his room.  I went and checked on him, then I threw up again while I was taking a shower.  I knew I needed to eat something, but I couldn't.  I drank small sips of water with lemon in it and fell into an exhausted sleep.  It was about 6 the next morning (a little more than 12 hours after I finished the race) that I finally felt like eating.

Despite the trouble I had, I am very glad I did Frisco.  I also realize that I would not have finished this race without Rob.  You should all take a minute or two and appreciate the tremendous effort it required of him to get me through this.  After he ran a 3:02 marathon (2nd place finish and a PR), he spent the next 7 hours crewing for me-- all the while in a great deal of pain.

I'd like to do this race again, in fact, I'd really like to do it again, but hopefully without the rookie mistakes of starting out too fast (you'd think that after 19 years of long distance running I would have learned this lesson), and hopefully, hopefully without the nausea.  Pepcid AC didn't work for me; any other tips would be highly recommended.

A huge thanks to the race organizers and all the volunteers who made this event possible. And for anyone who managed to get through this long post, thanks for reading!