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I will not give up

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Jerry
Mark B
Dave P
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I will not give up Empty I will not give up

Post  Dave P Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:43 pm

Sometimes life seems to be filled with a lot of “whys” all at once. Why such a devastating storm? Why did this have to be the year that NYC was canceled for the first time in over 40 years? Why couldn’t I work out a solution with my manager for a lousy 2 hours of vacation to make the Space Coast Marathon & 3-day cruise with my wife Evelyn a reality? Why did the only other seemingly possible marathon have to be one with such a small amount of on-course support? Why didn’t I notice that fact before I signed up for it?

I must move on without answers to those questions. I must learn again from past mistakes. I must not give up on finding that best marathon that still lies within me. I must have the patience to wait another year to try again. I must trust that God will be glorified through it all.

The NCR Trail Marathon certainly has it’s pros. It was great to stay in a warm school until 20 minutes before the start. The scenery through the woods was beautiful, & the vast majority of the course was as flat as you can get on forgiving packed gravel/ dirt.

I started out really easy, averaging a little over 7:30 & watching a lot of runners go by me. Then I settled into a nice comfortable pace, mostly a little over 7 min, but dipping below 7 a few times. I was picking off many of the runners that I had watched go by me earlier, slowly one by one. My breathing was very relaxed & it encouraged me that most of those that I was passing had far more labored breathing. I took in my carbs as planned, & drank a fair amount of water and/ or Gatorade at each water stop, knowing that they were few & far between.

It’s an out & back, so on the return trip, I was hoping that the gusts of wind would be at my back. That too was not meant to be. The wind changed directions with me, & seemed to hit me even harder. I was on track for a sub 3:10 until 19 miles. Then, the lack of water stops began to really take a toll on me. They’re spaced 2.5 to 3.5 miles apart. The least number of water stops than any marathon that I know of. I was losing the feeling in my hands after the tingling sensation dissipated. At around 22 miles, I consumed two full cups of Gatorade & hoped it would be enough to get me to the next stop at 24.5 miles. It was not. It took an eternity to get to that next reprieve. I felt abandoned in woods with barely a sole around. I could see one runner about .25 mile in front of me & could hear no one behind me. I felt like I could pass out at any moment as my hands were getting worse. They were swollen 3x their normal size, & I could barely make them function as I struggled to get another carb gel in me. I was praying with gusto for Jesus to get me through this. I knew if I collapsed there, it would be a very long time for medical help to reach me. Finally, I reached that next water stop & stopped running for the first time. I began to consume everything I could manage to grasp with my swollen difficult hands. I took 2 or 3 full cups of Gatorade as a volunteer told me that I should be sipping it. Then he started to complain that I was taking more than 1 slice of oranges. I had no energy to voice to him the fact that it was a medical emergency at this point. With less than 2 miles to go, no EMTs in sight, & with the thought that I could still BQ if I could just mange a 10 min pace, off I went. I felt a little better,… but only a little. I kept shaking my hands to try to get the blood flowing in them again – it worked some, but not really enough. At 26 miles, amazingly I was still managing to run up hill as we were back on the road heading to the finish near the school. It was then that I realized my quick calculations were not factoring in the last .2 mile. I turned the corner with a sprint that came out of nowhere when I saw the finish. Then my heart sank when I saw the clock. It was already past 3:25. I crossed the timing mat knowing that I had just missed my BQ by mere seconds. I collapsed into the arms of one of the volunteers. Then I asked another to help me walk to the school because I could sense that my muscles were about to lock up if I stopped moving. I was walking like an old drunkard, unable to keep upright under my own strength. At the school, I managed to grasp a cup of soup with much difficulty & tried my best to keep walking as I took it in as speedily as I could. I was shaking & hunched over. As the feeling in my hands returned, I could feel the tingling sensation again. After an EMT check out, another cup of soup, 4 or 5 cups of Gatorade, bread, & a bite of a cookie & a pastry, I was finally feeling human again. I knew I was past the danger zone by that point, but it was hours before I recovered completely.

“A” goal was sub 3:10, “B goal” was sub 3:15 (PR), & “C” goal was sub 3:25 (BQ.)

Finish time: 3:25:13, & 2 positions away from a top 3 AG award.

At least no one can tell me that I didn’t give it my all. Time now to recover & then train for NYC 2013.
Dave P
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Post  Mark B Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:35 am

The world can seem cruel sometimes, can't it? You had more than your share of misfortune leading up to, and running, this race.

Still, despite the obstacles and complications, you gave it everything you had. Steve Prefontaine once said he ran to see who has the most guts. Well, you were the one with guts out there this time, pressing on against the odds, all alone in the woods. Except, maybe not quite alone.

Things happen for a reason. Work to understand it, and you may not end up faster... but you'll still be the better for it.

Rest, recover and reflect.
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Post  Jerry Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:01 am

Rest well Dave.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:35 am

Congrats on the finish, Dave amongst so much adversity. Glad to know that you are ok, but make sure that you rest and recover before running hard again.

Funny that the cancellation of NY was a blessing for me, and I'm sorry that it screwed with so many others.
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Post  Michael Enright Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:54 am

Ouch. So sorry to hear that. I hope you keep your attitude positive as you move on past this race. You certainly gave it all you had!
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Post  Kenny B. Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:12 pm

Wow! That was a some crazy race you had. I did that race and of course you want the headwind the first half vs. the second half but it's up the weather Gods! In any case you put it all out there. Missed a BQ by seconds I know must hurt but the upside is you know you have it in you to BQ easily with good conditions. Great job regardless!!!
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Post  fostever Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:13 am

Sounded scary, glad you made it through safely. Solid effort considering the lack of support and the near emergency, way to persevere and finish, Dave!
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