Monday, February 23, 2015

2nd Event of 2015: Myrtle Beach Full Marathon

Myrtle Beach Marathon and Half Marathon

Please note: These posts for events occurring between October 2014 and February 2015 are overdue but I wanted to finish each of them to start fresh once again. Starting in May of last year I began to struggle with extreme fatigue, which I first thought was simply the result of a very strenuous travel-work-running schedule. I worked hard to get “adequate rest” before launching into my busiest season at the start of September but by then I knew something more serious must be involved. In between road trips I scheduled consults, tests and medical procedures all the while trying to keep up with my events and obligations through the fall and winter. I’m happy to say I was able to manage this…but just barely. For each meeting, race, event, appearance, meal, speaking engagement or celebration you see in my blog photos, the reality was that I would go immediately back to my rental car or hotel and collapse with exhaustion. Although writing a blog requires little physical exertion I found myself feeling lethargic and unable to focus so instead I took advantage of the private moments to rest and conserve as much of my energy as possible.  When I finish updating the missing events I will provide a detailed explanation of my health issues as I hope my doctors have finally determined the cause and likely solution to the fatigue. Thank you for your understanding and patience!

Friday, February 13th:

Despite this being Friday the 13th I'm feeling pretty good about the day so far. Jim has been traveling in the area a few days for work and I just made the 3 1/2 hour drive this morning. While this will be an unofficial Get Back UP event for me, I'm counting it because 1) I'm truly in the process of Getting Back UP with my health and 2) this will be my 2nd full marathon in 3 weeks so I'm gonna say it's official!

First stop, race Expo:
The course will start and finish at the BB&T ballpark on 21st Ave. N. We'll run southwest for 7.5 miles, then northeast
along Ocean Blvd. for the next stretch. The Half Marathoners will split off Ocean Blvd and mile 11.5 while the Full
Marathoners will keep going until mile 19 before heading back to the southwest for the last 7 miles.

I stopped for a late protein snack of Seared Ahi Tuna with wasabi, seaweed
salad and fresh ginger. Delish.
I apologize for the lack of photos but once Jim got back to town we met our friend, Rick Buckner, for an early dinner tonight. Rick recently moved to Myrtle Beach from Greensboro so he's now our new favorite "local", he's planning to run the Half Marathon tomorrow along with Jim. We spent the time catching up and I totally forgot to break out the camera.

Saturday, February 14th:

Jim and I got a hotel right next door to the starting line, which was great because it's a cold weekend here in Myrtle Beach. Rick met us at the hotel where we stayed inside the lobby to keep warm before venturing out in the cold and the dark.

Do we really want to do this?

I've been going back and forth about my running attire today. The wind is supposed
to pick up every hour, with 20-30 mph winds later today. It will be the warmest time
of day at the start of the race but according to the forecasts I'll have the peak winds
right in my face along the last 7 miles. I don't like to be too warm in a marathon
but Jim says he'll run the first 11 miles with me and take any gear I may want to drop
if I've gotten too warm by that time. So, I settle on this attire: single layer long-sleeve shirt,
arm warmers under my sleeves, cap, fleece headband, capri tights and gloves. Oh, plus
shoes, calf compression sleeve and brace. 

We stopped being wimps and headed out into the cold, dark day. Let's do this!
Success for all!! It was too cold for me to take photos--my gloves and the fact that I carried my water bottle with me made it too difficult. Jim did as he promised and ran with me until he had to split off at mile 11.5 for the Half Marathon finish line. I was able to give him my arm warmers and head band but I kept my hat and gloves with me. Thanks, Jim--and nice finish time! Buck took things a bit slower as he's still recovering from a bad bout with cold & flu but finished faster than he had anticipated--nice job!

I was treated to a wonderful Valentine's Day surprise as I made my way to the 26 mile marker. Jim had finished his race, gone to buy me flowers and balloons then he and Rick made their way back to the finish line area. With the wind tossing the huge balloons all over the place it was easy to spot the guys cheering me through the finish corrals. Thank you guys for the terrific boost just when I needed it!

Thumbs UP for TeamUP! I'm not sure what the next few months have in store for me
but until I'm told to stop running I'm gonna try to keep up my strength and stamina.

A bit of irony with this medal: Flip flops are impossible to wear for people with
foot drop. We don't have the ability to flex our foot or lift our toes when we walk, which
is the only thing that makes it possible to keep flip flops on your feet. I miss my flips, but
I'll take them on a marathon medal any day! Thanks, Allard, for enabling me to keep running...your
brace makes my life so much better...even if I do wish you could design something for flips & sandals.

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