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How My Half Marathon Went to $hi1

Sunday, October 18th, I ran my 64th sanctioned road race. It was the 'Gansette Fall Half Marathon. I even got my shorts on pointing in the right direction - it did take 2 tries. I even wore an extra pair of underwear. My friend Sandy said that after she had 2 kids, she leaks when she runs.

I have 3 kids, so I didn't want to take any chances.

For those of you who were around for my first 5K, my first half marathon, and my first marathon, you know this has been a tough but rewarding journey. I have completed 6 full marathons of the 26.2 variety and about a dozen half marathons. Heck, I even ran two half marathons in one weekend. The rest were 5K to 15K distances plus a few odd distances, like the famous Falmouth Road Race, which is 7.02 miles.

You would think I'd be good at this racing thing. Well, I learned something new on Sunday!

I have a routine for races. It starts 2 days before. What I eat, what I drink, and how I preload my electrolytes makes a huge difference in my performance. I make sure I get a good night's sleep 2 days before the race as well. That way, if I get amped up the night before, I am still pretty well rested.

I could probably be called OCD. (which should be CDO if you think about it)

Everything went as planned. I slept well two nights before. I took my electrolytes (to prevent muscle cramps). I ate a blend of protein and carbs and on the first day, and more carbohydrate heavy blend the night before. You know, a bottle of non-alcoholic beer and a burger. I had to be up at o'dark-thirty (5:30 AM) and leave my house 6:15 for a 7:30 starting gun.

I set the coffeemaker and went to bed, falling asleep watching the Bruins crush Colorado.

I awoke and had my customary 2 cups of coffee, one egg, a small amount of corned beef hash and a banana. I have done this dozens of times before. Heck, I have even eaten a Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit from McDonald's on the way to a race. Then I double checked my laminated check list. I made a last trip to drop the kids off at the pool and put in my contact lenses. Success all the way around.

You can probably see where this is going. But if you can't, read on.

I arrived 30 minutes early for the race, got my bib and made a stop at the port-potty. I forgot that hot poop smokes in cold weather. I was glad for a clean bathroom and enough toilet tissue to paper my noisy neighbor's house.

Having gone not once, but twice gave me more confidence.

I went back and sat in my warm car. It was 36 degrees Fahrenheit - just above zero Centigrade. I listened to the news. I was happy about the cool temps. It meant I could run faster than I have all summer without sweating like two pigs and a pregnant elephant.

I met a couple of buddies from the Pathetic Runners Group on Facebook.

Our customary greeting is to look down and see if one of us has an untied running shoe. We talked for a few minutes and then it was time for the Star Spangled Banner and the starting cannon!

I got off to a great start. I was averaging 8:45 per minute miles. The first 6 were great. There were a family sitting roadside drinking coffee. I apologized for waking them up. We laughed. I made some jokes about a Santa statue which was out before Halloween. At mile 6 I passed a water stop and thought about using the porta-potty. My insides were talking to me.

I was having a record race, so I thought I would press on.

The rumblings continued and even I could smell myself. At mile 7 I was looking for a place in the woods. I cursed myself for not stopping a mile before.

The following is pretty graphic, but if you watch crime scene shows, you can probably handle it. If not, read on at your own risk.

I found an opening in the barbed wire fence and dashed into a tree lined field. I felt comfortable next to the abandon manure spreader. The rest is too shocking for words. I found a large oak leaf and tried not to look. I did.

Back onto the pavement I went.

I lost about 4 minutes and a little bit of enthusiasm for the personal record I had hoped to set. It took me a couple of miles to get back on pace. Even so, I finished in 2 hours.

I guess I am going to need to add this story to my new book: The Pathetic Runner's Guide.

29 votes + -


dsjohndrow wrote 80 months ago:
Ha ha. I DQ'd myself.
edack72 wrote 80 months ago:
Good Lord!!! Oh I can relate however I made it to the porta potty but never made up my lost 4 minutes.
jmnicholas wrote 80 months ago:
Hope that's not going to be my experience when I do my first half on Sunday....
Anonymous wrote 80 months ago:
You dropped your kids off at a pool at 7 a.m. in 36 degree weather? Why not just let them stay at home, locked in the house?
dsjohndrow wrote 80 months ago:
Ummm...metaphore for pooped.
sophiekio wrote 80 months ago:
"My friend Sandy said that after she had 2 kids, she leaks when she runs.

I have 3 kids, so I didn't want to take any chances."


Your blog posts always put a big smile on my face :)
dawnmcneil10 wrote 80 months ago:
All I can say is thank you very much for the laughs today. I'm not laughing at the situation but you wrote this with full comic relief and if we can't laugh at ourselves we're in serious trouble. Congrats on finishing in 2 hours and for pressing on no matter what the conditions.
Time2LoseWeightNOW wrote 80 months ago:
Thanks for the laugh, you never disappoint.
LinOtt wrote 80 months ago:
Oh dear! A case of your body showing you who is in charge! Respect for finishing...

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