How did the race go? That's an interesting question to me the last couple days. I'm not really sure how to answer it. I guess there are several answers. The first part of the race went well. Stroh of Arabia and I settled into a 7:35-7:40 pace up through about the halfway point. I felt alright, good enough to continue the 7:35s until about mile 18. Here I felt my lack of training. I knew it would be tough backstretch. But I was still running OK, well enough that I was about a half mile or so ahead of Stroh. My pace slowed some after mile 20. It got up to 8:04 at mile 23, when I began to feel awful. Here's the hard part: Running long distances is about ignoring those moments when you feel awful. That's kinda part of the deal. The problem is when you ignore real warning signs of physical problem. Those set in, conveniently enough, around mile 25. I basically don't have much recollection beyond then, remembering doing my mental calculations that it was just a mile to go. But I was weaving and feeling disoriented. The end came about 20 yards before the finish, when I went down in a heap. Dehydration was the culprit. Four bags of fluid later, I was fine.
1) What did I do wrong? My training wasn't adequate, at least for the pace I ran. I should have run much more conservatively. Obviously, drinking more would have helped, though I have a bone to pick with the Delaware Marathon about how the fluid stations were set up.
2) Did I finish? Um, sorta. I crossed the finish line, dragged by some helpful, strong and obviously not grossed out by a sweaty limp guy paramedics. But I don't know where my chip went while they treated me. According to the official results, I didn't even run it.
3) Do I need a new hobby? Here, I think the answer is clearly no. I pushed too hard on Sunday and felt the consequences. I'm not going to start to do Gallowalking or anything, but I'll train harder and pay more attention to my hydration.
Distance running is hard. It's even humbling sometimes. Getting whisked to a hospital for evaluation was certainly not how I expected my race to end, but it did. I'm already eager for the next time.