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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent some time this evening writing down some, just some, of it all. There'll be more probably over the next few days, I hope.<br><br>
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This had been a while in the making to get me where I was, standing out in the light just beginning to creep in to the world and me out on the pavement of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia with the Art Museum atop its hill behind me. At 6:30 AM, I punctured another finger and slipped the blood drop into a test strip and the meter said I was at 123 mg/dl. Good, but I had some bolus insulin left over from 4 AM when I had woken up and I had wanted my blood sugar to be around 150 - 160 mg/dl to start the race. I popped in 2 glucose tablets and calculated that later during the race I would eat 2 more tablets, using up 16 grams of the 180 grams of carbohydrate I was carrying in my pockets.<br><br>
I paced around a bit while all around me lots of runners were streaming into to drop off bags at the bag check buses. It was chilly. So I paced around more. Then I got a good surprise when I heard my brother call my name -- he had dropped me off earlier and then found parking, came to the start area and found me. He had a bag with extra stuff with him, so I grabbed 2 replacement glucose tablets to top off the reserve tank again.<br><br>
It helped my nerves some having him there and then I was further helped by the appearance of Colleen and Beth who were members too of the Kickrunners forum and had been at the dinner the night before. But even with the unexpected friendly faces, I wondered if I were somehow treacherous in knowing that once the race began I would in all probability begin running in the way I know how to run -- me and my thoughts, and in the runs where I crank up the intensity, it becomes my cocoon whether running in a crowd or by myself as I often run.<br><br>
Still we talked and waited for the race to start as it grew lighter and towards 7. We surged ahead when the crowd of runners compressed closer to the start line. We still waited for the start.<br><br>
I ached for the race to begin. I was ready. I had run over 400 miles the past 7 months, I had stabbed a finger before running over 100 times and stabbed a finger after running over 100 times. At least. I was ready. My blood sugars had been good at 12:30 AM, 2:30 AM, 4 AM, 5:25 AM, 5:47 AM. Time dragged past the start time and we didn't start. I was still ready to head off and off into whatever memories would be my conversation during the run. I never know exactly what they'll be but whatever they would be part of the fuel to keep me going, somehow, some way.<br><br>
Then finally, the slow undulating start of fits of going forward and slowing down. For the weeks prior I had worked on getting myself ready to run a basic strategy of an easy beginning then trying to pick up the pace as the run would go on. So I tried to avoid surging out and began the feedback between my head and my legs, asking the legs, "How long does it feel you could run like this?" If the answer came back as "a long long time" I knew the pace was okay. Colleen and Beth had vanished behind me, it's almost sad that I hadn't really noticed it. But I had to run like I knew how to run and I had to begin the process of self-inventory.<br><br>
Somewhere in the first mile, I heard a person behind where I was fall. It sounded awful and I looked back. I kept running and tried to keep the thought of a fall from becoming a thought in the head.<br><br>
I looked at my watch quickly at the first mile marker. It had been slow, over 11 minutes but I didn't worry about it. There were many miles to go and I was just warming up.<br><br>
The second mile came faster as I began to approach the pace I had hoped I might be able to run. I picked it up a bit more in the 3rd and 4th miles and I checked how the legs were feeling. They felt good, like I had almost hadn't been running even. It was okay to pick up the pace a bit more. The race began growing in intensity, the events began blurring and bleeding into one another. I actually briefly talked some to the woman who was carrying the balloons and pacing the 4:30 marathoners.<br><br>
"Do you know PacerChris?"<br><br>
Yes she did.<br><br>
"If I don't see him, tell him ScratchType1 said hi."<br><br>
Eventually that pace group after falling behind me using a water stop would go by me and I'd see the balloons slowly vanish from my vision in front of me.<br><br>
Mile 5 was a good mile. I could feel me running, the pace was sharp enough to make me aware that I was running and not just gliding through the buildings of Center City.<br><br>
Never saw the mile marker for 6. I overhead a couple of people later saying they hadn't seen mile marker 6 either. I did cross the halfway mats, looked quickly at my watch and calculated somewheres around 1:09, 1:08.<br><br>
Mile marker 7 came and I hadn't seen my brother who was going to try to see me before I would cross over to the western side of the Schulkyll. It didn't bother me too much. I was fully running and after mile marker 7 there came the first bit of toughness, an uphill of some length and enough slope that I saw a fair number of people go to walking before running again. The 8th mile would be my slowest mile since the 2nd mile and I had had to work for it. I also knew that another hill loomed ahead but before that, the 9th mile gave some downhill to use so I came within a whisker of turning in my first mile split of under 10 minutes. But I had held back a tiny bit, wary of the uphill coming, the uphill that I knew to be the last one of any significance and the one which had been etched into my head as the one where I would get to the top and then go with everything I had left.<br><br>
Mile 10 hurt. Midway up the hill I almost lost it, almost began walking as others had started doing. No. Nope. Not a chance. It was going to hurt but I was not giving up running. Finally the top was reached and I worked on maintaining the pace but held off a bit from opening up whatever the legs would have left to them. First go through a water stop for what would be my last hydration, choke down some cold water on a cold raw day and then go.<br><br>
So it began, the final 5K of the half-marathon. The downhill was fast and it hurt too. It was steep enough to hurt and I snaked my way down between the marathoners who were holding back. Near the bottom of the downhill and I was on the outside, a guy wearing headphones veered across my path to even farther outside. I yelled at him, "Look out!" He never heard me and for a while he and I would run along Martin Luther King Boulevard with him in the periphery of my vision. As another water stop loomed ahead, I surged a little bit harder, wary that he might come veering across to get the water. I wouldn't see him anymore.<br><br>
My legs were hurting. Somewhere between mile markers 11 and 12 I had the first twinge. My left leg touched the ground and I felt the calf muscle try to snap the leg back up. But at that point, I feared that if I slowed I wouldn't be able to get going again. So I kept going. And would later feel the first brief cramp popping in my right calf.<br><br>
I also now said hello to my father, who 12 years ago while serving on Federal grand jury duty in Philadelphia and he had enjoyed doing jury duty because he was retired, I said hello to him and how 12 years ago he'd be taken to the hospital from jury duty and have an aortic aneurysm found. 2 months later he would die when the surgery had unexpected complications. I said hello to this memory and vowed not to stop.<br><br>
The boulevard was painful. It was often pitched right or left to help drain water, resulting in a sidehill running surface.<br><br>
But I was so close now. When mile marker 12 passed by, I said about 10 more minutes, you can hurt for 10 more minutes, it's just a tiny bit of spit in a whole huge bucket of spit that we all have in our pasts.<br><br>
Finally across the Schulkyll again. What did that guy yell? Half-marathoners to the right. I drifted right. I would then see signs ahead with half-marathoners pointed to the left. I drifted back across again. The 26.2 mile people split apart.<br><br>
Round a circle. Everything is hurting. The only way I can keep the cramps from disabling me is by pounding my feet hard into the pavement. I begin feeling surges of joy and sadness that made tears come close to spilling.<br><br>
All of a sudden I heard my brother's voice. He's holding up his cellphone and taking video of me coming into the finish. I pumped my big ugly yellow gloves into the air. Just a bit more to go.<br><br>
And finally. My calves wanted to go spastic as I dropped into a walk after breaking the line of mats. I wandered somewhat unsteadily to the back of the chute. A Kickrunner soon came in and I hope I smiled as Michelle got my attention. I was still working through all the thoughts of the 13.1 mile cocoon. It was time to stab myself again. I pulled off my gloves and went digging into my pockets. Test strip, lancet, meter. Here we go. First attempt to draw blood failed, stab again. Nice big drop of blood this time. 113 mg/dl. Oh beautiful.<br><br>
That's all I got for right now. There's more to write about but I'm a bit tired and at least I got down this stuff.<br><br>
-----<br><br>
Just wanted to add in that the 30s crew photographer HH managed to capture me and my blazing speed at the finish. I'll confess that I may not have heard any of the cheers as I was so focused on getting to the line before my calves completely seized up. But here I am actually looking like I'm running --<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y147/xulfercirtsag/2050751366_c144488cb9.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Great job by you today. I think I have the best perspective on your progress. You've come a long way since I first met you at Brian's Run last year. Really impressive. You should be very proud.
 

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Absolutely wonderful! Congrats on a well run race. Your progress is great. That was a beautiful sentiment that you threw in about your father. Enjoy the day!
 

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Congratulations, Scratch!! You did an excellent job! Your time was awesome and I'm so happy for you that your blood sugar wasn't an issue after. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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What a great report!!!! I love it when a race report from someone I've never met makes me cry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Amazing job, <b>Scratch</b>! Sorry we missed you after the event, but I love your report and the memories and thoughts that make this event so special for you. Congratulations!!
 

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Awesome race and report Scratch. I have watched your progress since I joined the group in April and I must say I am amazed at how far you have come back from injury. You inspire me.
 

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Amazing report and fabulous race!! When we spotted you coming tothe finish line I looked at the clock and gave you a little extra cow bell!!! I am impressed with your progress, not just as a runner, but as a runner with type 1 diabetes. It was so great to meet you this weekend, sorry I didn't get to talk to you more but since I am officialyl in cheerleader mode, I will make sure I get to some local races in the near future to cheer you on!
 

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<b>Scratch</b>, you are an amazing writer (is that what you do for a living?) as well as an amazing runner! I saw you cross the finish line with your hands in the air. Congratulations! I am so glad you had such a great run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's the numbers I've got from yesterday:<br><br>
mile 1 -- 11:37<br>
mile 2 -- 10:44<br>
mile 3 -- 10:29<br>
mile 4 -- 10:27<br>
mile 5 -- 10:12<br>
miles 6&7 -- 20:30<br>
mile 8 -- 10:38<br>
mile 9 -- 10:01<br>
mile 10 -- 10:35<br>
mile 11 -- 9:49<br>
mile 12 -- 9:51<br>
mile 13 and .1 -- 11:37<br><br>
Estimated halfway split of 1:09:22 and final half of course in 1:07:03.<br><br>
I can't even begin to tell you all how happy I am with those splits. The progression was good, I ran the race I had imagined running beforehand and got that good positive experience of negative splitting over a long race distance.
 

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Scratch - excellent run yesterday, sorry we didn't get the chancce to meet up. Those splits are TEXTBOOK - smooth start, speed up a little, gut check time at the end (and way to hammer that big hill in mile 9/10!) Hearing about your progress has been really cool for me and a lot of the others on the thread, made even more impressive by the BS you have to deal with as a diabetic. I'd be a complete wussbag about finger pricking and getting up multiple times in the middle of the night - what a PITA!
 
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