The smile was strained but not because of bare feet. I wore shoes today.
I often say that the runners I admire the most are the ones out on the course for the longest time. Today, that was me.
It was a doubleheader event – 6:30am 10km + 7:30am Marathon. The marathon was delayed due to lightning and so I was left waiting in the cold for almost an hour. My body was made for Ogun State’s tropical weather, it likes heat, and detests cold.
Anyways, the race eventually started and, after a couple of kilometres, I felt good and I held my original target pace. Wrong move! No sooner had I pushed than half my body started showing signs of dissatisfaction. I was vomiting water and Gatorade. The new energy package I was trying was awful. By KM29 I was forced to walk for a bit through KMs 30, 31, and at KM34 I laid down on the grass extremely tired. KM35 I was ready to give up so I made a stop at the medical tent.
They gave me an IV on the spot and made plans to transport me to a hospital. I explained nicely that I came to collect a medal so there would be no trip to the hospital. Given its the Air Force Marathon, there are a lot of military runners and I guess the medical people were used to runners that demanded to finish. So about an hour later and a bag of IV, I started a jog/walk for 4KM until I was strong enough to maintain a slow jog to the end.
Marathons are such a joy and also teach great lessons. Never know what the day will bring. It is important to really know yourself and what your body can do. I am still not sure if a slower pace for the first 10KM would have helped. More sleep last night definitely did. Most importantly, for my 37th Marathon, I still got the job done.