First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to Mass Eye and Ear on my behalf. Your contribution will make a difference for many, many people.
As many of you know, I had problems with sciatica in my leg which made it very difficult to train this past winter. It wasn't completely healed yesterday morning, and I did not have enough miles under my belt, so I knew the odds that I would have to drop out were fairly high.
I made it just past mile 10 before the pain forced me to stop. I ran about the first 8, then I power walked, then I walked, and then I started crying. At that point a "spotter" (volunteer on a bike checking on runners) suggested the medical tent. The red cross car came and I got in. The doctor gave me ice, a tylenol, and told me to see a sports medicine doctor.
In spite of how it ended it was a GREAT experience! The first 8 miles were wonderful. It's hard to explain the sense you get from everyone cheering - the road is a continuous stream of spectators. The people who live along the road set up lawn chairs at the end of their driveways and throw parties. The little kids hold out their hands to "high five" - the ones under 7 don't care if you are an elite runner or in the back of the pack.
For those of you following my "dot" on runkeeper: mile 1 was slow because I turned on the trace when the mob started moving but I was walking behind 15,000 other people. At mile 2 I stopped at a porta potty. All I could see at the start was a mob stretching down the hill, across the intersection, and up the hill. We were packed in tightly.
My target pace was a 12 minute mile. The advice was to go slow in the first half and a little faster in the second half. The official 5K splits (which didn't start until I crossed the starting line) show that I was on target, so I'm pleased about that - it's not psychologically easy to maintain a slowish pace when everyone around you is going much faster.
There are many sites with marathon advice. Here are the things I learned yesterday morning that I wish had known:
1. Bring your own TP. Some porta potties will run out, and you'll find that yours is a TP-less after you have waited in a 20 or 30 minute line.
2. The start is cool, but you need to be dressed to run. What to do? Wear clothing destined for donation anyway! I was a bit uncomfortable on the walk from the "athlete's village" to the start and at the start. Next year I'll be wearing my donation wardrobe over my running clothes. Volunteers lined the start with giant garbage bags collecting the discarded clothing. It's given to charity.
3. Bring a garbage bag to sit on while you wait to go to the start. Grass is wet in the morning.
And finally, fund raising is really hard! An extra thank you to Hans Peter Brondmo and Dave Griffin for advertising my fund raising pages on my behalf. My fund raising had a really nice spike yesterday so THANK YOU