I wrote earlier about being last. It’s silly I didn’t consider another alternative - not finishing. That happened this weekend.
I know it had happened to others, even my TNT mentor ended up in the hospital instead of crossing the finish line at the McAllen Marathon. I hope it wasn’t arrogance, but I never thought I wouldn’t finish unless I twisted an ankle or something.
But this weekend it happened, as I was running in the 9.11 Memorial Run 10K in Mission. I was one of the last runners (as usual). Two miles before I reached the finish line, my right foot starting hurting. That hadn’t happened before, but I kept going.
And a little later, my stomach started turning and cramping. I got goosebumps. I wasn’t sure if I needed to go to the restroom or throw up. As it was a trail, there wasn’t any place to go to sit or ask for help. I was about half a mile from where I last spotted some volunteers on the trail (we were backtracking the second half of the run).
I slowed down to a crawl and eventually stopped trying to run. I just walked slowly. I heard the last runner approach. He was giving encouraging words that we were almost done. But I told him I wasn’t feeling well. I asked him to notify the next volunteers he saw. He kindly said he would.
I saw some Border Patrol agents on horseback pass me. I was going to wave them down, but I’m not sure how they could help. Eventually a volunteer on a bicycle found me. He called in a truck, which picked me up. I thanked the driver for helping me cover a mile in the fastest time I’ve ever done.
It was really humid. I don’t know if that was a factor. I had my usual snacks and water. In either case, I admit my ego required me to say, “No, really, I’ve done this distance before. I can do it.” *Sigh* I’ve got a half-marathon coming up in a few weeks. Hopefully, I’ll figure this out.
As I slowly make my way toward my weight goal, I’ve had some clothes issues to deal with. Don’t get me wrong. They’re good problems to have. The clothes fit too big.
I’m low on cash so certain things take priority. Work clothes top the list. My workout clothes are at the bottom of the list. I noticed my running compression shorts are loose. They’re my favorite running shorts, but they were pricey, so I didn’t anticipate buying new ones soon.
Yesterday’s run changed that plan. Specifically, the chafing changed that plan.
I suppose a cheaper solution would be to try some anti-chafing product, like BodyGlide. During my time with Team in Training, BodyGlide was mentioned once. Other runners simply suggested using Vaseline for your feet. And that worked fine for me. For feet.
Other parts are going to need an alternative.
One product review for an anti-chafing item stated the downside was it melted in the heat. This South Texan is going to need something that can withstand the heat.
I starting hurting at four miles. I hate to image the pain if I don’t find a solution before the McAllen Marathon or any of the other upcoming runs. My search begins.
In races, I was never really worried about being last. It seems to worry a lot of others though. “But what if you’re last, Malena,” they asked. “So?” I usually replied.
It’s such a concern to some I started thinking maybe there’s an execution of the last participant no one told me about. In Team in Training, I only remember it mentioned once. The mentors said the last person usually gets the most encouragement, applause and fanfare.
Well, my belief that being last didn’t really matter was tested in January. I was the last runner to cross the finish line in the South Texas Sizzler. The only reason the cheerleaders were still there to greet me was because my family asked them to stay. The tent where staff was handing out official times was packed up by the time I got to it.
I was last. And I had a motorcade of police vehicles behind me announcing my arrival. Honestly, I did a “thank you now go away” wave to them as I entered the park where the finish line was. But they followed me all the way to the finish line.
As expected, I did not die.
I wasn’t hiding my face from people. If my face was red, it was because of the 10K I finished, not embarrassment. I felt what I usually feel after a race - hungry.
So don’t worry about being last. I admit it's not exactly my goal, but it's not the important thing. Enjoy what you accomplished.
Side note, later my sister sent me the following link and said it was my commercial:
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.