I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in San Diego on June 4, 2006. This is the 4th time that I’ve done this race. Of all the venues I have run, this one by far has the best support. My friend Ron also ran the marathon, which made the race even more fun.
Since my IronMan race is so close (July 23, 2006), I promised the coaches that I would not run the entire race. Instead, the intention was to run 13.1 miles, walk 12.1 miles, and then run the last mile (so that I look good for the cameras). I got the approval, just before the race, to run/walk the last 13.1 miles… walking 0.75 miles and running 0.25 miles. I was happy to hear that.
The official results show that I crossed the finish line at 5 hours and 24 minutes. Here are the unofficial results (as shown by my watch).
• Half-marathon: 1 hour 58 minutes
• Marathon: 5 hours
So where did the other 24 minutes go? Read on…
The first half was pretty fun. Ron is pretty impressive. He runs a lot faster now than I remember from college. We played a game that was part cat and mouse and part free-running. We were weaving in and out of race walkers just trying to keep up with each other. Luckily for me, Ron was easy to spot with his school-bus-yellow shirt. I on the other hand, with my purple singlet, blended in with the other Team-In-Training participants running the race.
BTW, Team-In-Training is abbreviated as “TNT.” Ron would periodically yell, “Go T-I-T!” You just had to laugh… especially since I never realized it before.
Around mile 7, I had to really go to the bathroom. That would be Number 2. I waited in line at the porta potty while Ron took my picture. He would yell things like, “Rommel, do you gotta take a dump?!” or “Why don’t you just crap in your pants like that lady at the Boston Marathon?” We waited for 10 minutes. When I finally got in the porta potty, Ron started banging on the porta potty. I swear, he scared it back in, because all that happened was that I passed gas. But I did feel better.
So we kept running. I lost Ron somewhere on the hill around mile 9. All the while, my stomach was hurting, but I figured that could just wait until after the halfway point.
I finally saw Ron again around 13.5 miles. I had already started the walking portion of my race when he caught up to me. I told him to go on since I wasn’t supposed to run flat out. I think he had a good race and finished in under 5 hours.
I would walk briskly for 10 minutes, then run to the next mile marker. This allowed me to average about 13-14 minutes per mile. I found this to be tough for a few reasons.
• Restraint: my body wanted to run
• The weather: it was uncharacteristically cold, so my muscles started to get tight. I had to stop a few times to stretch.
So where did I lose the other 14 minutes?
I lost the other 14 minutes at Mile 14. It was there that I unleashed something unholy in the porta potty.
You may be wondering at this point (or earlier in the report) why am I being so crude… It is so that you can learn from my mistake. Let this lesson become a part of you, and that is this fact. DO NOT eat Cajun Chicken Pasta with a Cream Sauce the night before a race!