I actually feel pretty good about how I did, considering…

I was going to title this entry “I didn’t train to ruin the marathon…” and then have the first line be like “but I accidentally did.” I started with the 4:00 pacers, and since I was almost the only one, the pacer I was running with kept slowing down to accommodate me – so that when they got to the halfway point and the second set of pacers took over, they said they wouldn’t be able to hit a 4:00 finish. I felt really really bad when they said that, because I thought it was totally my fault.


I discovered that everyone else was having trouble with the course too. The second pacer (there were two at each pace for each half of the course) was actually behind us of her own volition. The sun was beating down on us, as the course was largely unshaded. At mile 25 there was a bank with a thermometer, and it said 91… and that’s not even the “feels like” temperature. Plus, remember how I was worried about the hills? That guy who gave the course preview was not exaggerating at all. In fact, he could have said they were much, much worse, and it still wouldn’t have prepared us for how bad they would be. Just about everyone I saw was walking up the hills, and most were walking for a good chunk of the flat/downhill sections too, because it was that bad. The best was at mile 24, when we thought we were almost done and OH WAIT you have to turn the corner and go up a steep hill. This was because some church on the main road didn’t want their services to be disrupted, so they wouldn’t allow the race to go on their road. At that point in the race I wanted to go spit on that church. I probably would have if a) I had enough saliva to do so and b) I had enough energy to get myself to the church.

I crossed the finish line at 4:40 (gun time), which I was shocked and thrilled by. There were no clocks on the course, but I spent miles 13-20 walking/trying to run and sobbing but not allowing any actual tears (needed to conserve my water, especially since they ran out around mile 16), and I walked so much that I thought I was due for a six hour finish. (Here comes some TMI, so you may want to skip ahead). In that middle section I felt really really sick, and realized I was about to have a serious case of runners’ trots – but the porta potties were 2 miles away. I was terrified I was going to end up like the poor guy Vanilla humiliated, only it would be way worse because I’m not some anonymous guy – you all (kind of) know me. I was walking in kind of a crouch and just really not doing well as I frantically looked for a bathroom. I ended up begging a spectator to let me in his house to use his bathroom (PS – of course his house had a long winding uphill driveway), and I spent about 10 minutes in there. So – really only about 5 minutes slower than Burlington, which is not bad at all considering all the experienced marathoners around me (50 Staters, Marathon Maniacs, etc) were walking and saying it was a day to finish, not a day to care whatsoever about time. So – hurray!

Now – ice bath, wine tasting, and all the ice cream I can eat :)

I will try to post a full race report, especially once I know my official time, but you all know how I suck at that, so… we’ll see.


  1. Some days, in life as in running, my whole goal is: don’t end up in the ER or the morgue. Sounds like it was a good day for that kind of goal, and you DID IT! Good job!

    Heat sucks. Hills suck, too, but not as much as heat.

  2. Laura, you must have been booking it the rest of the time – before the walking / crying / crapping incident! You should feel great about that time. I can’t believe you keep doing this to yourself…but it’s working pretty well for ya!

  3. Now thats a new one, having to use a spectators bathroom. I love the gutsiness of that move. Not to mention, you totally sucked it up and finished in a pretty good time for the conditions.

  4. AWESOME JOB!!!! that sounds like a scary course!

  5. You should definitely be proud of that time considering everything!!! Savour that wine and ice cream, it’s well deserved.

  6. wow, what a great race report! the bottom line, no pun intended, is you finished! what a tough day to get in 26.2 miles! woo hoo!

  7. I am trying desperately to refrain from saying “wow, that’s shitty” but I just can’t do it :-(. I’m sorry, I’m a horrible blogfriend :-(.

    Point is, I’m sure there isn’t a single person out there that won’t join me in singing your praises for pulling through it.

    Rock star = Laura!!!!

  8. Great blog. It helps to remind people with normal lives and jobs that there are other persons like us that manage to have some time to run.

    Keep on blogging!, your blog gives great motivation!


  9. hey girl! way to get it done! sounds like us in atlanta….doin the shuffle up and down the hills! But you did it…thats all tha tmatters!

  10. YIKES!! You finished chica!! And that’s all that counts, epseically given the cirmcumstances ;D

  11. Man, really bummer on that. I hear stomach problems during a marathon happen all the time. You’re definately not alone. I’m glad you finished and not only that, finished in a fantastic time.

    Everytime I come to your blog recently, you’ve either ran an official marathon or marathon distance as a training run. You are a running machine! Good job, Laura!

  12. You. Freakin. Rock. Nice job!

  13. You totally rock! I’m so proud of you, and you’re my inspiration!

  14. Fantastic Laura, great job!
    Very proud of how you stuck it through through the hills, the heat, whatever. Congratulations on another marathon notch on your belt!

  15. Well done lady!

    Sorry that your Washington run was doen is such unseasonable weather. Maybe when you finish your 50 states, you can come back and try on in better weather. :)

  16. Gosh, when I said it was going to be hot today, I really had no idea how hot! Heat’s a bit unusual, but we do specialize in hills around here. By now you’re probably at the airport… Even more than running the marathon, I am amazed at your ability to run, then take a red-eye flight, then presumably go to work tomorrow? Now that’s crazy!

  17. I need some oxygen and a drink of water just reading that description…Amazing job!

  18. Way to fight through it. Great job! Hope that wine and ice cream helped you recover well. Cheers!

  19. Wow – congratulations. Running a marathon in hot weather is hard. You did it!

  20. dear lord i’m happy you found a bathroom. i’m officially too paranoid of a crap attack to run a race anytime soon now. congrats on making it to the end despite the frightening heat!

  21. Ran out of water!? Did they learn nothing from the Chhicago fiasco last fall?

    Way to gut it through! Or lower g.i. it through as the case may be.

  22. Well done on a very challenging course! Congrats on the finish!

  23. Another one to chalk up to life’s rich tapestry!

  24. Oh dear, I’m glad you made it. Sounds sort of nasty. I’ve often wondered about asking a spectator for the facilities. You poor thing. Hope you are hydrated and recovering now! Congrats. A finish is a finish. I’m still totally jealous!

  25. Congrats! Have as much ice cream as you want–you definitely deserve it!

  26. fChia – I think you saying “that’s shitty” is hilarious :)

    Aaron and Kristin – the Seattle marathon sounds fun. Maybe next year?

    Also, I forget who gave this advice before, but someone said not to have cookies the day before the marathon. I had two cookies and a brownie. I think that may have been what did me in? Please let me know who you are so I can credit your brilliance!

    All – thank you SO much for the kind words of support!

  27. Man – you still did it and finished it despite those, well, “troubles!”

    Great job!

  28. Wow…that did not sound like fun. Great job on your finish without hurting yourself! I wanted to sob for you as I was reading this. Way to go convincing the spectator to let you use his bathroom!

  29. Great Job! Can’t wait for the full report!
    Has the marathon been around a long time? has it ever been that hot?
    I would hate to be a race organizer I think.

  30. A little late to comment here. GIRLFRIEND – 4:40 is a good time (that was my marathon time) especially for a shit-ass course. You kicked ass. And way to go on stinkin’ up a strangers bathroom. ha ha.

  31. Jess, I can’t even tell you how thrilled I was with 4:40! I thought I was SO much slower. It makes me wish I hadn’t given up in the middle… had I known I wasn’t doing badly, I probably would have pushed harder.

  32. Hey Laura- It was great meeting you on the course. Congrats on finishing–I can’t imagine doing the full with those hills and that heat. Hope to see you in the park soon!


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