Friday, August 19, 2011

I Had No Choice But To Finish: Part 2

I did not fall. Everyone assumes that I fell. Again, I did not fall. I owe it to all the core-strengthening exercises I had been doing during the spring! I hobbled a bit, in shock from the INTENSE pain that followed the very loud popping sound. "Wow, I heard that" said the man that I had passed about two tenths of a mile back. I sat down on the rocky slope, wincing and cursing pretty loudly. F**************K! He looked at the ankle, said that he didn't see anything sticking out, so I should be good.  He then continued on. This too was my plan.

I got up. This was a long and laborious process, though. The ankle HURT. This is a bad, bad sprain I thought. Other times when I have slipped, I have generally found it relatively easy to get back up and limp a little-eventually the pain would subside. This time was different. I had to roll over onto my knees, grab a tree trunk and then hop onto my right leg without putting any pressure on the left foot. The first step was excruciatingly painful, the next a little less so, and the third was I-can-get-to-the-next-aid-station-if-I-limp-really-fast painful. I hobbled for a little over a mile, still mostly downhill, until I reached the aid station. The guy who had *tear* passed me had alerted them to my condition.

On my way to that aid station, I toyed with the idea of DNFing (not finishing, in runners' argot). This is how the conversation went in my head: should I stop at the aid station and wait for the medics to take me back to the start?  Should I try to finish this even if it takes me four hours? Should I sit down and cry? Should I stand here and click my heels three times? (Well, no, that would incur more pain-so that was out of the question) Should I try to finish? Should I try to finish? SHOULD I TRY TO FINISH?

And then I imagined the potential scene back at the finish area: me being helped out of the medic's ATV. Fat girl limping.


I had to do this for fat people. I had to do this for me. And I had to finish because I didn't want anybody thinking that the fat girl couldn't do it.

I arrived at the aid station. The volunteers were ready for me. Do you want us to get the medics out here? HELL NO! I would like some Advil if you have any. I took 3, re-tied my shoelaces and went about my way. A few minutes, I was able to limp-run-walk-hop, wincing less and less as the miles went by slowly. I tried not to think of the throbbing coming from the ankle and tried to focus instead on staying ahead of this woman who I had passed a long time ago gaining on me.

At one point, she passed me as I was taking a break. Then I passed her. Then she passed me, and then INTENTIONALLY BLOCKED MY WAY on the single-track on the way back to the finish for about 3 miles. Okay, missy. I got this. I stay right on her tail until we reach a wider part of the trail. And then she stops to take a break. I pass her, without even glancing back. I won't publish the string of expletives I was calling her in my head.

Mile 10 comes along and the pain is returning somewhat, but that woman is still about a half mile behind me, so I slow down a bit until I arrive at the first/last aid station and guzzle tepid Gatorade. There's still about 1.7 miles to go so I walk until I hear the people at the last aid station start to cheer. I look back only to see that woman trying to gain on me.

And then as if in a made-for-TV drama, I scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I hobble-run-walk-hop-skip-limp as fast as I can to the end, this time because I was MAD and certainly wasn't going to let this woman get ahead of me and gloat that she wasn't last. She was last, and the fat girl wasn't.

I gathered enough energy-adrenaline is AMAZING-to run through the finishing chute raising the roof.

Now I could visit the medics on my own terms.


  1. Ok I just sent your blog posts to my husband who just ran the MCM. I don't run but in my mind I am Kenyan as the sticker says....You are so GREAT and FUNNY. OMG, I laughed so hard. Thank you for making my day.

  2. HA!! 2 years after the fact and I'm sitting here cheering for you!! WooHoo!! Way to represent! As a fat runner myself, THANK YOU for pushing on and beating that woman!!