Thursday, January 26, 2012

Angry Starfish-the Tale of the Charleston Half-Marathon

A few weeks ago, I participated in the Charleston (SC) 1/2 marathon. I did finish. It wasn't a pretty one. The angry starfish was my prize for finishing. I'll explain, but first some context!

The trip to Charleston was fun, Karen and I were hosted by an old friend of mine and her partner, both of which were running the half as well. Karen of course, was running the full marathon. Something about trying to get all 50, not so much. the weekend was to include the run and then a bike ride the next day.

Our friends are both into triathlons as well, and of course our conversations somehow always steered towards training. We all know how it feels to ride long distances on a bike, the girly parts can and usually do, get sore. Evidently, some friend of theirs convinced them to examine said parts by using a mirror after a ride to see what a sore girly looks like. It apparently looks like a squashed eggplant. I cannot think of a worse idea than doing that, but the image stuck in my head, and from now on, I may complain about my squashed eggplant after riding.

So, on to the race report. The morning was cold, and I wore my favorite pair of tights. I had conveniently forgotten that they caused chafing in the nether region the last long run I did in them, so I quickly knew that I was not going to have a relaxing shower after the race. But, I toddered along and for the first 6 miles or so, everything seemed ok, except for the chafing. Around mile 6, I started to feel like I needed a porta-potty....a quick duck behind something was not going to cut it. I recalled how, at the DC 1/2, I waited in line for a random potty for 17 minutes, so I vowed to go to the first one I saw. There it was, a random porta-potty, across some railroad tracks, clearly not part of the race. Off I went, across the broken glass field, railroad tracks to the potty. There were only a couple of people before me, so my wait was short. After my business, I realize there is no I am looking at my throwaway shirt or my $1 gloves as my only options. The gloves went. Thinking I am good to go, I continue onward, only to be stopped after about a 1/2 mile with serious intestinal pains...nope not done yet. Waddle on, walking and running to the next porta--one major complaint about this race is the paltry amount of portas on the course, there was one every 2 miles or so and that my friend is not enough.

I stop and wait and just before I get to go, oops happens. Wow, that is not something that I prepared for, but luckily, I still had my throwaway shirt to cover my accident. Clean up myself, dump and wipe and go running again. Like clockwork, I had continued pains, and porta stops, I started feeling the effects of frequent wiping with cheap tp. This goes on until I finish, and then I think I am ok b/c I stopped running. Nope. No stopping. Every 15 minutes I go, now at the finish area where they have all of 10 porta-potties and they have run out of even the cheap tp they had. On to using paper towels. My ass is on fire but I gotta wipe, right?

Waiting for Karen to finish the full marathon, tried to eat some food, going to the porta, scraping my ass with paper towels, not my best few hours. Finally, she gets done (it wasn't that long, actually, but I was feeling pretty shitty--ha.) We all four pile into the shuttle bus back to the start and the car. Walking back to the car, oh no.....not done yet! No porta potties in sight! Thankfully, there was a bank, and someone my friend knew so I avoided another "accident" but not by much. Arrgghh.

When I finally go into the shower and the water hit me, it was like liquid fire spraying on my ass. I wasn't sure I could even wear underwear, with the chafing that I had from the tights and all the potty breaks. After complaining about my sore ass, it was named the Angry Starfish. Needless to say, I did not do the bike ride the next day. The angry starfish needed some rest.