WHISKY RPW MARATHON IN PRESCOTT ARIZONA
Whisky Row Marathon in Prescott Arizona
I’m not sure why I decided to jump into this one other than just because I needed another state.
So I did. Not only one but two marathons.
We were on a fast track getting out there. Fly out of Virginia on an early Friday morning flight into Phoenix. Five-hour layover in Chicago wasn’t fun and then the hour-and-a-half drive from Phoenix to Prescott added to the hurdle. Fortunately, we got a fun brand new challenger to drive!
The nice part was we reserved a great old hotel on Main Street near the Whisky Row and the start of the race. This is a wonderful fun old historic downtown. This made the evening and the start in the morning nicer. No worries about driving and parking in the early morning. However, I realized I forgot many of my running gear. My trail shoes ( yes, I know right ? ), my water vest, and some other food needs. This would turn out to be a huge issue. Not sure what I was thinking.
Obviously, I wasn’t thinking!
The other aspect of this race was the time frame. They were allowing seven hours to complete but an option to add an hour by starting early. The half marathon, which my wife was going to achieve, started two hours later. My original thought was I didn’t need an extra hour. But she convinced me that it was still a very hilly race and, on a trail, something that I hadn’t really performed well with. Also, if I was doing great, I’d be done early, perhaps even finishing at the same time as she was finishing her half.
I realize later, that was really dreaming!
Race day morning.
On Whiskey Row with about a dozen runners were there. After a short chat, we were off….into the dark. Really dark.
Residential streets in the countryside had no streetlights, only starlights! I’m thinking if I should have brought the headlamp…another miss! At this stage, wasn’t too tough, to pull out in the front. I felt strong. I think only two were ahead of me. Great! I’m in third place. Then I passed one….second place! But how long would this last?
At one point, I almost went in the wrong direction. Too dark to see the signage and nobody was out there yet at any water stops. A few guys in a truck were setting up some traffic cones. I was able to ask them the right way.
Thank goodness….that would have been terrible!
There were some hills, but it wasn’t bad. A whole herd of deer wandered in front of me and into a wooded yard. Just barely enough sunlight to see at this stage. And then….the path went to a dirt trail. Oh yeah….that’s right….this is a trail run. Now I remember. The first and last five miles (it’s an out and back) is on road, the rest was dirt and gravel trails.
And so there it is….and hills.
It was long on the hilly trails that the regular runners started at the originally planned time…has now begun to catch me. And pass me. Many of them fact! Yes, this is honestly disheartening, discouraging and embarrassing. I hate it. But it’s real.
Pretty quickly I realized that my poor planning for this race, ( just plain too busy to properly prepare) was going to have an effect on my diabetes. Doesn’t matter how much I’ve trained, if I haven’t prepared for my special needs when it comes to fueling, I’ll be in trouble.
And I was.
I’ve determined that my sugars burn nearly 3-4 times faster when I hit the hills. What does that mean? My blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels. Traditional water stops have things like oranges, bananas, and Gatorade which this race had a great supply of. However, I don’t regularly eat those sugars…and when I do…I get a bit sick. Ok really sick. The back and forth and up and down began to quickly drain me.
Fatigue quickly became a reality. The only thing I could do to counteract this was reduced my pace to assist my troubles. But that pace was so slow it puts my race in jeopardy.
What do I do?
Really? Is that where I am? Just giving up? Well, that extra hour wasn’t going to be enough at this pace to finish on time. I even did a video sharing….I’m done!
I was that discouraged.
I kept going. As far as I could. What people don’t understand is that diabetes is a much more complex disease than people imagine. I hear too often that it’s all about eating too much candy as a kid. That gets me so angry. Or those individuals that make the claim of “curing” their disease. Lots of misinformation out there.
But…you push forward
Step by step.
Until you cross the line.
What am I going to do in the other race in a week in Flagstaff?