I am exactly two weeks away from one of the most exciting days of my LIFE. It seems strange to be so excited to put my body through something as strenuous as a marathon, but I honestly could not be more pumped about our trip to Boston.
I have been training strictly for the Boston Marathon for a year now. I tried to qualify (like legit tried to qualify) six times and failed. Once I finally did run a good enough time, I didn’t get in. When I finally did get in, I also started a big kid job, which meant I had to wake up at 4 a.m. everyday to train. This may explain why I do not respond to text messages after 9.m. because I am already in bed asleep by that point. DO NOT TRY TO CONTACT ME AFTER 9 P.M. OR WE WILL NOT BE FRIENDS.
(I freakin' run through mud to train....)
Anyways, it has been quite the adventure. I have dragged Porter to a million races now, but all of that time and effort is about to pay off. Porter has been the best cheerleader ever. He stands in the rain/snow/heat and follows me around the course to make sure I have everything I need. However, what most people don’t know is that Porter has completed a marathon too.
I get asked quite often if I run with Porter. Once upon a time I did, but I will NEVER EVER do it again. When we were first dating, he agreed to run the Utah Valley Marathon with me. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turned out to be one of the most miserable experiences of my running career.
Porter and I did one 20-mile training run together before the race. I prefer to train by myself, and I assumed Porter was doing the same thing. We woke up on race day, got to the buses, and we were hauled up to the start line.
Just before the race is about to begin, Porter informs me he has to go to the bathroom. It would be the first of many bathroom breaks he would take. People are lining up at the start line, so I know it is about to begin.
I hear the gun go off to signal the race has started. Porter was still in the porta potty. I wait for him, a little annoyed, but it was still ok since your chip time doesn’t start until you cross the start line anyways.
He finally gets out and we start our 26.2-mile journey. About two miles, he has to stop.
“What’s wrong?” I ask him, a little worried that we are not going to finish this race.
“My iPod is stuck on repeat, I have listened to the same Ke$ha song like five times now.”
I don’t see why this is a problem. Nothing pumps me up more than a little Tik Tok action.
We carry on. At mile 8, I turn to him to see how he is doing.
“This isn’t that bad,” he tells me.
Oh my friend, we are not even half way…and that was the least of his problems. Remember how I told you we started the race off in the bathroom? Porter was about to spend a lot more time in there than we expected.
Having the squirts on the day of a race is probably my worst nightmare. Running 26.2 miles is already physically and mentally draining. Adding stomach problems to the list sounds unbearable.
I felt bad for the guy, but I was a little frustrated. I had desperately been trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I had failed the two times I had tried that year. My body felt good, I knew I was in shape, but we were having to stop at literally every single porta potty.
That may not sound that bad, except for the fact that there was a porta potty every two miles.
When you are trying to run while fighting diarrhea, you have to squeeze and waddle. When you have to squeeze and waddle, your running form gets all bent out of shape. When your running form gets bent out of shape (and you are already a little lop-sided due to not having an arm), your entire body starts to ache in places you didn’t even know existed. When your body starts to ache in places you didn’t even know existed, you make it impossible for your running partner to qualify for Boston.
At every single aid station with a bathroom, we had to stop so Porter could relieve himself. I decided to stop feeling bad for myself and help him get through what had become a total disaster.
The Utah Valley Marathon finishes on University Ave. It is a long, straight road so you could see the finish line for dayssss before you even got close. It seemed like every step we took, the finish line got further away.
I was trying to be optimistic and encouraging. I started to tell Porter funny stories (because let’s be honest, I tell really funny stories), but he wasn’t having it.
“How about we just don’t talk!” he finally exclaimed.
Jerk face. I just sacrificed my marathon time because YOU decided to eat crappy food and then had to poop your guts out this whole time. I should have just left you.
I was a little mad, but I got over it pretty quickly. I didn’t have the energy to be mad and finish this last mile.
When I thought we were getting close to the finish line, I tried to be encouraging again. However, I was still unfamiliar with the Utah grid system and I had no idea what all the numbers on the road signs meant. I decided to guess-timate how much was left in the race.
“Porter, we are so close! Only 4 more blocks to go!” I said excitedly.
We were on 800 N. The race finishes on Center Street. I guess I could have done the math, but I was a Communications major in college…math isn’t my strong suit.
Porter looked up at the nearest road sign, and turned back to me slowly. Through his gritted teeth he said, “8 Carlie…we still have 8 blocks to go.”
Whoops. There is a huge difference between 4 blocks and 8 blocks when you have run 26 miles.
We crossed the finish line together. I didn’t run a Boston qualifying time, but I didn’t kill my soon-to-be-husband either, so I will count that as a win.
And to be fair, Porter is rarely this ornery. He was in so much pain and had the runs, so I have forgiven him.
Porter and I will never run a race together again, but I’m pretty sure if you can handle finishing a marathon together, you can get through just about anything together.
I will update everyone on our Boston/NYC/Washington D.C. trip when we get back. There is bound to be a story or two from that experience. Oh, and you can also expect an Insta and FB overload. Don’t get annoyed by it, just like my pictures and move on ya grouches.
Until next time,