Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lima, Peru Marathon

My life is mostly awesome. I have a good life and do a lot. However, there are three instances when my life is not awesome: 1. when I get migraines, 2. when I get sick, 3. when I run a marathon. My life is especially not awesome when all three things happen at once.

I ran the Lima, Peru marathon this past weekend. It was my second trip to Peru. One of my very good friends lives there and is a beautiful, hospitable person and I purposely picked this marathon to also visit her. I had the best time meeting her friends, speaking loads of Spanish and eating delicious Peruvian food of perfect cuts of meats and chocolate caliente con crema. I loved my short, quick trip to South America. However, I cannot say the same about the marathon.

I had just come off a nice half marathon in Salt Lake City and felt fantastic, ready to run a 42K with no problem. I had finished an Ironman last year and ran an easy marathon. So I thought, it'll be fun to see the city on a running tour. Unfortunately, I got crazy sick a few days before I left. I was in my doctor's office the day before I flew out begging for medicine. The morning of the race I woke up covered in sweat and legs cramping--not ideal for running miles and miles.

The race was definitely an experience. The course was open to traffic and people drive like New Yorkers on steroids--only one rule--go as fast as possible and don't worry about pedestrians. As I was running, I heard a honk behind me and turned around to see a huge bus full of people nipping at my heels right on the course. Runners had to obey traffic rules and stop and wait for the light. I ended up getting hit by a motorcycle. Additionally, I was sick and the course only had 7 aid stations, 4 of which had water. But I was so far behind because of the accident and complete leg cramping, two of the aid stations had closed down. I had no gels, no water and couldn't run because it hurt so much. I almost dropped out twice. I even had to borrow a cell phone from a fellow runner to tell my friend I was going to be finishing much, much later than originally anticipated. One cop told me I had to remove my iPod because of the danger and another offered me his half drunken bottle of Gatorade (I think because he felt such pity for me limping through the course). It was hard to find my way through the course because I was so far behind I couldn't follow other runners. I find it funny now, but my humor had disappeared by the 4 hour mark. I had to stop to ask people which way to go. Thank goodness for my Spanish otherwise I would have ended up running half way to Bolivia.

I will not say my time, but it did take me much longer than the marathon I ran in an Ironman, which I didn't start until 9 hours into the race. Better luck to me next time.