The Portugal Run was hands down THE most difficult race I've ever completed. A total running time of 1:06:10 at a 13:14 minute mile pace doesn't even come close to painting the picture.
The day before the run, Chris and I had ventured to the cutest little baby shower a couple hours away in Pennsylvania.
I rested in the car on the way back to NYC and felt fine when I went to sleep, but about 3am I woke up with intense stomach issues. INTENSE! I was back and forth to the bathroom about every hour for the rest of the night. I honestly wasn't sure I would be able to make it to Central Park, but I also knew that I didn't have many opportunities left to run the nine races needed to complete the marathon qualifying so I decided to push through it.
I left my apartment when the race was set to begin, but fortunately the cab got me there quickly. I took off near the very back of the pack and didn't move too quickly at first. I knew that I needed to find the first port-o-potty on the trail...and I ended up having to walk most of the way there. The first mile ended up taking me something like 18 minutes. It was torture. Absolute torture.
I thought about just quitting and going home then, but I felt a bit better after the bathroom break and figured I was already 1/5 of the way to the end so I might as well just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I managed to run roughly 11 minute miles for the next three miles. Nothing short of a miracle! The last mile was a major struggle though. The entire mile I alternated between walking and the slowest jog ever all while scanning the entire grounds for another port-o-potty. I thought I was NOT going to make it...
My friend, Amanda, was waiting for me at the finish. Unaware of my super uncomfortable condition at the time, she got some great photos of me nearing the finish line. In the first, I am clearly scanning the area for a port-o-potty which Amanda promptly helped me locate as soon as I crossed the finish line. True friendship at its finest folks!
Needless to say, I wasn't super proud of my time for this race. However, I was extremely happy that I survived it without any accidents. Sometimes it really is just about crossing the finish line.