Saturday, July 31, 2010

IMLP Race Report - The Run

My longest "run" ever was a 20 miler which was brutal. At mile 10 I started having IT Band issues and I ended up walking/"running" the last 8 miles. It was tremendously painful and a bit demoralizing.

One saving grace was that I saw Sara Thatcher, my PT, on Friday for some last minute stretching. She told me not to worry, I wasn't going to have ITB problems and that the 20 miler was a fluke. I thought she was just trying to give me some motivational BS, which I appreciated, but this ITB thing was on my mind. I knew it was only a matter of time before it showed up. My plan was to go easy and see where that took me.

As I headed out for the marathon I knew a long day was about to get longer. The first descent right out of transition can be pretty harsh so I just took my time and settled into a pace once I got down the hill. My legs weren't turning over as quickly as I hoped and the pace was slower too. I told myself not to worry about any of that and to just keep running.

I made my way through each aid station at every mile and made sure I drank and ate in order to stay fueled. I was so hungry that nothing I ate filled what seemed like a massive void. I ate cookies, pretzels, oranges, grapes and more. At some aid stations I just took water or water and cola because I didn't want my stomach to get upset.

As far as I'm concerned the first loop went well. I saw a ton of people I know and each time it gave me a lift. I saw Vin and he looked strong. As I made my way back to into town it was like the crowd carried me up the climb. I knew in a few minutes I'd see my family and that was all the motivation I needed.

I approached the condo and they were cheering and yelling! On the way back I made sure I stopped and gave Keri-Ann and Noella a kiss and said I love you. I also said, "I'm going to be an Ironman!" and I headed back out for another 13.1 lonely miles.

The last 11.5 miles before the finish were tough. As I passed mile 16(?) I saw Vin heading back. He was at about mile 21/22 and all he said to me was "I just hit the wall". I looked at him and yelled "NO YOU DIDN'T!" and kept on going.

At that point I was still feeling decent and no ITB pain yet. As I passed mile 17 I hit a milestone. 17 miles was the longest I had actually run because I don't count the run/walk 20 miler. Mile 18 came and went as did mile 19 and then the turn around. I was heading home and then I hit THE wall.

Even though I was eating and drinking I didn't have any energy and I was starting to hurt. My left ankle was cramping, my right quad and hip flexor were getting tighter step by the step and I was literally in pain. Ironically, the only thing not hurting was my IT Band! I forced myself to keep running, but at times I had to walk to keep the pain down. I was almost there.

With about 4 miles to go I passed over what appeared to be a timing mat. There was music blasting and a billboard of sorts. The guy on the mic was trying to motivate
us and then made an announcement to make sure we looked at the board to see a message from our families.

I thought to myself what a nice idea, but didn't expect to see anything because I didn't even know about this thing. I looked up just to look up and then I see... 849 - Marty Miserandino - Get it Done! I had no idea how that got up there, but later found out that my wife Keri-Ann had done it. She's the best! The crazy thing is that I had already passed that board on the first loop and didn't even look at it. I probably wouldn't have looked at the billboard if the guy hadn't made that announcement...perfect timing and the fuel I needed to take it home.

I made my way back into town and started to smile as I climbed the two steepest hills. The street was lined with spectators on both sides and I started to pick up the pace. I was almost home. I was greeted by Greg Dombal and Sara Thatcher, I saw Steve and Brandi Dion and then rounded the corner for the out and back. I had a smile from ear to ear and then I saw my family waiting for me. I told them to get to the finish and I started moving.

I passed the final turn around and headed for the finish of my life. On my way to the oval I stopped to give my Aunt, Uncle and other family members a kiss and say thank you for being there. Having them there was truly one of the highlights of my whole experience.

The oval was right there. I was running next to another athlete and we were coming to the point where you either stayed to the left to go back out for another loop or you stayed to the right and became an Ironman. I asked if she was finishing and she said yes. At the point I said go ahead and have your moment. She looked at me like, "Really?" Absolutely... I could have cared less about my time at that moment. All I cared about was soaking it all in, seeing my family, looking to the sky and blowing my mother a kiss.

Up next: The Finish


  1. Awesome story Marty; Congratulations on such a lifetime accomplishment!


  2. I love reading this, I can't even imagine doing what you did -- the determination you have is incredible. What a support system you have, you're a lucky man, Marty. Thank you for sharing your stories, they are so uplifting. Amazing job, IRONMAN!!!
    Rachel K.

  3. Marty,

    Each chapter is a great story in and of themselves. Congratulations. All I can say, is MAYBE someday for me.



  4. IRONMarty!!!!! Congrats again. Loved hearing your thoughts about each step of your journey.

  5. Marty - You write as well as you race. Congratulations on becoming an Ironman!

  6. You looked great at mile 17! Congrats to you on a great first marathon and a great IM! :)

  7. Marty,
    Thanks for sharing your journey. You are inspirational. Huge congratulations!! Your mom raised some awesome men -


  8. Way to go Marty. I loved each chapter.






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