Monday, September 15, 2008

The Day After

My crazy ultra-running coworker sent me this video awhile ago...I can now fully appreciate it!

This morning, I wake up at 1:15am...probably because I was asleep last night by 7pm. Still, I would have expected to need more after yesterday's ordeal.

I try to get out of bed. OMG! My legs don't work! I must use my hands to shift each leg off the bed and on to the floor. I try to stand up, but it is slow going and requires a lot of upper body strength. For some reason, I thought I would avoid a lot of this by getting a post-race massage (an amazing deep tissue massage at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua's beautiful new Waihua Spa), but apparently my muscles will need a bit more time to recover.

I lie back down and try to fall asleep. I re-watch one of the videos I put on my PSP before the trip. It helps...I probably am out again by 3:30am.

The alarm goes off at 5:30am. I must have slept oddly because my neck now hurts. I still need to assist my legs out of bed. The bottoms of my feet feel like they have no padding whatsoever, so my first steps are painful. At least I am able to walk somewhat normally. Yesterday, when I first attempted to stand after sitting down to consume my post-race snacks, I was wishing for a wheelchair. It was damn near impossible to get up. At that time, I could not even fully extend my legs when I walked.

Somehow I manage to walk up a hill and climb a few sets of stairs to reach my rental car and then drive myself to Gazebo for breakfast. This is one of the rare times I am glad to be driving a car without a clutch.

While waiting in line for the restaurant to open, I am soon congratulated by an older guy who is wearing the same "Maui Marathon Finisher" T-shirt as I am. The fun thing about wearing a shirt only awarded to those who actually finish the race is instant recognition...for most, completing a marathon seems a significant enough achievement that times do not matter (although I find it strange how few people realize that marathons are 26.2 miles long). That said, this particular gentleman claims to have run 91 marathons (this being his first on Maui)! Two of the women he is with ran the half. None of them are hobbling around like me. In fact, this guy even ran three miles this morning! I feel humbled.

I need protein, so I order an Spanish omelet instead of my favorite banana-mac nut-pineapple pancakes (I'll be back tomorrow for those). The waiter congratulates me...mentioning that she saw us runners while driving between here and Kahului yesterday.

As I leave the restaurant, another lady approaches to congratulate me. She did not run this marathon, but has run several others. I find out she will be participating in next month's Long Beach next marathon (crossing fingers that I will be ready for it).

This is funny. Marathoners seem to form an instant bond. I also noticed this in conversations I overheard while sitting on the shuttle bus yesterday morning. This reminds me of when I took up snowboarding. The first days are painful. Everyone who tries the sport has had to endure the same and makes it easy for everyone to relate to one another. Marathoners must endure more. Perhaps that's why this acknowledgment and encouragement seems all the more genuine.

When I return to the hotel, a member of the staff asks me how the race went. Between running the Hana Relay with two guys who work here and meeting those who work with my wife, word has definitely gotten around. Yesterday, the waiter at one of the hotel's restaurants even presented me with a congratulatory platter of chocolate covered strawberries and truffles. Here I do not need to wear the shirt.

This definitely helps me get over the frustration I had with my knee.

As the morning continues, I focus on loosening up my legs. I alternate between spending time in the jacuzzi and swimming in the the time I am done, I am walking much more normally and can handle stairs with ease. I will probably head back down this afternoon, but first I must blog!

No comments: