Race morning was not typical. My body was doing some funky stuff. It was similar to when I had morning sickness. A quick stop by the store to grab a prego test quickly revealed that my body was just off, but not with child. Troy and I have taken the proper precautions not to have any more children so a pregnancy would mean we would need to buy a lotto ticket. At the race site I started to feel a little better. It was nice to talk to my friends. On my warm-up I felt bloated, like 4 months pregnant. My tummy was like a hard ball. After many "good lucks" from lots of friends I lined up to get ready to go. The minute we started running fast I knew something was strange. My tummy was a mess and it hurt. My legs were ready for a hard day of running though, so they ran. It was extremely hard to gauge my pace because my focus was on my belly. I came through:

Mile 1 = 6:47.

My plan was to go out at 7:15. What do you do when you have wrecked your plan from the get go? I decided to try to calm it down for the next mile.

Mile 2 = 6:53.

I continued to try to cool off.

Mile 3 = 6:58.

I felt calmer but my intestinal pain was constant. I tried all sorts of things to get my mind off it. I got super competitive and went with anyone who came by me. That lead to:

Mile 4 = 6:55. Mile 5 = 6:42.

I had a really rough mile 6 with a fair amount of pain.

Mile 6 = 7:04.

I came back from that and tried to pull things back together. I told myself that my legs were fine and to just run with them.

Mile 7 = 6:52. Mile 8 = 6:55.

Then it hit. Extreme pain. Sharp, nasty. There was no way to get around it. My mind started telling me I should stop, at least at a port-o-pottie, and see if I could get it together. I knew if I stopped that was it, my race was over. I though about the fact that I was placed in the top 15 or so and I thought about all the people running that would give anything, including some stomach pain to be in the top of the pack. I kept running.

Mile 9 = 7:06.

I ran by Troy and actually told him I was hurting. I've never talked to him during a race. After the race he revealed to me that I looked like I was hurting for the entire race. He knows me well. Mile 10 was a constant wager with myself to keep running, and try not to think about the pain, it was getting much worse.

Mile 10 = 7:15.

I checked my watch and thought to myself...I finally hit the pace I am supposed to start at. I am totally running this race backwards. And then, when I thought things couldn't get worse they did. Girls started passing me left and right and I started to break down.

Mile 11 = 7:29. Mile 12 = 7:24.

Ouch. The last mile has the only hill in the race, and I am ashamed to say I CREPT up that hill. There was no Sonja spunk left in me, the positive thoughts had long been dissolved by pain. My legs felt quite fine but every time I tried to pick it up, the tummy would just scream.

Mile 13 = 7:45 Last 0.1 = 42 sec.

I didn't even have a finish sprint. A lady passed me and I let her go. I watched the clock and could tell I was still going to PR. I didn't even care. After the finish I held it together for about 5 minutes, barely. Then I started to lose it. I visited the port-a-pottie...that one will never be the same. I was in a big mess and the cramping was getting worse. After watching a good friend come in Troy made the decision to leave. I still had two friends out there and I really pushed him on this decision. I was able to see the last two friends as I headed to the car. Three times on the way to the car I was brought to my knees with pain.

On the way home was when we first talked about taking me to the ER. I was crying in pain, and it takes a lot for me to shed tears due to pain. We went home and got me into the bathtub. I felt a little better and then a lot worse. Troy called the nurses line through our insurance. After asking Troy some questions she told us to go to the ER. We headed out.

The next 5 hours entailed a CT scan, a pelvic exam, 2 bags of IV fluids, and a ton of blood and urine tests run. Nothing came up abnormal. The #1 worry was appendicitis, that was ruled out by the CT. By the time I was discharged the intestinal pain had subsided signifigantly. Troy bailed me out and I laid on the couch the rest of the day, totally hailed.

Even today as I write I can tell I am going to need a day to recover. My abs and ribs are super super sore from the clenching that they went through. My legs feel great. I really found out this weekend that my pain tolerance it pretty high. I think most people would have DNFed, but I really used every ounce of energy to push on. This has given me a new idea of how much pain I can withstand, and I think I will be stronger in future races because of it.

So...my new VERY painful 1/2 Marathon PR is: 1:32:54. 16th woman overall, 4th in F25-29.

Mental Monday should still happen this evening...any wagers on the topic?

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