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Big worry was that the heat and humidity you just try to to put it it aside and just concentrate on your race. My head and everything was still functioning knew what i had to go and through dehydration your body cramps up. I kinda told myself try to keep running try to stay upright my muscles just didnt respond.
I knew if i would stop or sit down that would be the end of it i just was determined to make it through that finish line. It was quite special because they had a little ceremony beforehand. They had all the flags and they said they announced.
Its the first womens marathon and so i think that besides running in the olympics. Also being part of the first marathon was special and you wanted to show that it was the right decision for the olympic committee to let women run the distance. Because there is no scientific evidence that they cant run.
It and so many women ran marathons in just road races around the country just not in the olympics and as the development shows in the united states a lot of the marathons or the shorter races on the roads the percentage of women now this sometimes bigger than the percentage of men so it just shows you it was a good thing that they decided to do that because definitely. I think that helped women get involved into long distance running the race for the women. It was the first event of the track and field.
I remember warming up still have my sweats on just trying to drink a lot of water. And then the first half went pretty much according to my plan. I had an idea what i wanted to run at each 5 kilometer mark and i looked at the women around me and some of them i knew from previous races.
I knew i couldnt run with the leaders. I just wasnt that good.
But not everybody can win. And there were a lot of us you know that were just in 10th 15th place. And we ran as a group after 15 miles or so the field started to thin out you are running a lot just by yourself.
And then i think maybe at twenty miles. I started to really feel the heat you know i thought its 6. More miles youve madetil here you are not lost it looks good.
I missed the last water station. I dont know if he was consciously or sometimes youre so focused or you start to focus on your body anyway. I just missed it and that definitely had an impact for the last few miles and i distinctly remember like the last mile.
I had to slow down and coming into the tunnel. I really remember that because i thought its a little cooler in there and i knew from here on its not that far to go one of the big problems. I had was i wish i could have had water more often especially since i missed that last station.
The ruling at that time was that you could only get the water at these four or five stations that they set up i just got dehydrated and thats why when i got into the stadium. The heat. But more intense in there and at that point through dehydration your body cramps up that was my main problem.
My head and everything was still functioning. I knew where i had to go i kinda told myself try to keep running try to stay upright.
And my muscles just didnt respond it just deteriorated over the last 400 metres at that point it was just im in the olympics. I wanna finish this race because this is my one and only chance because i was already 39 and i knew in another four years there would be a very slim chance to qualify again. If it would have been another race just another marathon.
I would have probably stopped. I think just from the heat in that stadium. I just started to fall apart.
But i clearly remember the cheering the noise. It was just incredible it was so loud. I didnt expect something like that that probably kept me going too.
There was a doctor he was following me closely and watching me later on he said because there was a lot of criticism from the press. They said they should have stopped me. He said you hes familiar with these these things he said he was watching me closely.
He said. That as long as i still knew where i was going and showed sign of sweating that it was okay. I read now or sometime.
See tapes. Its not the first time and its its not uncommon in a hot long race that people have troubles.
I know of a couple of other marathon runners who had the same problem. But it happened earlier in the race and then they just to you know quit and got a ride or whatever with me just making it that far. I think its different.
I think every other person would have tried to finish. I was very relieved and i was happy i got to the finish line and then at that point. I didnt care if i would be not feeling good for a week.
The main thing was i made it and i didnt think i had anything damaged. It was painful during that last lap and the first hour in the medical tent. I was in a lot of pain.
But then after two hours. I was fine you know what really surprised me in a very a nice way is all the compassion and the reaction of just average people that were watching the games. And then also of the athletes.
I was kind of embarrassed that i didnt do well and i thought i didnt deserve all this attention. I really kinda felt guilty and other athletes they made me feel good because they were so supportive and i think that was one of the big memories. I have from the games at the time after the olympics.
I would have traded anything for a 10 to 15 place at not having that what i thought was a spectacle. But now looking back with time. I can see that people kind of identify with you because they see the struggle and they see that if you really set your mind to it you can overcome a lot of obstacles.
It teaches you a lesson too that besides overcoming obstacles you have to get over some bad experiences and not dwell on it and just look forward and hopefully learn something from it .
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