It’s official: we’re divas! My sisters (Mag, Kristiann, Jennine) and I, and my niece (Madeline) converged in Myrtle Beach for the one and only Diva Half Marathon last Sunday. Even at 5AM before sunrise, no one can argue we know how to be divas!
Part of our pre-race swag included hot pink tutus. Tutus are fun and apparently divas wear them. I, however, could not fathom wearing the subtle little number while running, as it was not equipped with pockets and would clearly obstruct my access to the thousands of tissues crammed into my fuel belt. My sisters were similarly not keen on sporting the “universally flattering” tutus throughout the race, so we opted to tote them along for a diva photo op before the race.
Then we headed off to the start, along with 5 thousand other divas.
And we parted ways. Jennine and Madeline had a 10-minute head start by tackling the 5k, their first ever race of any length. They finished as Kristiann and I were heading into our 2nd mile, gloating via text with their race medals and snapping pictures with one of the few crazy male divas in the race.
Well, the joke was on them, though, because after finishing they had to stand around and wait for Kristiann and me to finish the half marathon, and anyone can guess how that went! Mag was with us for the first 30 seconds and I pride myself in being able to keep up with her for that long.
The real drama was with Kristiann and me. And the porta-potties. I, of course, had to poop. If you’ve followed my blog, know that no one was more alarmed at the change in venue than myself. The lines to the porta-potties at the starting line were so impossibly long that I was forced to forgo my tried and true final pit stop before starting the race. (Incidentally, so was Mag, which I think explains her pose in the above picture). Ironically, when I started running the spigot was dry; the river did not flow through it; the drip did not drop; the climate remained sunny south of the border, at least on the beachfront. While I was delighted with this revelation, I was immediately stricken with the unfortunate sense of a thunderstorm brewing inland. It is in this way that running sucks the most. When something goes right, it will find a way to turn your body around and screw you. ANYWAY, after persevering a couple of miles and sadly bypassing a couple of lone porta-potties with huge lines along the route, I finally had to pull over. Because my sister was by my side, ready to fulfill her duty to record all of my humiliating life experiences, I have the world’s least flattering photo to insert.
Moving on. Kristiann is the one true diva out of the lot of us. Somewhere into the 6th mile, Kristiann, who is diabetic, started to have problems regulating her blood sugar. She is on an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. She ate some fuel to try to bring her blood sugar back up, but her sugars were reluctant to respond. Then she became nauseated because of the fuel. And if that weren’t enough, her legs started cramping–visibly. At one point it looked like she was trying to grow a 2nd calf muscle on top of her regular one. I found myself to be exceptionally helpful with motivational sayings such as, “Wow, that’s a really big cramp,” and “ooooh, that must hurt. A lot.” I sympathetically offered to massage it out, only to horrifically rediscover 2 seconds later that people get really, REALLY, sweaty after running 10 miles in South Carolina with 99.9% humidity. So no, I could not continue, no matter how many calf muscles my poor sister intended to grow.
Leg cramps can happen to diabetics when their blood sugars oscillate wildly. Under these circumstances, it is amazing that she was able to finish at all. We were forced to walk much of the second half of the race but Kristiann remained light-hearted (maybe that was low blood sugar confusion), and in good spirits throughout the race. Not once did she whine about how running sucks, how diabetes sucks, or how she wanted to flop around on the ground and take a nap. I don’t believe the thought of dropping out ever even crossed her mind. She never asked me to carry her, and I can assure you I would have readily done all of these things in her place. The fact that she was able to persevere and finish the race under the most extreme, adverse circumstances makes her the biggest Diva of us all. We made it to the finish line together ahead of some, and Kristiann was last in our group. Sometimes the last finish is the strongest.