It’s so painful when something is so close

but still so far out of reach.

I will post a full race report later, but I also wanted to use this blog as an outlet for what I am feeling right now. It is the morning after and words can’t express the disappointment I feel in myself. I know 2:51:33 is a good time to a lot of people, but I was ready for so much more. Matt and my friends have been so great to try to console me, but I didn’t meet my goal, bottom line, no matter how ‘good’ my time is.

I am SO SICK of having excuses for my races. That is 2 crappy marathons in a row. My bad race was supposed to be over at last year’s Boston. Going in to Chicago I was well rested- I even got here earlier and took more time off work than usual to have an extra 2 days of rest. I felt healthy and relaxed. Maybe I was too relaxed about it? Maybe I thought I had this in the bag so I didn’t have my usual nervous energy?

I had a bathroom issue at mile 12 when I was SO careful leading up to the race. I had to stop at the restroom.I think I just drank too much Gatorade trying to stay hydrated on the course. I fell at mile 22, some metal ring got stuck on my shoe and I completely ate it. Bad. I was laying in the road crying. I thought I maybe could have eeked out a 2:46 until that happened. I saw my OTQ flying away from me. So pathetic. I should have just thrown in the towel there. After I finished, I had to be taken to a med-tent as I couldn’t feel my mouth and my back was tingly. The nurse said I was probably in shock from my fall.

The thing that bothers me most is that I broke down mentally. I couldn’t get the negative thoughts to go away after mile 14.  After the fall, ‘you suck’ was just creeping into my head non-stop. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on this, but I really feel like I had less strength in myself because I have not been strong in my faith. Something is missing in my life and I need to get that back.

Maybe I am being over-dramatic, but it hurts and I am embarrassed. I know I will get over it and be stronger for it, but right now it just sucks.


  1. Hey Girl, I was thinking about you all day yesterday and when I saw the forecast on saturday. It was WAY too hot out there. I cannot believe that you had a fall and a bathroom break on top of that – there is not one single person that I’ve talked to that hit the time they wanted yesterday despite the flat course. I read on Saturday that for every 10 degrees above 50 degrees it will add about 10 minutes to your marathon time. At one point I ran by a bank that said 88 degrees!?!?!If you ask me, it was just too hot – no matter how hot our training season was this year. I’m sorry you had to deal with other issues on top of the heat. And I hope you are feeling okay today. That is very frustrating that you’ve had bad luck two races in a row when you were so prepared. I was feeling the same way during my race about my faith not being as strong lately. Marathon training and the time and energy involved definitely takes away from it but I need to be better about remembering who is responsible for my success – not ME! I hope you can find the time while you are resting up to get back to the place you want to be… And don’t forget, third times a charm!!! Keep believing in yourself, you are an amazing runner. And I agree with everyone else – even if your time isn’t what you hoped for, it is still unbelievably fast and I would LOVE to be within even 20 minutes of it!!

  2. Ariana,

    I was “checking” on you yesterday via the internet. I knew you would be disappointed and I also knew “something happened”. Everyone who knows you or follows your training (here or on DM) knows you’re capable of 2:46. Your training and prior races prove it. You’ll get it. This was a learning experience. (Of course, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.) There are literally hundreds of people who believe in you. Please believe in yourself. The next time you toe the line, you’ll be back stronger, faster and more experienced than ever. You’ll get it.

    Also, thank you for posting your feelings at this crucial time. As is usually the case with your entries, it’s inspiring to your less gifted followers who have encountered running disappointments of their own.

    Recover well and regroup for your next assault on OTQ. Your fans are with you all the way!


  3. Hi Ariana. I was checking for you yesterday too and got worried when I didn’t see your usual exciting posts. I am so sorry for your pain and anguish…your OTQ is still out there and you will get it! You are a wonderfully talented and gifted runner…and on top of that a great person and inspiring friend. We are all pulling for you!

  4. Ariana, I know it was a tough day and I was concerned when eagerly awaiting your update to not have seen one. There was no way you could have foreseen either the weather or the fall, and it sounds like if either one of those had not happened the 2:46 was well within reach. I have no doubt that you’ll be able to pick up and get back at it and, in the very near future, reach your goal. You are an inspiration to so many to have come so far so fast with your running, and the major-league PR you set despite all these hurdles is something that, on further reflection, I’m sure you will look at with pride. Take care, and I hope the fall has generated only minor injuries that heal quickly.

  5. Ariana!

    Gosh I can’t believe you were able to get up and keep running after your fall, and still get 2:51. You rock girl! Besides you know that, that proves that you already have your OTQ down in your own mind if the clock accounted for the fall, and that’s WiTH a bathroom break. Faith is a beautiful thing, but I don’t think you’re lacking in that at all. You couldn’t have gotten this far without it. If anything, this just means that you have to run another marathon to qualify.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Ariana,
    I feel bad about your race but you know me and I’ll tell you how I feel despite how blunt it might seem to you. It is in a crude way it’s my way of helping you. With all the stomach issues you have had in racing and training what were you thinking gulping down the gatorade? You don’ need it to run fast. Make sure you eat right the days before the marathon and stay well hydrated as well and you will be good to go. Gatorade is CRAP. If you want to experiment with a carb drink leading up to a marathon try something like a watered down Ultrafuel. The weather conditions didn’t help as well but you were ready to run a qualifying time. The marathon is a very tricky race to get right. You will get it right next time out.

  7. Proud of you…..! You ran hard I know in ugly conditions. And getting up after a fall – yeah man!

    We don’t always get exactly what we want… not a dang thing wrong with that – it’s just life….. ‘Mental training’ only comes one way, and that’s by doing. Success comes comes in disguise sometimes, just takes a bit of time to peel off the mask…..

  8. Any thoughts of perhaps being overtrained? I’ve followed your workouts over the past month, and they are OFF DA HOOK!… Which is great, as long as you don’t overdo it… All I know is that when I ran my 2.49 a couple years back, my workout schedule was pretty laid back compared to yours.

    Some of my best races have been the ones that I focused on the least… a 36 minute 10K on a day when I woulda been happy with a 39… a 1.17 half on a day when I thought maybe, just maybe I could crack 1.20 if I was lucky… Stuff like that.

    But the marathon is tough to be mellow about… They take so much time, and then when they are done it’s not like you can jump into another one right away… So I know it’s not easy.

  9. Ariana,
    You might want to contact Greg Mcmillian up in Flagstaff. He coaches a bunch of elite women and might have some insight into your marathon training. His girls won the team tile this past Monday at the Tufts 10k for women here in Boston. His top three women ran 33:14,33:49 and 33:54. The next two non scoring women ran 35:36 and 35:58. He is a well respected coach. John acually went to visit him awhile back to pick his brains. In a perfect world you could stop teaching for a bit and train with his women up in Flagstaff. Maybe something to think about next summer leading up to the trials. Good luck

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