You wake up and you don’t notice, which way the wind is blowing. Don’t fade on me.
So I am taking the rest of this week to ‘grieve’ my race in Chicago and then I need to get over it. I am not giving up and I know I can qualify. It just, for some reason, was not meant to be in Chicago. My splits were rotten, but I am going to try to look back and assess how I felt during the race.
Pre-race I was feeling great. I was relaxed, I knew I could do this. I was a little nervous about the weather, but I thought that training in Phoenix heat would have prepared me sufficiently.
I arrived to the elite development tent on Sunday morning. I was a little disappointed in the fact that none of the girls were talking to each other, it seemed very ‘cliquey’, but I can’t really criticize as I did not put myself out there either. Maybe they were all just as shy and nervous as I was. 🙂
My stomach felt great, no pre-race stomach anxiety. I arrived to the corral at about 7:15 and the gun went off promptly at 7:30. I didn’t warm up too much as the temperature outside was warming up quick.
I was feeling good starting out. I was being conservative clocking the first 3 miles at a 6:20 pace. At around mile 8, I realized I was not settling in and it just felt hard. I started to reach into my mental bag of tricks and was able to keep the negative feelings at bay for awhile. I was just waiting for my friend Jeff to catch up to me so we could run together. I knew that it would really help me to have him there. I went through the half at 1:22 something. Perfect! My spirits lifted for a bit knowing that I was on pace and was managing.
Right after I crossed the half, I was so happy when I heard a familiar voice say ‘relax your shoulders’. Jeff!! If you have ever run a marathon before, you know how wonderful it is to see ANYONE you know on the course. I was breathing pretty hard by then. Out of nowhere, my stomach started acting up. I ran to the restroom and timed myself, I only lost about a minute. I was heading for a 2:44, so I figured I could still eek out a 2:46. But…I lost Jeff. So that royally sucked.
I haven’t been able to even look at my splits yet from my Garmin, (can’t face the music yet) but I believe miles 15-20 were pretty bad. I think around 6:25’s. I was losing it mentally. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I stopped twice for a breather. I am pretty dramatic, I know, but it brings me to tears thinking about it. I am stronger than that. I am stronger than having to stop in the middle of a race.
So mile 21 finally comes and I figured that if I could just keep going and try to hit 6:16’s, I *might* be able to eek out a 2:46 or at least a sub-2:50.
I started to feel a bit better and was trudging on. Mile 22 I hit a metal ring on the road. It stuck to my shoe and when I stepped on it with the other foot, I hit the ground HARD. My head,ear, cheek, shoulder, and knees got pretty roughed up. When I opened my eyes, I was laying in the street and I just knew any chance of salvaging the race was gone. I laid there trying to get up for what I think was 3 minutes. I stood up and the police were ready to call an ambulance but after a good shake out, I decided I was going to finish. With blood running down my face, arm, and knees, I just ran.
I crossed the finish line in 2:51:33. I was crushed. I don’t know what happened to me out there. Not even under 2:50. As I noted in the previous post, I spent some time in the med-tent after the race. I was a mess.
I have been pretty down about it since. I have been trying to shake it off, but I still feel embarrassed and I feel like a dissappointment. I was supposed to be done with my bad races. I am trying to look at what went wrong, the main thing I feel I need to work on is my mental racing ‘toughness’. Physically, I was in the best shape of my life and I was ready to do this. I knew I could go under 2:44, and that 2:44 was a safe time for me so that I could just get qualifying done with.It is hard to not even come close to that.
It also stinks that I need to change my winter racing plans as those plans were contingent on me qualifying in Chicago.
As Debbie-downer as this post is, I have to tell you that I am so lucky to have family and friends that not only understand what I am going through, but have been great at lifting my spirits this week. Thank you so much. I also have to tell ya that I am very ready and determined to get back in the saddle. The funny thing is, my cuts from the fall hurt way more than my legs ever did after the race. So, I am hoping my muscles are recovering well.
For now, until further race plans are made, I am taking the rest of the week to be sad and think about the race. I am also taking the week to eat and drink all of the things I don’t let myself have during training- real gluten bread, cheese, root beer floats, and maybe a glass or 2 of wine.
In other news, before the race my car broke down. (hmmm..this turned out to be quite a bad week leading up to the race) And some other not-so-happy news came our way on Sunday evening. RIPGL. 🙁
I did end up getting my first brand new car since my 1997 Rav4 yesterday. A cute cube.
So, thanks for reading my rambling. I appreciate your support and insight. Just have to keep truckin’.