Today was a rough day.
Here is my Facebook status from shortly after the Denver Rock n Roll Marathon -
"Lesson learned. No more back to back
marathons. Today was the hardest race I have ever run. From mile 2 I
knew it was not my day. At mile 12 I almost quit. At almost every other
mile I wanted to quit but I was determined to NOT get another DNF. As
much as I am unhappy with my time of 3:55 I am proud I finished. Time
to recover and rest. 3:17 pr will hang out a little longer."
I slept well. I ate well. I was well-hydrated. I was excited to race. I thought I was ready to run fast.
And I just wasn't.
It was a battle from the beginning. And let me tell you - when you are working way too hard at mile 3 of a 26.2 mile race and barely hitting your goal pace (which should be easy to do), it is a long road ahead of you.
Nothing hurt like an injury, but everything hurt. My legs felt like tree trunks. I had no energy and no giddy-up. I tried to think positively and tell myself that maybe I would warm up, find another gear, feel better, etc. but it just did not happen.
By the 10 mile point I wondered how on earth I would go another 16+ miles. I considered just finishing the half marathon (the half marathoners started with us), and with that thought, I honestly wondered if I could make it another 3.1 miles.
But at 11.5 miles, when I had to choose the path to the left (marathoners) or to the right (half marathoners) I went left, and I vowed that I would finish no matter what. There may not be a PR or even an impressive time, but there would NOT be another DNF.
It was the hardest race I have ever run. The course was beautiful. The weather was great. There was no reason for it to be so hard, except my body just did not want to go.
My mom was AMAZING. She was all over and managed to be on the course to support me and cheer at the finish. Seeing her was a huge boost and helped me keep fighting, even though it felt horrible and a little embarrassing to have her there for me and to be doing so poorly.
I finished in 3:55:54. It is a time that I am not proud of, and that I am proud of all at the same time. It would have been easy to quit. It is very easy to think, "I am not having a good race. I am not going to finish with a good time. Why bother finishing? Why keep suffering?" It's easy to look at all the faster girls and wonder if you will ever be as good of a runner as they are, and then to get discouraged.
Lessons were learned, a new level of determination was found, AND, despite everything else feeling awful, my stomach was better than ever.
I am bummed and disappointed, but NOT discouraged or defeated. I will learn from this and move forward. I will be proud that I chose to finish instead of quit. I am more determined than ever. I will be a better, smarter, faster, and stronger runner from this experience. I do so love this sport.
Looking forward - moving forward.
Tallahassee Marathon is on February 2. Fast and flat course, sea level, smaller field, and home to my best friend in the whole world. :) Josh and I are running NY in November but it will not be a race for me, it will just be a fun (long) training run.
For now, rest and recovery (both mentally and physically).
Time for food. And sleep. Thanks for all the love and support.