Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vermont City Marathon: I negative sh#t

Well, the Vermont City Marathon turned out a bit more interesting than I had anticipated. The interesting started on Monday when Anders came down with a strange little bug that opened the flood gates on both ends of his body making for a busy mommy. Luckily, he seemed in very good spirits other than the projectile vomit and the Mississippi poops. Of course, I swooped into healer mode not only for Anders but for myself. I worked too hard to get sick so the home remedies were in full force. I tried to stay positive but let's look at the facts, my last 3 marathon sign-ups were complete fails – CIM we had to cancel our trip due to horrific weather then rescheduled for Florida marathon but Anders wound up with a horrible case of the full to then sign-up for the Bermuda marathon which ended with me pulling out at mile 13 due to being terribly (HORRIBLY) sick, so sick. So, here we are marathon attempt #4 since Cape Cod Marathon in October and I'm thinking...yep, bad luck strikes again.

By Thursday, Anders seemed to come around and I was feeling perfectly fine crossing my fingers that I get to that start line Sunday, healthy. Friday we started our journey north stopping in southern Vermont at Mike's parents house to not make the trip so awfully long. Traffic out of NYC on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend was a nightmare. Bad. Not fun. We resumed our northern travels on Saturday getting there a bit late though I was still feeling positive even with the weather forecast – 41degrees, Rain, Wind. Ok, weather isn't a big deal. Everyone is dealing with it. Maybe it doesn't make for your fastest time but there's nothing you can do except dress appropriately.

A little surprise came Saturday, my little lady friend landing perfectly for race day. Good times. Probably too much information for you folks but makes for a bit more interesting race day considering that you have to figure how you'll deal with Aunt flow and I never feel 100%. Yikes. Well, Sunday morning I felt good. Slept amazing. Anders slept amazing. I'm thinking...I got this today. Well, not so much. The marathon is a tricky bugger. The horn goes off, we start running, and I feel perfect. I am hitting my mile splits perfect. My legs feel great. I'm not breathing hard again I think...I got this today. I hit 13.1 in 1:23:35. Absolutely perfect and I feel amazing. Mile 14...I got this today. Mile 15...uh oh, I don't got this. My stomach started churning the bad type of churning.

I always get a bit of bad stomachs in marathons but nothing that ever affects my running or pace just a bit of a hurdle. My whole stomach digestive system is sensitive to say the least (that's a whole other blog) though I am so meticulous in order to avoid major upsets. I don't think this was anything I ate maybe just the day. Not sure. My stomach/digestive system is my Achilles heal. It is my nemesis in races. I obviously have more leeway in training so it doesn't really cause too many problems though the problem with races is that I am really crossing my fingers that this particular day won't run me into to many digestive issues. Truthfully, it hasn't never been too bad...nothing to this extent. I've managed pretty well considering all my races.

Anyways, porta potty stop #1. Deflating. Frustrating but I'm thinking...ok,, we're good only 1 minute lost, not a big deal. I start running at 6:25/mi pace again, eat a gel, drink some water. I'm pretty good for about ¾ of a mile then round two comes...this is not good. I start panicking. I need a porta potty, now! Well, the trees are big. Pride out the window. To the woods. Now, I'm pretty crushed. My stomach was in knots and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get to that finish line. I put my head down and move the legs and try to get a bit of water down. Come mile 20, I'm desperately seeking my porta friend. Round #3. Hmmm, this is a sh#tty situation. The funny thing is I wasn't that upset. I was actually enjoying my run out there despite being miss poopy pants. The realization was that I couldn't control my situation but I could control how it affected my day. It was my birthday, damn't! I was gonna do the best I could.

Quitting was never an option. I was still in fourth. Of course, that quickly disappeared as 2 girls passed me around mile 23. hold on. I wasn't going to let them out of my sight. I worked to hard for this race to let everything go out the window. It was painful at this point. I was spent and decided against gels or water since mile 18. Ugh but I knew if I let these girls go I would really be pissed. ½ mile to go...I pass 5th place. I see Mike and Anders. He reminds me that I can't get out kicked (again). I need to put every ounce of effort into passing 4th. I go for it with the finish line in site. It hurt, bad. I passed her and ran as hard as I could through the muddy finish. I crossed the line happy (2:53:45) even though the second half of the race was a disaster. I fought hard. It took every ounce of effort to get me across that finish in a respectable time and place. Disappointment came flooding in about 2 hours later when I realized how hard I trained and how badly I wanted to run a 2:48. It's over. Nothing I can do. Nothing I could have changed. It was maybe just the luck (or bad luck) of the day.

I'll still take my planned two weeks easy then back to training. I think the only thing I'll change is some more consistent, long (16-20 mile) tempo runs practicing and reassuring myself of day before nutrition and day off gel consumption. I need the confidence boost. At least it will help me mentally next time I'm at the start line of a marathon though I think my nutrition had nothing to do with it. I think it was a bad day. It happens. Shit happens. In Mike's words...I negative shit the race.