Monday, March 19, 2012

Same Sh*t, Different Day

I'm going to save myself some time here and ask you to read my 2010 Shamrock Race Report for a summary of what went on during yesterday's race. The link opens in a new window, so go ahead, click the link, and then come back.

Instead of Greg at the halfway point, substitute Coach George, who was waiting for me with a fresh bottle of G2. And substitute my desire for a BQ with a desire simply to run a strong race. There you have my 2012 Shamrock Marathon race report. Too sunny, not acclimated, felt tired at mile 9, wanted to stop at mile 11, pulled off course halfway.

And just like in 2010, those 13.1 miles took a lot out of my legs, even though my average pace was the equivalent of my "easy" long run pace (8:38). I'm left with no medal, no finisher's hat, just a pair of sore quads that will require at least three days of swimming before I will attempt to run again.

I'm through with analyzing why this happens to me over and over and over. Sleep, hydration, being relaxed, starting slowly, not obsessing over my goal time-- I've addressed all of these issues. My coach tells me I need to figure out what I am doing differently on race day, but I don't have any answers. It is what it is.

I want to quit running marathons, but both my coach and my husband tell me that I need to keep at it-- that one day it will all come together for me. One day, my 4-year streak of bonks and DNFs will come to an end. I don't know if I believe them, but I really enjoy training for marathons so I guess I'll keep doing it. I used to be a good marathoner. But that was over four years ago and maybe I just don't have it in me anymore.

I don't have much else to say about this. Same sh*t, different day.


  1. Well...your options are to figure it out, or to give up. Is the second option really that appealing? (Maybe it is)

    And, sometimes the answers to these issues are within us; it's just that we're blind to them and need to work hard and honestly to figure them out.

    What I can tell you is that I think you and I face many of the same obstacles, and though I've had some hard times, it's made the eventual good times very sweet (not that I'm not still very much a work in progress, with major hiccups (like last week)).

    Again, you can persist, or not. And there's really no one right answer -- it's all in what's right for you.

  2. awwww you break my heart because I know how you're feeling. I'll say what you want to say: IT'S NOT FAIR.
    But don't quit, you know that. Keep doing it, every damn day. I said "never again" after my first 3 marathons, and even now creeping up on my 4th I'm feeling that way.
    I don't want to bombard you with cliche' crap that you don't want to hear right now, but I think you owe Google a visit right now to find a different marathon to do in a month. You're already trained up, the stars will align for you!

  3. I agree with the above comment. Find a different race. Fly there if you must. Make it some place that is fairly cool.

    If anything, find a fast half and go get a PR in that.


  4. I'm sorry Elizabeth :( It's honestly NOT your physical ability....have you ever thought about looking into sports phsychologist? Maybe it's a true race mental block you have to work through...I've known a couple iornman in Cali that had to actually do they have successful races... def never give up

  5. Just offering my 2 cents FWIW - While I don't think giving up is ever the right option, I do think you might benefit from focusing on some shorter distance races for a while to build back your confidence. No use in beating a dead horse if you are afraid of experiencing another type of letdown. Use your hard earned fitness and go out and race. GW Parkway is still open. There are tons of other distance options around this time of year as well, so when you feel ready to jump back in, go do it.

    I tend to agree that it is not a physical limitation. You do all the hard work and you race well at shorter distances. I highly doubt after all this time racing that there is much difference between how you prepare on race day (or the days before) for a marathon versus other distances. You just need to transfer that confidence you have into the marathon.

    I don't think it would hurt to look into a sports psychologist just to have someone specifically familiar with these kinds of things looking from the outside in.

    Best of luck in figuring this out

  6. :(

    I know it's going to work out and you are going to run a great race.

  7. I'm really sorry to hear that you had a tough day on Saturday.

    I think you could definitely do another marathon in a few weeks, but if you're really not feeling it, I wouldn't push it. The marathon will always be there and taking a bit of break from the distance certainly isn't quitting it forever.

  8. I'm sorry you had such a rough day! I can't imagine how frustrating it is.

    I have no real advice, but doing the same thing and expecting a different result is....

    Maybe try something completely different: a new race type (trail, adventure, etc), race location, or distance and see if something clicks. I totally believe you can get past this and rock some races on the training you already have.

  9. Aw man, I'm sorry things didn't work out for you, yet again. Maybe your coach isn't right though, maybe it would be good for you to take a break from marathons for a bit to just really appreciate running. You've been destroying shorter distances pretty consistently!!

    Do what you can to take care of yourself & your quads, the last thing you need on top of feeling bad about your race is to overdo it and end up physically unable to run too.

  10. I really feel your pain in your post but deep down, you have been running enough miles that you know what was best for you on that day. Don't dwell on negative experiences. The marathon relies on all things coming together perfectly during race day and in such a long race, that is A LOT of things. I also race terribly during warm temps and seem to be affected more than others around me. The strange thing is I love heat (but not to race in)! Take a step back, re-group and persevere.