I've gotten a lot of feedback on my Shamrock experience and since my recap was rather grim, I feel the need to address some of the comments.
I'm not feeling much better about the situation, but I am going to continue running and training and doing what I love to do. I'm upset about this and I am going to allow myself to be upset until time makes it all better.
Most of the comments fell into three buckets:
Figure out what you do differently on marathon day so that you can address the issue and run great marathons.
My coach is in this camp. My response is that I'm fresh out of ideas. I don't do anything different on race day. Really the only difference is that I hydrate more, but I get plenty of electrolytes too, so I don't think I am over hydrating. I have the same shoes, the same nutrition, the same fitness level, the same sleep. I can't pinpoint anything, which is why I think there could be a subconscious mental aspect.
You had a bad day-- don't over analyze it. Just get back out there.
I could have said this in 2010. But it's happened so many times that there has to be something going on.
Focus on shorter distances (aka don't run marathons).
Shorter distances are great and I focus on them quite a bit. But I will continue to believe in myself and my ability to run a great marathon. I have done it many times before and I will be able to do it again.
I don't have any real solutions. I think the next time I run a marathon I'm not going to try and relax, I'm not going to try and "work" on my attitude. I am just going to be me. I am going to let myself feel whatever I feel-- anxiety, excitement, fear, longing. I'm just going to go with it.
And I'm going to wear headphones next time. All of my good marathons were with headphones. All of my bad marathons were without them. Somewhere along the way I told myself that it wasn't good to wear headphones during a marathon. Maybe I just need that music to get outside of my head and pull me along. I don't train with headphones because I am usually running with others. But when I run alone, I have headphones and I like it.
Time to get some sleep.