Saturday, November 21, 2020

Quick Li'l 5K

13 days post marathon and I jumped into a 5K this morning. This is pretty much unheard of for me. It usually takes me about two weeks to feel "normal" again, and the soonest I have ever raced post-marathon is 3 weeks later. 

Marathon Recovery
I wasn't very sore from the marathon. It felt like I had done a hard long run, but definitely not a marathon. The race was on a Sunday and by Wednesday, I felt no lingering soreness while walking around the house. Things continued to feel good on Thursday so I decided to test out a run on Friday. I felt abnormally good. Usually my first post-marathon run is full of little "reminder aches" that I ran a marathon. No such feeling

Birthday photo, 11/11/2020

on Friday. And the next day, Saturday, I ran for 40 minutes at a pace of 8:36, which is on the speedier side of easy!

While my legs had made a miraculous recovery in record time, my digestive system was another story. As soon as I started running on Friday, I felt the same chest tightness I had felt during the marathon. And there was the urge to burp. My primary care doctor had referred me to a GI specialist, but that appointment wouldn't be for two more weeks. After the run, my stomach made weird noises and I burped very frequently for the rest of the day. 

I continued to ramp back up: 40 minutes Saturday, 50 minutes Sunday, 60 minutes on Monday-- all with very fresh-feeling legs. With each run, the chest pressure lessened, which was encouraging. However the burping continued during running and all day every day. My best theory is that I do have an ulcer. The marathon aggravated it. It bled a little, and turned my vomit black. And now the continued irritation is causing the burping. I was a little concerned about racing a 5K while this GI issue was going on, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

Race Cancellation Navigation
Every year starting in 2006, I have run a Turkey Trot. It's one of my favorite running traditions if not my most favorite tradition. This year, all the local trots went virtual. Here in Northern VA, we typically have about 6-7 to choose from. But none of them would be held. I did some research and found one in Fredericksburg about three weeks ago. That would be a one-hour drive on Thanksgiving morning, but it was worth it to keep up with tradition. 

However, the governor of VA announced new restrictions on Friday the 13th which resulted in the Fredericksburg race being canceled the next day. What to do? I realized I would have to either run a virtual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (not desirable) or run a race the following weekend. So I did more research and found a 5K on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. But before registering, I emailed the race director and asked him if it was at risk for cancelation. He said he needed to check with the venue (The W&OD trail), so I did not register without having a final confirmation. 

Lo and behold! That race ended up going virtual due to the new restrictions put in place by our governor. I didn't have any more options unless I wanted to drive over 3 hours or run a trail race (not my thing). However, there was a small 5K happening in Washington DC today, Saturday the 21st. I had known about this race for a while, but I didn't even consider it due to the proximity to my marathon, and the fact that Greg was planning on running a semi-virtual marathon today (Richmond). 

On Thursday, Greg decided against the marathon for various reasons, and my legs were feeling 100%, so I registered for this Cranberry Crawl 5K. There used to be so many races to choose from that the challenge was picking the best option. Now, there are so few races that it's a struggle just to find anything!

Before the Race
Instead of eating a full English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast, I had half an English muffin with a very small amount of peanut butter. I did not want to upset my stomach. This probably amounted to
around 100 calories, which isn't very much, but I also planned on taking a Maurten gel 30 minutes prior to the race.

I considered wearing my adidas Adios Pro-- the same shoes I wore during the marathon. I found them to be really fast and springy and I think they would have helped in a 5K. But I ended up not wearing them and going with the adidas Adios (regular edition, not the Pro), which is a standard racing flat with no carbon plate. Why? I really wanted to see what I could do un-aided by a shoe. I think that if I had PR'ed while wearing them, I would have wondered if I would have PR'ed without them. I don't have these same thoughts regarding the marathon distance, because a marathon is more about endurance than speed. I may be totally illogical here, but that's my thinking. Plus, once I believe I have reached my peak 5K fitness and can no longer PR. . . then out come the faster shoes!

Pre-race with a mask

It was a smooth ride into DC. We hadn't been into the city since May, before the political unrest. It was nice to see it again and things were calm at 7:00 in the morning. We parked easily and got my bib. I warmed up for about 15 minutes, which included some strides. This was a low key race with no chip timing. It was a 5K and a 10K, and I think the total number of runners for both races was around 50. The 5K started at 7:50 and the 10K started at 8:00.

It was 49 degrees, partly cloudy, and no wind. Pretty much ideal, so I give it a 10/10 on the weather scale. Usually it needs to be colder for me to give it a perfect 10, but since it was only a 5K and there was literally no wind and it wasn't very sunny, it gets a 10. The course was flat, so it would be a perfect day to set a PR. And that's what I really wanted. 

Could I run a PR just 13 days after a marathon with a potential ulcer, or some other un-diagnosed digestive issue? Normally I would have thought not, but since my legs had felt so peppy over the past few days and since the weather was perfect, I figured it was an excellent opportunity. 19:58 was the time to beat and my strategy was to do it by being 100% positive 100% of the time and always, always keeping that effort level up. I think that a 5K is really all about the effort you put in and how much pain you can tolerate. And even if the fitness wasn't there, I would be mentally stronger than ever.

Mile 1
Mile 1: 6:29
I didn't bolt out as fast as I normally do in a 5K. I had a decent warm up, but I still thought it best to ease into my pace. According to my Garmin pace chart, I ran the first half of this mile slower than the second half, which is consistent with my effort. Once I got going, I made sure to crank up the effort. I kept repeating the same mantras over and over again: Let your fitness shine. Use your fitness. Relax and push forward. Challenge yourself. You are strong. Keep that effort up.

Mile 2: 6:35
I knew that with a first mile of 6:29, I could definitely PR. That pepped me up. I continued to push just as hard, but my watch pace was slipping slightly. I was not discouraged by this. I continued on with my mantras. There were two women ahead of me. One of them was so far ahead I couldn't even see her. The other one was about 20 seconds in front of me. I figured I probably wouldn't catch her, but it might be possible if I surged at the end and she was fading. I slowed down slightly during this mile, but I refused to let that impact my mindset.

Mile 3: 6:30
The race was so hard at the point. I kept telling myself to focus on my form, to keep the effort up, that I could do anything for 7 minutes. I felt strong and I do believe I was giving it my all, but unfortunately I couldn't get that pace back into the 6:20s. The good news is that I felt good, I was pushing hard, and it felt exactly as it was supposed to feel. I think that not having done any 5K-specific work in about a month just meant my top speed wasn't in place.

Last 0.13: 5:49 pace
I had a really strong final kick, which of course always makes me wonder if I could have run faster! I looked at the clock as I ran through the finish line and it read 20:20. This also matched my Garmin time.

Finish line.
I guess if you can't go sub-20:00, might as well run a poetic 20:20 in 2020. I was the 3rd overall female, which isn't that impressive for a race that had less than 40 people total. But with so few races being held, live, the competitive runners show up!

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways:
For a race that I decided to do somewhat spontaneously, I think this went well. Of course I would have loved to get that PR and be eating the cake tonight. The course and the weather presented an ideal opportunity. But I am not in my best 5K shape ever coming off of a marathon taper and recovery. The fact that I could run within 22 seconds of my PR less than two weeks post marathon isn't too shabby. So I'm pleased. Most importantly, I really wanted to be mentally strong today and I was. I constantly repeated my mantras over and over and I didn't get discouraged or let the effort slip. 

If I had it to do over again I probably would have warmed up for longer and gone out a little bit harder. I think that if I had run a really hard first mile, I could have hung in there for the next two without too much of a fade. But I think ultimately it would have only made a difference of a few seconds. I also think the faster shoes would have helped, but I am glad I didn't wear them. Now I have a true baseline for my 5K fitness. 

I'm still rather sour about not having a Turkey Trot, especially since the indoor bars and restaurants are open. Clearly I found a race and I fulfilled my own personal desires, but the principle of canceling small races that have gone to great lengths to develop new socially distant protocols is maddening. These are not super-spreader events. That's been proven time and again. If someone doesn't feel safe racing, they can choose to not participate. 

I don't want to end this blog on a negative note. I'm a positive person and I don't waste mental energy focusing on things that I can't control. But I'm not going to ignore it either and pretend it doesn't bother me. It bothers me, but I'm primarily focused on finding races that continue to be held and training for them. Training and racing is a lifestyle for me and I will maintain it as long as I am able and have the desire.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Harrisburg Marathon Race Report

This morning I ran the Harrisburg Marathon in PA. I registered for this race back in July after the Marine Corps Marathon was canceled. This was my goal race for the season and I was hoping to run 3:10 or just under. 

This was marathon #27 (28 if you count the virtual Boston, which I do, so okay, 28) but I had never run Harrisburg before. This year, they changed the course to be Covid-friendly. That means no road closures and only paths and sidewalks. It's still unclear why road closures are deemed a Covid hazard, but potentially they didn't want to use police resources. I think cramming runners onto a narrow path seems like it would actually be worse in terms of social distancing, but in many areas of the country, that is all that race directors can get permits for.

In any event, this course was USATF certified as a Boston Qualifier so I was very grateful to have the opportunity to run it. It was well organized and I know the race director went to a great deal of effort to make modifications that would get the race approved. One of those was splitting the race into two days: both Saturday and Sunday. Instead of 600 runners all on one day, 300 runners ran on Saturday and 300 runners ran today. Another was having waves that went off every 10 minutes, and pre-assigning runners to those waves. 

Previewing the start
Saturday Adventures
Greg and I drove just over two hours to get to Harrisburg and arrived at around noon yesterday. Packet pickup was located on site at the race so I was able to preview the start/finish area. This was also the halfway point as the course was two loops of the same route. It was good to get a sense of how things would work and talk to some of the finishers about their experience.

We then headed to our hotel for lunch. We had lunch with our friend Aaron, who we met just two months ago at the local track. He actually ran the virtual Boston marathon on the track while we were doing a workout and we stayed to watch him finish. A fun way to meet a local runner. I suggested he run Harrisburg and so he signed up a few days later! 

Then we walked to the state capital building which was just a few blocks from the hotel. I heard there was a protest going on and I had never been to a protest so this was my chance. I was not going to be a protestor, I simply wanted to observe. There were not many people there (the main event had been two hours earlier) and it seemed like there was an equal amount of supporters for both Trump and Biden. "Stop the Steal" for Trump and "Count Every Vote" for Biden. 

On our way back to the hotel, we were approached by a reporter from a prominent news source. The reporter asked us if he could interview us and of course I immediately said "sure!" I love being interviewed for things! And then, after years of being mostly silent on social media about my political views, I just spewed it all to this reporter! I laid it all out there, didn't hold back one bit, and Greg joined in. And then the reporter asked for our names we provided them. So. . . . yeah that was definitely an impulsive move. Now my political views would be published on this prominent news outlet with my first and last name! DOH!

What had I been telling myself the past two months? Do not let election anxiety interfere with your race! And the day before the race, I go to a protest and tell a reporter all my beliefs. Lovely!

I told myself I would not check that news outlet until after the race and I would think no more about it. But then of course I kept replaying over and over what I said. (Note: I found the article after the race and thankfully none of our comments were used. Phew. Life is just easier when you don't discuss politics.)

We had dinner with our friend Aaron at an Italian restaurant and I ordered my standard chicken parm without the parm. Chicken, sauce, and pasta. Very bland, but it works for me. I should also mentioned that I hydrated with UCAN hydrate during the day yesterday, as I always do the day before a race. I am a firm believer that if you pre-hydrate with water and electrolytes, you do not need all that much water during the race. 

I did not sleep well last night. I got some quality sleep from 11:00-2:30, but aside from that I was awake for most of the night. This is pretty standard for me, so I wasn't too worried about it. But I did feel shaky and I noticed I truly was a little shaky when I started looking at my phone. Pre-race nerves are a normal thing, and I have had them before. 

Before the Race
I ate my typical pre-race bagel with peanut butter and banana. I always have this two hours before race start so there is plenty of time to digest this. I have eaten this same breakfast for every marathon and half marathon I have run since 2006! I've never had a problem with it. I got dressed, put my bib on, applied sunscreen, and mixed my UCAN. 

We left the hotel and during our walk to the race start, I sipped my UCAN. The plan was to have this one serving of UCAN pre-race and then use Maurten gels starting at around mile 12. This is what I had done in training and it worked well. (Although in training I didn't also have the bagel and banana with peanut butter). For hydration, I would carry my own bottle of water mixed with UCAN Hydrate and then ditch it about an hour into the race. Again, something I always do on training runs that works well.

About 15 women in the start corral
We arrived at the start line at 6:35 for a 7:00am start. I ran around the parking lot a little bit to warm up and used the porta potty.  The "elite" men started at 6:50 and the "elite" women started at 7:00. There were about 12-15 women in the 7:00 wave. Before entering the corral we had to answer a few questions and get our temperature taken.  Masks were required. Once in the corral, they spaced us out and then they sent one runner off every 15 seconds. We were allowed to remove our masks once we approached the start line.

It was about 40 degrees. I had a jacket that I would set aside before starting and that Greg would grab after he took my photo. The forecast was 40 degrees at the start, 59 degrees at the end, sunny skies, no wind. What a big warmup in less than 4 hours! I was somewhat worried about overheating during the last half hour, but I also wasn't TOO worried. By that point, the fate of my race would be decided and a little heat for a few miles shouldn't have a big impact. I definitely would not have wanted to start in the 8:00 wave though. On my weather scale, I give this a 9 out of 10. To get a 10 out of 10 we would have needed some cloud cover, as the sun was blinding in places.

Miles 1-5
I was the third female to start. I took my mask off as I approached the start line and began running. Greg was there and snapped a few photos. Then it was time to run the first mile around City Island. I was prepared for a lot of turns and uneven pavement. The uneven pavement was particularly challenging because of the shoes I wore. 

I wore the newly released adidas Adios Pro. This is a fast shoe and I love everything about it but the high stack height and lack of tread on the bottom makes it unstable and slippery. Thus, uneven pavement posed more of a challenge than it would in regular shoes. I am a very cautious runner and I did not want to fall in the first mile. Plus, I had only worn the shoes once before so I wasn't quite used to how they felt in the first mile. All of this caution and uneven pavement resulted in an 8:03 first mile. I had planned for 7:25-7:30, but I wasn't too concerned. The first mile is all about establishing a rhythm and getting the legs moving. 

I failed to establish a rhythm, though, due to all the turns and my cautious approach to any abnormality in the pavement. During that first mile, the two women who started ahead of me stayed ahead of me, and one really speedy woman passed me from behind.

After a mile around the City Island, we ran over a bridge. And then we turned left and ran for a very short while on a path, and then turned again to go onto another bridge. We ran across that bridge, had a few hairpin turns, and then back across the bridge to make an out-and-back. Turning on and off these bridges was definitely momentum stealing, so I still wasn't able to get into a groove during the second mile, which yielded a 7:40. I felt okay, but not great. My UCAN wasn't sitting well and I felt like I needed to keep burping. I didn't judge it though because it was still very early in the race. 

Mile 4
Coming back off of the bridge, we turned onto a path. Greg was waiting there for me and took my photo and that perked me up. I was excited to finally have the consistency of a path with no turns and hopefully even pavement. I really needed to find my groove and I had not yet. And my chest still felt tight-- like I needed to burp. At this point, I passed one of the runners who was ahead of me, so now I was the third female. Keeping in mind, though, I was also competing against the elite Saturday runners, whose times were not published.

Mile 1: 8:03
Mile 2: 7:40
Mile 3: 7:33
Mile 4: 7:22
Mile 5: 7:18

Miles 6-10
I did feel like I was exerting a little too much effort for still being in the first hour of the race, but I trusted my training. I knew I was fit and I knew I could put out a hard effort for a long time. Once I finally established a rhythm at around mile 5, I stopped looking at the Garmin and just went with it. Miles 5 and 6 felt like they were mostly downhill and there weren't any hairpin turns which was a relief. The pavement was bumpy in some places and I had to weave around runners and walkers who started in the 6:30 wave (those requiring 6-8 hours to finish). 

I noticed that my mood was not great. I felt nauseous, like I needed to vomit or burp, and the course was annoying me. So many turns and bumps and I just wanted to cruise on a wide road. I started getting mad at the whole Covid situation and the cancelation or alteration of so many races. I knew that I needed to be positive so I stopped being negative and focused on enjoying the race. Yes, it was annoying, but here I was doing what I loved to do! I had trained hard for the race and I was going to make the best of it. To be clear, the race organizers did a great job and I applaud them for finding a way to make this race possible. But as I was running, I was annoyed at the altered course. 

I ditched my gloves somewhere around mile 7, and I ditched my water bottle about five minutes later. As I said earlier, I believe that pre-hydrating and drinking plenty of water early in the race reduces the need for water later in the race. This is important for me because I often have a hard time taking in water after the halfway point. My stomach rejects it.

And now, a shout-out to AID STATION 3! The volunteers cheered for me by name and one of them said they had my book! They were so awesome and it really perked me up to be recognized. They requested the shout-out too, so THANK YOU aid station number three for being so amazing and just what I needed.

Mile 9.5: my favorite part!
At around mile marker 8, we ran down a hill onto a lovely stretch of flat, even pavement! I was so excited to be on this even pavement and it was well-shaded as the sun was still low in the sky. I just cruised. I finally felt good. I was optimistic about setting a PR. I finally was having the race I wanted to have. The nausea and chest tightness was still there, but it was manageable now that I could just cruise along. Mile 9 was 7:18 and mile 10 was 7:19. Perfect!

I saw Greg during the 10th mile, still on that nice stretch of the course. I gave him a big smile! Greg was able to see me many times during this race without having to move around too much. Because of the two-loop and out-and-back nature of this course, we kept running by the same areas. 

Mile 6: 7:27
Mile 7: 7:17
Mile 8: 7:18
Mile 9: 7:18
Mile 10: 7:19

Miles 11-16
I continued on, and I knew to expect a gravel trail coming up. The gravel didn't worry me too much. My marathon PR of 3:15 was set on a course that was about 70% gravel. I wasn't sure how the shoes would fare, but the benefit of having them for the rest of the race outweighed any stability disadvantage they may have been on the gravel. The hardest part of mile 11 was running directly into the sun on the gravel. It was difficult to see and I needed to be able to see my footing. 

I had a caffeinated Maruten gel during the 12th mile. I have been using these during training and they have worked well. Even though I was still feeling nauseated, the gel went down well. At this point, I didn't think I could stomach water, but this gel was like swallowing a pill. The 12th mile was probably the hardest of the race because it was mostly gravel and had hills and turns in it. I clocked a 7:51 mile. 

For mile 13, we ran over a bridge back to the start/finish area, and then started the next loop. The footing on this bridge was tricky as there were steel plates every 20 feet or so and running over them was not

Mile 13, two runners gaining on me.

stable. At this point, I could hear two runners coming up behind me. They were running together and talking to each other. They were getting closer and closer and I could tell they wanted to pass me. But given that we were on a sidewalk next to an open road, they could not pass me and instead came up quite close behind me. One of them was a woman, so I was now in 4th place. 

I crossed the halfway mark at 1:39:05. I knew a PR was not in the cards at this point, but I was hopeful that I could maybe beat my 3:22 from CIM. And then it was time to run the entire course again. Mentally that was a scary thought. I already felt worn out and my nausea was getting worse. So around City Island with uneven pavement again, although this time I was more comfortable in the shoes so I was able to run faster. 

I entered a negative mind space again and wondered if I should just stop running marathons and be happy with a lifetime PR of 3:15. Would I ever have a marathon go that well for me again? But I always have these thoughts at some point during a marathon when it's not going well. I start feeling defeated and wonder why I even bother with all that hard training. 

The nausea was getting bad and I really wanted to vomit. I stopped during the 16th mile and dry heaved. I tried to get the vomit out but it was not coming. I didn't want to stop too long so after about 15 seconds I proceeded over the bridge. This obviously cost me some time and I ran 8:01 for that mile. 

Mile 11: 7:37
Mile 12: 7:51
Mile 13: 7:33
Mile 14: 7:31
Mile 15: 7:47
Mile 16: 8:01

Miles 17-21
This was getting exhausting. I felt like I was running an 8:00 pace, but I was still well under that and I have no idea how. I started thinking about CIM and how things got really tough at mile 17. I remembered that I stayed strong all the way until the end of that race. But then my negative voice chimed in to tell me that CIM was on nice even pavement and had no awkwardness. But then again, the weather today was much better. I had expected to feel warm by mile 17 but I still felt relatively cool. Mile 17 was 7:37 which was a pleasant surprise. 

I started to repeat to myself that I was doing what I love most and that I needed to keep doing it. The nausea was so bad and I was working so hard. Finally I reached the turn around and was headed back towards the start. I knew that my favorite flat/smooth pavement was coming up so that motivated me. "Just get to that part and it will be easier" I told myself. It seemed to go on forever, but eventually I reached it. 

During the 21st mile, I caught up with one of the women ahead of me. She had been the first to cross the start line. We ran together for a little bit and encouraged each other. But ultimately I pulled ahead. I really enjoyed having someone to run with for that bit. 

Mile 17: 7:37
Mile 18: 7:44
Mile 19: 7:43
Mile 20: 7:53
Mile 21: 7:44

Mile 22
Miles 22-Finish
I had to dig really deep here. My legs felt really good but it was heating up, the sun was directly in my face and I was still nauseous. I poured some water over my head during the 23rd mile, and that felt great. I  wasn't overheating (at least I don't think I was) but I did notice things get warm. I was able to get down about 3/4 of another Maurten gel at this point. I wasn't sure if I needed it or not but I figured if I could get it down it would only help.

That gravel part came and I knew that would slow me down on top of my already slowed pace. Mile 23 was 8:07 and I was starting to bonk, but I knew I could hang in there and finish. I was the third female (at least for the Sunday race) but unfortunately I was overtaken by another woman during the 24th mile. She passed me at a pace that was much faster than what I was doing and she looked so strong. No way would I be able to keep up.  So I was back in 4th. 

The last 5K was all about staying strong and keeping up the effort. I knew it wouldn't be long until the race was over and finally I would be able to vomit. At least my legs felt good!

Mile 25 was the same as mile 12, gravely, hilly, and curvy, but I made it through in 8:29. And then it was over the bridge again and down to the finish!

I finished strong at a pace of 7:11 for the last 0.33 according to my Garmin. This was partially because of the downhill. But it was good to have a final kick. I finished in 3:23:19. Not anything near what I wanted or I had trained for, but that's the marathon for ya. My 4th fastest marathon.

Mile 22: 7:58
Mile 23: 8:07
Mile 24: 8:36
Mile 25: 8:29
Mile 26: 8:09

After the Race
About a minute after crossing the finish line I vomited black vomit. It wasn't all that much and the medical people at the finish line gave me a vomit bag. I didn't think I would need it, but then as soon as I got it I vomited again-- quite a lot! And it was black. According to the Doctors at Google, this was blood and it's an emergency condition. But to me it just felt like normal post-race vomit. I didn't eat anything that was black, but my guess is that probably something was irritated in my GI tract for running so long with all that stuff in there.

I felt SO GOOD after vomiting. I really wish I had been able to do that when I stopped in the 16th mile. It made all the difference and I felt like I could have run more. It was such a huge relief and after that I felt maybe the best I have ever felt post race. I was walking easily and my energy level was good. I even tackled a flight of stairs to get back up to the bridge! This means that my legs certainly had a faster race in them. But my digestive system had other ideas. 

I ended up winning second place Master's Female. The first place Master's winner passed me during the 24th mile. So close! I'm not sure what my award will be as they are going to mail them. 

Greg and I walked back to the hotel where I sat in a bath for over an hour and drank a coke. I wasn't hungry again for hours. But I felt pretty good, all things considered. 

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways
This race was bittersweet. It was wonderful to run a live marathon. That's more than most runners get. The weather was pretty good and I was able to push through some pretty bad nausea. A BQ with a cushion of over 16 minutes is pretty good, too. But it's upsetting to have missed my goal by so much, with a PR that is now two years old. I know I have a 3:10 in me and now I have to wait until the spring to try again. 

I think my biggest mistake was eating too much. As my friend Gracie pointed out, nutrition needs change over time. That bagel with peanut butter + banana is something I have been doing for 15 years. When I do my long runs I do not eat beforehand, I only take UCAN. And that works. I almost never have GI issues on my long runs. It's been years since I have. I do think that nerves and adrenaline are a factor, and that can never be practiced in training. I was feeling shaky and anxious when I woke up in the morning. 

I think that for my next marathon I might cut out the bagel entirely (especially for a 7:00am start) and just do the UCAN. I will take less UCAN and mix it with more water so it digests more easily. I don't plan to change my hydration. Of course, if it were cooler I do think I would have drunk less water and maybe that would have helped. I think I need to fuel and hydrate the same way I do on my long runs because I know that works. 

The vomiting has been a thing at most of my marathons and half marathons for the past two years and I think my nutrition needs are changing. I'm running a lot faster which is more strain on my system, but less time on the course so fewer calories are needed.

So, yeah, I am bummed but I guess what I love most about this sport isn't necessarily getting that goal, but chasing it. So there is more chasing to be done.