I know. I just know that I have a 3:25 marathon in me. Best I have done though is 3:28 and last year at ING I ran 3:29. This was my 11th marathon so it isn't like I am inexperienced but I do know that sometimes it is just not a good day. And I knew it yesterday by the second mile.
I hurt my back 2 weeks ago --in like hurt it so that I couldn't get out of bed for 2 days straight. My training had been solid, probably better than the previous year but I didn't know if or rather how much my back debacle was going to effect my marathon. I did manage to log a few runs in my taper but I still wasn't feeling 100%.
So anyway, by mile 2 I knew my stride was out of whack. First the pain was in my left hip/lower left back--the area injured-- and as the race progressed my right IT band began to hurt, then my lower back, upper back and finally my feet went numb around mile 22. Only area that didn't hurt was my calves and that was because of my most awesome compression sleeves. If only I could have had a full body compression sleeve. . .
I decided early on to just run how I ran last year, perhaps even a bit more conservatively and then make adjustments towards my goals.
My main goal was to finish, my second goal a BQ and my 3rd goal sub 3:29. I knew that 3rd goal wasn't going to happen pretty much by the 2-3rd mile based on how I was feeling. I was hurting and while hoped it would pass I fingured I would try to hold the PR pace as long as I could. By mile 8 I knew sub 3:30 just wasn't going to happen and I decided my best bet was to make it to the half point in under 1:45. I knew I could hobble out a 2 hour 2nd half and still make the necessary 3:45 BQ.
I made it to the half at 1:42:30--about a minute slower than last year. At that point I decided I needed a break. So went into the porto potty-- peed and tried to stretch out my right it but it aggravated my left hip so I pretty unsuccessful. I thought maybe with my little break things would start to feel better but no. They still sucked. I tried everything: walking, slowing down, speeding up nada. So basically for the rest of the race it was run when the pain wasn't too terrible and walk for a minute when until it abated. Sometimes that meant I was running up a hill and walking when it was down hill and flat and vice versa. I was also very very busy talking myself out of quitting during every mile. It was just about surviving the race so I could finish. And I did and I met my B goal even if it was sub par performance. Really, it was about the best I could do yesterday. Might could have squeaked under 3:40 if I hadn't taken that some what physically unneccessary but mentally vital potty break and maybe walked a little less. IDK, I was hurting and sub 3:40 has no more meaning for me other than it would gotten the hell over a little sooner. But shaving off 2 minutes would have made it hurt even more than it already did. Not enough "gain" for my "pain" was the way I saw it yesterday.
Things that I think I did right was definitely my nutrition--spot on with my Gu at 5-6 (I break it up over a mile), 11-12 and at 17-18. I had water and Gatorade at every aid station. And I did push hard the last half mile and ignored the fact that I was dying because I knew that in a matter of minutes it would be over. And it was.
There is always next year. . .
What would you do differently?:
Well duh, not injure my back. . . Otherwise I would still do it exactly the same way. If I want to run faster I need to at least start the race trying to PR. Otherwise what the hell is the point? I have never had success with trying to run an even or negative split marathon. And on a hilly course positive splits is how I PR. Okay, it is the only way I have ever pr'd. The way I see it: I don't need a 26.2 mile training run and the goal is to get to the finish line as quickly as you can without permanent injury. Might as well go for broke. And well, quite literally, that is what I did yesterday.
I think I had to walk a mile to get my gear bag and then I had a hell of time trying to put on my pants and finally gave up and decided being cold was just easier. Then I had to walk to the Tabernacle and around it to find my brother in law who I had called to pick me up. As much as I hate walking after a marathon it really is the best thing to do. About an hour after I was able to put my cowgirl boots on and go to the bar and drink my race's worth in beer. And really, isn't that what it is all about?
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Uhm, really? My body.
I am laughing at how to score myself above. I think in general I score pretty bad at overall decision making on a regular basis. Why would during a race be any different? IDK, I got to the finish line, didn't I? My mental effort was HUGE and so was my physical effort due to my pain from my stupid injury. Before the race I had written HTFU on my left arm. I referred to it many, many times and really, how can you quit when you have HTFU written on your arm in sharpie? 3 showers and it is still there. Needs to go away. I would like to be all soft for awhile now.
Anyway, call me a weirdo but I love this race because it kicks my ass so hard. Who wants to run an "easy" marathon anyway?
Last updated: 2010-03-22 12:00 AM
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
55F / 13C
Overall Rank = 295/2141
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 6/136
Didn't sleep well but I never do. Got up at 4. Had coffee, a bowl of Uncle Sam's and most of a whole wheat bagel with salt and low fat cream cheese. I either eat one or the other every day and before a race I eat both but smaller servings.Had water got dressed and left at 5:15. Drove to ATL to my sister's. She and some friends were doing the half. Her husband drove us and dropped us outside I think-- CNN at 6:35.
I jogged to the bag check. Holy moly it was a hike. I would say I ran about a mile or so before I finally made it into Corral C around 7:55. Saw Greg and Nora who were doing the half. Lined up next to them with the 1:40 pace group in my sight.