You train for months and months and in a few hours it all comes to an end. It almost doesn’t seem fair that you work so hard for so long and the payoff is just a few hours. I am sure though any runner will agree with me when they say they wouldn’t want that day to last any longer.
Yesterday I ran the Columbus Marathon (Recap later in the week) and I am walking, ok let me rephrase that I am limping away very happy. Did I hit my goal time? NOPE, but I learned a lot about myself as a runner in this one race. When I started the race I ran my first 10K with a pace of 8:30. This is exactly where I wanted to be. My plan was to run a stronger second half of the race. When I came in at the half way point I was at an 8:45 pace. I felt really good and I kept telling myself do not stop and keep pushing. At mile 15 I got a slight pain in my calf and as I passed the fluid station I grabbed some Gatorade. Up until this point I was only taking water and I was taking it every mile to stay hydrated. I thought maybe the electrolytes in the Gatorade would maybe help kill the pain in my leg. After I drank it I got about 1 mile and felt sick. I ran to the side of the road and started to vomit. I tried to run a bit more and once again found myself throwing up on the side of the road. My stomach felt like someone was stabbing me over and over. The only thing I could think to do was walk and try to get more water and hopefully flush or dilute whatever was in my system. I ended up walking 4 miles until the pain subsided. At mile 20 I was back running, and ran to the finish. At first I was so upset with myself, another race another shitty time. When I got back to my hotel room I looked at my phone which was set to track me. I noticed my splits and realized that my first half was awesome. Then I had a bad 10K followed by another awesome 10K to finish the race. In my last 10K I dropped a whole 2 minutes from my average pace per mile that I lost when I had to walk, which means I was moving my last 6 miles.
So this is what I am taking away from this race. I am a strong runner! Marathons are so hard to predict, it’s 26.2 miles where anything can go wrong. Sometimes the stars align and everything goes your way and the other times it is like you are being sucked into a black hole and you are hoping to make it out alive. How you bounce back from this is what defines you. I was beat and I was down, but I took some time got my shit together and I was back at it. I didn’t throw in the towel and quit. I kept pushing forward and finished. Before I started the race I said this will probably be my last marathon. I want to concentrate more on half marathons and more obstacle races. I may have not hit the time I wanted, but I can honestly say this is one race I will gladly walk away from with head held high. We all are on our own journey and every race is a story for thatjourney. This story is the beginning of what I can see being a great chapter in my journey
SIDE NOTE- last week I told you all about Medi-Dyne coming through in the clutch for me with some samples to use during the marathon. I used the 2Toms Sportshield wipes on my thighs and on my feet and not once during the race did I feel it was not working. I did still end up with some blistering on my feet, but I think the wipes lessened what I normally would get. I was informed this product will take some of the friction away, but they make a Blistershield that is specifically designed for blisters. Since they sent me 6 samples I was able to let one of my friends use the products as well and he was highly impressed. In 2 weeks some of you know I am holding a 24 hour run for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in which my cousin and I will be taking turns running for 24 hours straight. I was smart enough to save 2 samples just in case I order the product and I don’t get it in time. Now I am thinking I will also need to get some Blistershield as well for this event. If you have a marathon coming up or even in the spring that you will be training for I STRONGLY recommend using this product. This company truly wants to make their customers happy, and their products stand up to the test. I know I would much rather use a product that is designed for athletes than rather use a product that has nothing to do with athletes. Doesn’t it make sense to go with a product that is designed for you? You will be happy with the results.