Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 47 - Breakdown...

(I started writing this on Saturday....just now getting around to finishing it)
I've put off coming in here for hours now. Trying to process how and where the breakdown occurred. Did I go out too fast, was it too warm, did I not drink enough? The truth is...my mind (and heart) weren't there today. I gave in too easily. I gave in to the pain and I gave in to my weakness. Needless to say, I'm disappointed and now I have nothing but dread looking ahead to October 18th. Maybe I'm not cut out to run a marathon? Maybe my Dad was right....I haven't been running long enough (or had enough of a base) to start training for a marathon. Maybe that's why my legs and feet hate me so much. Maybe I needed this experience to make me stronger. To help me to rededicate myself to my training. To make me take better care of myself.
So here's how it all went down.....
Race time was 8:30am (3 hours LATER than we've been doing our long runs). Needless to say, my pre-run routine was messed up! BUT on the bright side, I had no tummy issues because of it! My sister picked me up a bit before 7:00am. We made our way to the base with plenty of time, parked and caught the bus to the starting line. It was in the low 50's at this time and pretty chilly! As we were arriving at the starting area, the marathoners were just starting out. Today, I was glad to not be going the full 26.2! We saw the F-16 Jets do their flyover and they were off! I got chills just thinking that in a month, that would be us! We hung out for the next hour and with a few minutes to spare, we made our way to the 9:10 pace group. I had no intention of maintaining that pace, but thought it was worth a shot. The mood was more serious (throughout the whole race, too) than in our first HM.
The opening ceremony for the half began, the jets did their flyover again and then we were off! It had warmed up a bit, as by 8:30 the sun was fully up. Right from the start, my belt/pouch began to ride up, DESPITE me taking advice from Heather at Run Faster Mommy, to pin it to keep it in place. Ugh, ugh, ugh. The first mile was nice and flat. Between mile 1-2 there was a decent-sized hill. All I could think about was my &*%$$#^ belt, though. I fiddled with it for the first 5 miles and when we stopped for a much needed pee break, I attempted to adjust it. Of course then I made it too tight. I felt pretty good at this point though, although we had been steadily going up a slight incline. Between mile 5 and 6 we hit another hill and I decided to take off the belt and just carry it. We averaged 9:08-9:23/mile the first 5 miles, according to Garmin (which I found out is a bit "off"). Around mile 6 was also the GU station. I took a Roctane GU about 30 minutes before the race, so this was my second GU of the day. Mile 6 was our slowest with the GU and hydration stations at 12:06/mile. From here on....it's pretty much a blur. It was hot and sunny, my calves hurt, my right toes began to feel like they were being pressed "up" and I just wasn't into it. Miles 7-10 we were running between 9:22 - 9:53/mile. Mile 8 had a long, drawn out incline (highway ramp). It was this point that I essentially just gave up. I gave in to the pain and had to walk. Miles 10.5-11.5 there were a handful of small hills, that just took it out of me. Our pace for those miles was 10:08-11:16/mile. I think I stopped at every single hydration station, just for the chance to slow down and take a break. Mile 11 we arrived back on base (to a heavy metal rock band). The end was near....but so far away! There were no more hills, but around mile 12 I needed another short walk break. I was hurting and tired and as I told my sister.....I didn't want to look like a "drowned rat" coming down the finish line straightaway! The last mile was essentially a big U-shape and there were spectators all along this part. I guess hubby thought I had dropped out of the race, because as we were coming down the backstretch to the finish line, he called me on my cell, wondering where I was. I searched and searched for them along the sidelines and finally found them! Braden had wanted to run with me, so hubby and the kids were stationed along the finish line straightaway, about 100 yards from the finish line. Braden held my hand as we ran to the finish line. He was so excited to run with me, but a bit disappointed when he didn't get a medal himself. I of course, gave him mine to wear! Our official time was 2:18:22. A slight PR from my first half.
We made our way through the finishers area. Braden loved all the food, water, chocolate milk, etc! I downed 2-3 bottles of water within minutes. I was apparently dehydrated, because I didn't end up peeing for 2 hours! I all in all, felt pretty good. My legs were tight and my feet hurt....but was else is new? We made our way back to hubby and Caroline and headed home for the day. I'm not going to lie. I was extremely disappointed with myself....not because of our finishing time, but because I couldn't push through the pain and fatigue. That said, the next morning in our newspaper, there was a follow up story about the runner who was recently killed while training for this race. I thought....how silly that I'm upset that I had to walk some of the race, when she didn't even get to the race! I should feel LUCKY that God gave me another day on this Earth with my family. Add to that the news that a friend/mother in my online parenting community lost her husband in Afghanistan and it gave me true perspective. Running is not the end all, be all.
So what did I learn:
1) I need to carry my own water with me. I hate having to anticipate the next hydration station.
2) I need to take my GUs every 45 minutes. I'm too drained if I don't!
3) I'm going to run with my iPod for the marathon. I was not in a chatty mood Saturday and I was just left with my own negative thoughts floating around my head. Distraction please!
4) I MUST figure out what is causing the pain on the underside of my toes. OUCH!
5) Spectators make a world of difference. With the race being held on an Air Force base, there were only TWO spectator spots.
6) I will not be disappointed with ANY finishing time for the marathon. I'm realizing it may take well over 5 hours....

So, here are some pics from the day:

Braden and Caroline with their race-day shirts
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Waiting...waiting...waiting (Braden, Caroline and our friends' kids)
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Our cheering squad is spoted
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Braden running to the finish with us
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Happy Family (I'm wearing the technical tee they gave us)
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1 comment:

Morgan said...

Congrats on the PR!!! I am with you regarding the marathon... finishing is winning and that's all I care about. Good job this weekend!