Another reason I love my students is because they don't give 3 craps about what kind of marathon I ran. In addition to that, they don't care if my hair looks like crap, if there's a stain on my shirt, or I have dry erase marker streaked across my face. (Yes, those things all happen to me on a frequent basis.) After coming back from being on a trip (and my students having a sub), I am always greeted by the biggest, brightest smile that comes with seeing someone you've missed. It's true and it's genuine. They are always glad to have me back. That was my saving grace Tuesday.
Most of you have already read on FB that I bombed my race and finished in 3:13:xx. (I actually don't even know the seconds, what place I came in or any of the details. They simply do not matter to me.) Before I give a brief race report, I'll just say that I'm really struggling with this, physically- some and a ton emotionally.
Like I said in a recent post, I've had this lingering cold thingie. It hasn't been anything major, but enough to know that I wasn't 100%. However, I didn't think it was a deal breaker and I still don't blame my crappy race on that. (*Sidebar to say that under coach's orders, I did go to Urgent Care yesterday and now have a Z pack for a respiratory infection.)
I was concerned about the drastically cold temperatures. During my jog on Saturday, my legs refused to get loose, and I was even wearing tights. Sunday brought the coldest temperatures I have ever raced a marathon in. I still thought I could do it, though. It wasn't THAT cold. I did my drills inside the school, dropped my bag and headed for the start.
After lots of debate on my outfit, I went with the long sleeved Brooks ID top, ID shorts, compression socks, gloves, headband, and threw on a teeshirt to wear for the first few miles. (It really got on my nerves, though, and I threw it off at Mile 2-3.) I would love to share my splits with you, but in my completely pissed off state of mind, I deleted the entire race from my Garmin while walking back to the hotel. I do know that I went through Miles 1-7 at roughly 6:45 pace. I thought I would feel better than I did. It wasn't easy; I was already working hard. Somewhere during Mile 7/8, we made a sharp right turn up a small hill and I felt my hamstring/butt pull. It was a sharp pain, but then subsided a bit. I didn't think much about it, but I did slow for a mile to 6:50ish. At this point, I couldn't really find a rhythm; things felt hard, and I felt that twinge in the hammy/butt. By Mile 10, I was cussing, and I knew it wasn't my day. Mile 13, I wished they had had a half marathon b/c I would've cut it short. Things went from bad to worse. I won't rehash all the details b/c they are not happy memories. Basically, my body completely revolted everything about me running 6:52 pace. I was coughing, my hamstring/butt screamed bloody murder. And I coughed, walked, ran, cried for 13 freaking miles until the Marathon of Death was over.
After the race, I was pretty much a wreck. I could hardly walk, but that was nothing compared to my broken heart. So much training. So much time. So much money. So much hope. Completely down the tubes. There really isn't a single thing anyone can say or do to make it better. It sucked then, and it still sucks now. I would love to put on this happy face and say, "Oh, blah, blah, blah, everything happens for a reason, yada, yada, yada." Well, I disagree, sometimes things just suck. Lots and lots of things happen for a reason. We are given plenty of adversity and plenty of blessings that are all part of The Big Plan, but there are some things... that just suck. I am currently working on another post, a post of my reflections about the training cycle as a whole, what I liked and what I would've done differently. I will save that for later. I just wanted to check in with all of you that have been so sweet, kind, and encouraging.
No, this thing is not over. I've cried too many tears, put in too much work, and been going for too long to quit on this now. Right now I'm simply recovering, more from the training cycle than the actual race. The hammy/butt is feeling much better. I've been doing some light stretching, foam rolling, and work with The Stick. Those have helped a lot. I do believe what I said in my last post about training being like money in the bank. And I guess I'll work on "getting rich" for my next race.