"Whenever you think you are giving it all you have, give just a little bit more"

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm not mad anymore

It's been 8 days since I toed the line for my second marathon and I am finally done crying. I tried to start this blog many times over the last week but just wasn't ready yet. After a lot of tears, anger, second guessing and doubts I feel like this is my final stage of "grief".  I realize most people don't really care what did or didn't happen but this is my way of being done with it and moving on.

First let me say I have never been more confident in a race than I was when I stepped foot on the start line at Twin Cities. Every part of my build up went better than planned. I raced a lot more this build up and even on dead tired legs was able to get within seconds of my PR's every time, even on tough courses. Workouts were spot on and the paces even scared me at times. The night before the race Scott confirmed with me my game plan. Twin cities has an interesting but somewhat challenging  course since the last 10k climbs a hill for the majority of it. The plan was to go out at 5:40 pace no matter if that meant I was running alone or in a pack. It was the pace I had been killing in long workouts and the pace Scott felt was right for me. Knowing the last 10k was going to be the hardest I knew I just had to be tough mentally and expect pace could drop just a hair with the same effort. My one and only goal that day was to break 2:30 and I was so confident in it I could see the clock in my head. I knew if I could break 2:30 placing would work itself out and even if I was 10th I'd be so happy with the effort.  Scott has never given me a race plan that hasn't been accurate . He is one of the best coaches out there, giving us race plans and paces based off of the course and the work we have out in. I was 100% confident in what he had planned.

My splits
5:32, 5:49, 5:38, 5:32, 5:39, 5:41, 5:37, 5:38, 5:38, 5:37,5:43,5:43,5:45,5:49,5:43,5:50,5:49,5:56,5:55,5:53,6:12,6:31,6:38,6:26 and that's all I got I stopped hitting split.

The race went out exactly as I had planned. Sure the first mile was just a bit faster than I wanted but not crazy it would be ok. For the first half of the race the only person I knew was by me was Asfaw and I was happy to have company. We were very consistent hitting splits just as I wanted , sure a couple would be a second fast and some a second slow but I think that was the hills. My only problem was even before the race started my stomach was cramping and uncomfortable, but I chalked it up to race day jitters thinking like always once the race started it would be out of my head. Things were going so smoothly I couldn't even believe it. Miles were coming by faster than expected, I was getting my waters and gu easily and my legs felt completely relaxed. I was on a high! Until I took my gu and water around 11. My gu there had caffeine in it which I have taken before but it just seemed to push my cramping stomach over the edge. For the next six miles I didn't let it bother me. Sure it hurt but I was feeling too good other wise I was confident it was just runner belly and it would go away. But when I hit 17 I just couldn't control it anymore and I had to make a decision . Do I stop and use a bathroom really fast or just keep going and hope for the best. I couldn't decide what to do until we made a little turn and I noticed I had dropped Asfaw at this point I knew I had enough in me to keep pushing this pace to the finish so I wasn't going to stop. Sadly my stomach was too upset. By 18 I had gotten more room between me and the next girl but my stomach was getting worse and worse. I couldn't control it at all. In my head I thought the best thing to do was to stop taking my fluids and gu. I felt like it would just go right through me, besides I was only a little more than 10k out it would be fine. This may be the thing that ended up killing me but at the time it seemed logical I wanted this race so bad I could taste it. By 20 my stomach was so cramped up and my gi just wouldn't stop I kept trying to fight it but it just wasn't happening. Sometime before 21 Annie came up on me and I was in so much stomach pain I couldn't even fight it off. Yet in my head I thought just keep going you are still second and on a good pace. Shortly after she passed me though I couldn't give anything. I was running slower than I did on long runs. I don't remember a lot between 22-26 it was a really weird ,dizzy out of body kind of experience. I remember thinking just stop.stop at a medical tent but I just kept passing the, and pushing along. Portis passed me on the final uphill stretch either right before or right after 25 I'm not too sure. At this point I couldn't really see straight.everything was blurry and I was so dizzy all I could tell myself was run as close to the curb as you can. If something happens maybe you will fall into the grass. I can remember being really close to the spectators and the last thing I remember before the finish was seeing cute little Esther Erb and her cheek tattoo. Luckily i had asked kevin to be at the crest of the hill to cheer and push me into the finish because he saw me go down up the way from him. From what he says two guys helped me up and asked if I wanted medical, which of course I refused. Somehow I managed to push my way to the finish while asking my husband are any girls gonna catch me. What an idiot even when I'm out of it I can't turn the competition off. Kevin said when I ran towards him I looked like Slooth from the goonies and was really out of it. As soon as my legs stopped running they just gave out and I spent the next long while in the medical tent. Luckily Carolyn Mather was there to help me out. I was having a really hard time staying awake and the Dr's were trying to figure out if I hit my head when I fell. But when I finally snapped out of it Carolyn let me know I was 6th in 2:36 and that it was ok.

So fast forward. I finally found my way to my husband and as soon as I saw him tears were flowing. I was so mad. But let me clarify I was not mad at myself, my race plan, Scott, my training or anything like that. I was simply mad at my body. I had trained it to give me 100% on race day and it failed me.  I still don't know what it was. For a couple days after I was still having issues and not feeling well. Maybe I got some kind of a bug or maybe I ate something bad. Typically after a race I have a day to be mad if it was bad and than I'm fine. I could not shake the marathon let down though. I was a real peach all week. I've gone through a lot of  thoughts. One being maybe I should have just stopped. People have dropped out of a marathon for far less and I was really sick. I should have just realized it wasn't gonna be my day, cashed it in and done one in a few weeks. But would that have made me happy?  No way a DNF is the worst feeling there is! Than I'd think we'll at least I got my A standard out of the way even on a awful horrible day. I'm proud of myself for fighting on when it got tough. The easy thing to do would have been to stop but I found out what I was made of and I found out I am a lot stronger mentally and physically than I ever thought I could be.

So the race didn't go as planned but what it did do was give me even more of a fire. Last year there was no way I would have ever pushed the pace and take the lead. I raced the marathon from the start and for that I am proud of myself. Do I think I should have sat back and waited to the last 10k? No for two reasons. One I would have ended up sick regardless and than I wouldn't have gotten the A standard. Second you will never ever find out what you are made of always taking the easy way. The good old saying you miss 100%  of the chances you never take is true. If I could go back to that day I wouldn't change a thing. All the way down to becoming poop girl! Plus like a good friend told me. I have an awesome card to play on the kids now.
Oh that hurt
Oh that's hard
Oh it's the worst day ever
Oh you want to quit
Well it can not be as bad as loosing control of your bowel over and over in front of thousands of people and a camera crew to the point that you become so dehydrated you pass out!

See what can they say to that!

I now know not all is lost. I'm stronger for doing what I did. Running a marathon is already a up hill battle without your body physically fighting you. My next marathon can only be better. I appreciate all the emails, text and Facebook messages from people. Especially those of you who have been in this business a long time. It really did help me come to terms with everything!

So now what?
Well I'm already back to running two a days and feel great. Of course we will be careful jumping back in and I will listen to my body but I didn't end up with a marathon race I ended up racing 19-20 and running 6-7. Look for me at a marathon soon as long as all things cooperate!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What will you think about?

Recently I have been asked a few times what I will think about during the marathon and it got me thinking. 26 miles is a long way to go. During said 26 miles I guarantee each one of us will be faced with negative thoughts and at that moment you find out what you are made of. I'm lucky that my family is so supportive and my Aunt Machell, uncle James, Kevin as well as Chase and Tripp will be there. So my positive thoughts will be easy to come by and just hearing them will remind me how much I wanted to be in this race.

I'll start by remembering how badly I wanted this while I was injured. I'll remember the tears I shed of frustration , the amount of times I just wanted to quit , how I never thought I'd be able to be competitive again and how far I have come since than. The only thing that got me through my injury last winter and the first couple weeks of workouts that I just felt awful was dreaming of the finish line at Twin Cities. I thought of the finish line during treatments , needling, massage, icing and cross training. I've been visualizing this race for a long time now and I finally feel ready to take it on.

Most importantly I will think of all the sacrifice my loved ones have made. Marathon training is a challenge and time consuming for anyone no matter their job and as a mom it can bring some big challenges.

*my husband
 I'll remember all the times my wonderful husband had to sacrifice his time at the gym so I could leave early in the morning to do workouts in Colorado Springs which is two hours away. I'll remember all the times he had to get a late start at work which isn't easy at all since he owns his own business and is the only one having to answer to his clients. I'll remember how some of his clients are so supportive knowing why he has to sacrifice time and all the well wishes they send with him. I'll remember all the meals he cooked that I should have cooked but was either too exhausted after a day of 20+ miles or I was out doing my second workout of the day and he had dinner ready for me when I got home. Ill remember how understanding he was on weekends when keeping my eyes open past nine was just not gonna happen. I'm going to remember how much love he threw at me when I was so down on myself coming back that I didn't ever think I could do it. It's because of him pushing me and reminding me what I'm capable of that I am at this point today.
*My kids
Chase and Tripp have probably sacrificed more than anyone in this journey. When it all started I was just a mommy with no other care or responsibility in the world other than them. This year found me juggling them all over to get in training. These two boys would get carried to my car at 3:30 in the morning during their summer break so I could get to Colorado Springs for a workout. Some days they'd get left home with a sitter while I was in the springs and sacrifice some of the fun things we would normally do. They have to endure the crazy mom who is dropping them off at practice and strips down to her sports bra to go for a run around the fields. Or the mom that is so physically tired from her hard morning workout that she literally bribes them in to not going to the pool or lake and instead to see the new Chipmunks movie on a hot summer day. All because mom knew she could sneak in a little cat nap while the boys sat next to her entranced by the movie. The boys would even put up with bike rides in 100 degree weather so they could ride with mom when there was no onehome to  keep an eye on them. Meals on the go, meals at parks during runs, these two troopers have been so good for me during this cycle.
*My Aunt, uncle and cousins
Luckily for me I have these guys. They would wake up a couple hours before they had to on work days to help me get my kids out of the car from the long drive to the springs and they'd watch them. They would show up at local races to support me, take the kids at a moments notice even drive up and stay at my house to help with the kids when i was gone. They even travel to some races including NYC and this time TwinCities. The support is endless.
*Sammy and Rikki Houston
These amazing girls were my go to all summer. Day in and day out one of these two would be at my house bright and early during their summer vacation to help out with the boys. I wont lie without these two I wouldn't have had such a good marathon cycle. When I was young there is No way I'd want to spend my summer getting up early everyday, sometimes even 5-6 am. What's better is the kids really enjoyed spending time with the so it made travel and training less stressful.
My neighbor is simply amazing! She is always picking up the slack for me. If a sitter can't make it, if kevin isn't around, if the boys didn't want to go with me on a run, you name it Ranisa was always there to take the boys at a moments notice. Sometimes for short periods other times for a whole day. She would even help Kevin when I was out of town. She is basically the boys bonus mommy. We would be heart broken if she ever left. Not to mention she is a great friend who listens to me feel sorry for myself, rejoice and just there to have a bottle of wine when needed.
*My coach Scott
Scott has given me so much since I've started with him.he has taught me how to believe in myself and push myself harder than ever imagined. He is there for races, he is there for workouts and he is so supportive. Even when I think a workout is crazy and not doable i remember Scott would never set me up for failure and I get the job done. He has made me a runner I didn't think I could be.

Last ill remember the marathon is so much more than the race. I have goals for Sunday and I know I am capable of them but I also know the marathon is a journey. Race day is only the icing on the cake. I've become a much smarter and stronger runner this cycle. So no matter the outcome of Sunday I know I have come a long way in these last few months!

"There's always gonna be another mountain. I'm always gonna want to make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose. Ain't about how fast I get there ain't  about what's waiting on the other side. It's the climb"