Oh my, the last few weeks have been crazy! I finished marathon #3 — and it was the best worst experience running a race of my life — and I hope to never repeat it again.
It was the worst experience because it SUCKED. Well, the last half did. The first half was FANTASTIC. I thought I was going to CRUSH my sub-5 hour goal. But at the half-way point the tendinitis in my foot flared, the sun came out and the winds were fierce. My banked time was quickly used and by mile 22 or so I went into survival mode.
I thought about dropping out because I didn’t want to cause any serious/longer lasting damage — and I also had to get back to the hotel in time to check out – and not to mention survive a 4 hour drive home.
My run-walk became more walk than run and by mile 24 I gave up the notion of running at all. I walked mile 24, 25 and 26 — I kept it together until the aid station at 25.5 where I started to cry, more of frustration than anything. I did pull it together to run the last .1 or so to the finish line. But I did it. In the end, that is all that matters.
There were a number of factors – not excuses – that resulted in my horrible finish.
- Insufficient training
- Not letting minor injuries recover enough
- Poor diet
- Lack of sleep/stress
- Proper planning for weather
- Proper planning for unexpected things — like the 25 min start delay
That is why, being the worst race I’ve had, it is also the best. It has FULLY motivated me to turn things around. From the above list, the first three are really the most important things to work on.
I took the last week OFF, like 100% — I did some yoga and biked and yesterday (8 days post-race) I walked 2.34 miles. The walk definitely indicated that I am not ready – foot wise – to come back completely.
So, for the next week or two I will continue to focus on cycling, yoga and strength training — with some walking/hiking/stairs and using the elliptical if weather keeps me indoors. I do plan to try to run in another couple of days. Slow & short.
Oh and ya know, eating clean.
I have my eyes set on a fall redemption full marathon and intend to fully CRUSH that 5-hour mark.