Monday, February 20, 2012

My "that didn't go as planned" Myrtle Beach Race Report

Myrtle Beach Marathon February 18, 2012
Race Report:

I woke up that morning feeling pretty good. All the normal stuff that happens to me on race morning happened. As I was warming up before the race, I noticed my legs a little tight, but no big deal, I still felt good. I'm ready...let's do this thing, I was thinking!!

Race splits:
10K (6.2 miles)                        53:44
Half (13.1 miles)                   1:53:14
30K (about 19 miles)           2:49:02
Full  (26.2 miles)                   4:26:12

  •  I didn't panic at the beginning and went out at a comfortable pace. There were a lot of people but I didn't feel boxed in and didn't have to weave in and out much at all.
  •  My Garmin decided to go wacky and the pacing feature read a 3:20 pace the entire race...I still didn't panic but ran by feel and kept thinking about how my coach, Bobby, never uses a pacing watch and I knew I would come up on the mile markers to check my time. I did have my pace band on as well.
  •  Up to around mile 5 I was on pace to qualify. I was about a minute and a half ahead of pace but was feeling pretty good.
  •   I started feeling a little bad close to mile 4 so I took my first GU then. It was hard to get down. I remember thinking this might not turn out to be a good day for me. Little did I know...
  • My stomach started hurting...I didn't have to use the bathroom-it just hurt. My hamstrings started tightening up. I envisioned getting a DNF. I was fairly certain I would not be able to finish-it was too far.
  •  I took my 2nd and last GU at mile 10. Usually mile 8-10 are not good in my training runs, so I thought it might pass. It didn't.
  •  I first stopped to walk around mile 11 or 12. Once my stomach stopped hurting, I ran again. Then I would stop, and then run...this was the cycle…along with crying uncontrollably.
  •  I took a pepto bismol tablet-it helped a little.
  • Ronnie Jones came alongside me and encouraged me not to quit but persevere.
  • Charles Akers passed me and I told him I wasn't doing well...
  • Mike Walsh came along to check on me and gave me a salt tablet. That was near mile 16 or 17. By mile 20 I did feel better but my hamstrings were still tight.
  •  Mile 18 was where I saw them doing CPR on the man. We had to go around him on the sidewalk and I had to stop for the ambulance to get by...the race didn't seem so important at that moment. I was crying. I had been crying off and on since the half mark. I’m not sure if he made it or not…
  •  A little after mile 18 I see Charles stopped on the side of the road, he was waiting for me to help me out. He was only using this race as a training run and he was coming off a foot injury, so he was hurting some too. We would run some and walk some. He talked most of the time and kept my mind off of the fact that I had failed. He is a big reason why I didn't stop at the medical tent and quit. He was very encouraging. Everyone was-they know how important it is to me.
  • Charles and I matched each other step for step at the finish--funny to hear the announcer say, "looks like we have another race to the finish" like we were trying to beat one another. I owe him big time.

I think I may have been a little dehydrated. I did drink regularly during the race but I wonder if I started off dehydrated. I didn't drink too much after 8 the night before. I was too worried about going to the bathroom during the race. That was the least of my worries…I didn't use the bathroom from 6:15am until 12:15pm on Saturday.

I'm very disappointed, not upset, but very sad. I had put my all into this race and worked my tail off at each training run. I feel like the last 3.5 months are in the toilet. I know they aren't but that's how I feel right now. I'm not going to give up trying to qualify until I have that "perfect" race and just realize I am not fast enough to meet the time goal. I will be okay-it's just going to take a little while…just finishing wasn’t my goal on Saturday. I know most who are reading this can’t understand why I am disappointed even though I finished 26.2 miles-you think, isn’t that an accomplishment in itself-most people never even attempt that distance but…some do understand. I will be crying for a while, I can’t help it, just accept it, and know this was one of the most important things to me. You are all very supportive, I just need some time. Please understand and don’t try to make me feel better. I know you care and I sincerely appreciate it, but this is something I have to get over on my own. I know you are proud of me!

On a positive note: I am very excited that Jack Smith did qualify for Boston, Scarlette Chappell and Melissa Hamilton ran their first marathon and my nephew Ricky Buffaloe ran his first half marathon. I am very happy for the more than 25 WCA people that participated in the races this weekend. It was a fun time overall!! Small things can make a difference! You can get active!! Start today!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

24 hour countdown

The 24 hour countdown is on...I have been training for this day for a long time now. It is surely one of the most important races of my life. There is nothing particularly special about the Myrtle Beach Marathon, except that this is where I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon. All of my training plans and effort since October 31 has been geared to running a 3:45 time. As far as the data goes...I should run that time, no problem but unfortunately, there is more to a marathon than the data. I have learned in these few short years that I've been racing how much the mental aspect is along with the physical aspect! You must be prepared for both or you will not do very well. I am still learning a lot about myself as a runner and person. One of my favorite quotes has been, "the minute you think of giving up...remember the reason why you held on for so long." running has become a very important part of my life, as all of you know. It's not just about me, but I want to help others get active--whether that is running or some other type of activity. It has been an awesome journey...filled with victories and pain. Yes, I will be super disappointed if I don't qualify tomorrow but it won't be the end of the world. There is always another race! "The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret" and I can say that I have no regrets from this training cycle. I have followed the training plan that Bobby had for me pretty much to a tea. My interval workout split times have been dead on or faster. I wanted to weigh 10 pounds less than my first marathon a year ago and as of yesterday morning, I am down 9 pounds. That's close enough and for all you thinking I didn't need to lose anymore weight, I am well within the suggested weight for my height, so all is good there, no worries. Now, this last day before the big race I must do my training, trust my coach, and run the best I can! As always my races are in memory of my mom and dad, affectionately nicknamed Fred and Ethel! They never saw me race a marathon but made me the kind of person that has the discipline to train for such a race. I love and miss them so very much. A huge thank you to my husband, Will, my biggest supporter! My sisters, Donna and Connie and the rest of my family and friends for always believing in me! And my coach, Bobby Mack! Thank you! I love you all! for my last training run!