Thank God That’s Over
Columbus Marathon Recap, aka Why I’m never Running Again
Mile 23 Promises: I am done with Marathons and Ultramarathons. Seriously this time
Ok so those titles are slightly melodramatic but the truth is, all of those thoughts crossed my mind during yesterday’s race. It’s been less then 24 hours so the discomfort (both mental and physical) hasn’t yet worn off but it has begun to subside so I want to write this while it’s still somewhat fresh.
As you may recall from my previous post, my goal was 4:30-4:40. This may have been ambitious compared to prior race times, but my training suggested this was possible. Actual finish time was 4:56xx. I am gratified to have completed the race but I must put it out there that it just wasn’t my day.
Here is my race weekend recap:
I woke up early to run 2 quick trail shakeout miles with Amy. It felt good to move my legs as I really hadn’t done much running in the week up to the race due to a cold. I felt it best to try and rest as much as I could, nonetheless my cold is still lingering today. At any rate, meeting up with Amy is always a great way to start my day.
On the trail with Amy
I then headed home, did some last minute packing, and Chris and I were on our way to Columbus around 11am. We immediately headed to the expo when we arrived and partook in some of the pre race festivities. I got my bib, spent maybe 20 minutes looking around and headed out for lunch at The North Market which was AMAZING! I planned to go back for more delicious food post race which didn’t happen because (duh) marathons are exhausting and I couldn’t fathom walking around a market after running. But I will definitely plan a trip back in the near future!
Car selfie (a bit giddy as it was our first kid free trip ever!)
After checking into our hotel, I relaxed a bit more, checked out the pool with Amy and headed out for dinner at an amazing restaurant in a very cool former industrial area of Columbus. I indulged in some delicious vegan fried green tomatoes, jack fruit cake, and panna cotta. Great food and even better company. Chris and I headed back to the hotel and turned in early.
Columbus has some seriously amazing food
Pre race pop tart
After a typical night of tossing and turning, I woke up around 5ish, checked social media in bed, and ate my usual pre run poptart. We met Amy in the hotel lobby, hopped in to our waiting Uber and headed to as close to the the start as the streets would allow. Turns out that was only like one or two blocks so that was a definite waste of a $10 Uber ride haha!
Chris waited with me just outside of the corral as I shook with pre race nerves and too much caffeine. I hesitantly parted ways and made my way to my corral. I must say that Columbus does such a fantastic job of getting 18,000 runners where they need to be (with plenty of port-0-potties to boot!). Soon the fireworks were going off and we began the slow crawl to the start line.
Typically the first few miles are a big cluster of people with tons of weaving in and out but eventually it thins out. Well in this race, it took 13 solid miles for it to thin out. Every time I could see the field in front of me, I got a little nervous at the sheer amount of people in the streets. But that is too be expected in a large race so I just tried to conserve as much energy as possible and minimize the weaving. I repeatedly reminded myself to race smart, let the race play out, and have patience.
Somewhere early in the race and still smiling
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the course support. From fellow MRTT-ers from both Columbus and Cleveland, to the near constant stream of spectators to my amazing husband who rode a bike around Columbus to check on me all morning; it was pretty fantastic. I really don’t remember Columbus having this many spectators so I was truly blown away. Add in the patient champions lining every mile and it was just a huge amount of spectator love being thrown our way.
I eventually hit the 1/2 in 2:20 and while I was feeling ok, it was a tad slower then planned and I began to worry as I knew I would more then likely slow down from the heat in the last few miles. And a few short miles later, that is exactly what happened. But instead of the 5-15 seconds slower I had envisioned, it was more like 1-2 minutes per mile. And then extreme fatigue and quad soreness set in. Slowly my legs began to feel like bricks and moving forward with any semblance of my planned pace was out of the question. I kept asking myself “head, stomach, legs” to try and determine what was going on here. I wasn’t injured, I was in pain which I anticipated and planned for, and I felt ok. Mentally, it was dark but each time I thought about how hard this was, I was able to immediately counter it with a positive thought. So while nothing was really wrong, I just wasn’t moving well. My leg turnover turned into more of a shuffle and I could feel my core growing weaker. And I still had SOOOOO many miles!
Seriously hurting but somehow smiling
Miles 18-26.2 were really rough. I did a combination of running with short 1-2 minute walking breaks. I began to take extra fluids at the aid station and load up on calories. I reached the point where I just put one foot in front of the other and tried to stay relaxed as I saw my goal time come and go. My husband found me at 23.5 and gave me the last little burst of energy I needed along with Amy who found me at 25ish and who helped me by sharing the story of her race.
I had absolutely nothing left in the tank for a kick at the end and slowly crossed the finish line. I briefly felt like I was going to pass out but quickly grabbed some water and an apple and that feeling subsided. I easily found Chris and Amy and we began the slow 1ish mile walk to the hotel. Amy and Chris filled me in on all of our friends races and it turns out that for the most part, everyone had a rough day. That gives me some semblance of reassurance that it wasn’t just me breaking down from the distance. There were times that I really questioned myself out there-if I truly have it in me to run this distance, or questioning why I was even out there in the first place. Those questions are being put to the side for now as I really don’t have the answers.
After quickly showering and packing, we were on our way home to Cleveland. So that is my marathon. It definitely was not the race I planned or trained for and I am working on being OK with that. It wasn’t my day but I must continue to believe that my day is still there.
What’s next for me? A trail marathon in two weeks where I get the privilege of supporting Amy, a deed she has done for me so many times that I am truly honored I get to help her to this goal! And then a nice long break, at least from racing long distances. I have some general race plans for 2017 but nothing is finalized just yet.
Tell me; did you race this weekend? How did it go?