So, it’s been a week. I have spent the days analyzing the race, the events that led up to the race, and ultimately, as I’ve always been taught…what part I did have in this, um, debacle.
There are no excuses for my epic fail at San Luis Obispo. For the first time in a really long time, I owned this training plan, and have no one except myself to look toward to fix it for the next one, which is, by the way, Tucson Marathon in December of this year. In that vein, I tried to look at the reasons my race turned out as it did…as a way of accurately assess the situation.
- There were two medical situations that happened that were out of my control. About 8 weeks ago, I got a sinus infection that lasted a week, or 40 miles. A week before the marathon, my foot was jacked. I couldn’t walk. My doctor told me not to run, and to get an X-Ray, which of course showed nothing, and now it’s just sore, but I may or may not get the MRI this week. This is not an excuse. However, it’s a reason.
- I was under some emotional distress of a personal nature by the time I toed the line at 6am last Sunday. Nauseous, sad, scared…and by mile 4, I realized that none of those feelings would change anything, so I had a choice. Bail or ask for guidance from my Higher Power…so I did. Ask for help. A fellow marathoner told me she was amazed I even got to the start line to begin with…
- At mile 11, I asked a runner who was coming back from the loop how far the turn around was. Up until that time, my splits were good. I was on pace for what I thought was a possible PR for sure, but I gave away my mental game at that moment. I gave it to the guy who said, “It’s a half mile.” It turned out to be 1.5 miles. This is an excuse that I used for awhile…but I gave someone else the power. Irritated with myself.
- Here’s a definite situation. I thought I had run consistent 12:04 splits, and when I got home and uploaded the data, the Garmin said something like 12:35ish for 5 miles. I seriously thought I was at my target pace, when in fact, much much slower. So, two things need to happen. I don’t know if it was a fluke, because it’s never happened, so I will be starting to pay real close attention to this. It’s possible that I was so out of it that I simply wasn’t paying attention…but, I don’t know what happened.
- Mental Training. I love the Hanson plan, and will continue to use it, but I think in addition, I need to journal, or do some mental/emotional training. Must train my brain and my heart, because as you know, my legs were beyond ready. They were perfectly ready. I think it’s like one of those disaster trainings we have in the Red Cross. I should have been prepared for anything…and, I wasn’t.
- Other people on the course. Here is the joker in the deck. You can never prepare for the people or things that will trigger you. There was the girl I’ve run with before with her non-stop talking. I put my head down, because I couldn’t engage in a conversation. The team mentality. I’m just not a part of the team when it comes to race day. I subscribe to different training, and I feel self-centered and paranoid as I envision the conversations they are having. I will say it was great to see my mentor at mile 15. She was the reason I started team. There was a man on the team that I ran with for 5 or 6 miles who was hurting. I think I got sucked into that energy as well. I allowed this to own my head. My fault, completely.
My nutrition was perfect. For the first time, I ran with my own Clif Shots and water. I could have eaten more the day before…as I had water, some pasta, some desserts, and went to bed with very little in my stomach. I’m happy with how I planned my bathroom breaks. I had enough where-with-all to pack wipes, etc. There were many many good elements here.
I had no excuse not to start the race. I knew that not only would I start, but I would finish. However, I knew that morning it would be ugly. And, it was. It definitely was not my day. There are no excuses. There are only reasons and plans to repair.
It’s like a hurricane comes and rips up the ground. I can sit around and blame the hurricane, but that doesn’t help me right the foundation any faster. Just fix it. We can talk about the weather later, and how I could have or should have better prepared. Meanwhile, the house needs to be re-built.