The marathon. It is kind of a beast:)
What my face looked like for the majority of the second half of the race. I am glad I am posting this for everyone to see.
Turns out that not every race is a good one:)
As you can tell, things went downhill fast (NOT because my quad injury ((I took 5 weeks off from running leading up to the marathon to fix)) was hurting). I would feel the area a little bit if I tried to speed up throughout the race at some spots but NO pain… just awareness of the spot if that makes sense).
Let’s talk about what went wrong first and then let’s talk about what went so so right. PS I will be writing a more detailed pool running—> road running post soon!
I am proud of myself for pushing through these things:
1. The headwind for a few miles in the first half and then from miles 12-20 in the canyon. As you know, wind is my least favorite thing and it nearly killed me off. It was so strong that everyone I talked to finished about 10 minutes slower than their training predicted. The wind took a lot of energy out of me during that second half which is a big reason why I slowed down so much and I was exhausted once we got out of the canyon but it’s things like that that make us stronger. The biker pacers said that they had to pedal hard even on the downhills during that portion because the wind was so strong.
2. Mentally I was a mess. Brooke was being picked up by her dad during the race to go for the weekend and that put me over the edge when I stopped to say goodbye to her along the course. I always forget how much of running is mental and how I just have to block the really painful things from my brain for the race. She gives me so much strength when I see her during a race but it is always tough to say goodbye especially when I am all emotional from running and I did not expect for it to be so hard on me.
3. Pool running doesn’t prepare you for hills (up or down) and my muscles (or lack thereof) were exhausted. Strength training here I come.
4. My feet lost all of their calluses/toughness over the last 5 weeks from only pool running and not road running. It wasn’t the shoes fault (I have NEVER had blister issues from the Pure Flows except for on Saturday and I have been wearing them for years). The pool really softened them up.
I knew I was in big trouble at mile 4 when my feet started hurting pretty bad from the blisters.
This is just one of three large blood blisters. My feet are thrashed. It will take a good amount of time to be able to put a pair of shoes back on again. Sorry the picture is gross but we are runners and we all understand.
THE RIGHTS… which were great:
1. This race is incredible. The Utah Valley Marathon started right on time, there were SO SO many aid stations fully stocked with amazing things (like the otter pop that I had at mile 24), the finish line area was incredible and so were the medals, the course scenery is breathtaking and the expo was great. Everything was marked, there was plenty of space to run at all times and the roads were blocked off and police officers all over the place directing traffic so I never had to worry about cars. I can’t think of one problem.
2. Seeing my family and friends along the way. Family/friends > than getting the fastest marathon time ever.
3. I killed it with my nutrition. I ate a bagel/jam/banana before the race and took in 400 calories of gu (almost every 45 minutes I took one) and plenty of water/gatorade along the course. In previous marathons it is hard for me to even stomach a little bit of fuel so I have come a long way. My friend had a squeeze bottle of gatorade for me at mile 9 and I drank the whole thing. That was SOOO nice because I never felt dehydrated or like I hit the wall because I never ran out of calories (as far as muscle weakness goes—> I did hit the wall:). I am happy about this because staying on top (and ahead) of nutrition and hydration is key for the marathon.
4. Running with my sister was absolutely amazing. I really was ready to quit because of the blisters and other factors when I saw her but she is the greatest human being ever and sacrificed having blisters herself from running in flip flops to get me to the finish line. I walked a little bit each mile (during the last 5.5 miles) until the finish. She kept me entertained, she was so positive and she was exactly what I needed. She knew how important it was to me to finish and she did what it took to get me there (I asked her to make sure I got in to BQ and she did that too). You can read more about her flip-flop running HERE!
4a). My nieces, nephew and bro-in-law scootered next to us for a little while too. It was amazing.
5. I went into the race knowing that I would drop out the second I felt pain from my injury. In 5 weeks I went from not being able to walk up the stairs (I had to crawl up for a few days because it hurt so bad) to Boston Qualifying and I think that is because of taking time off, seeing physical therapists, getting scraped, deep tissue massages, acupuncture, working with my sports medicine doctors, pool running and working hard at cleaning up my nutrition. I didn’t even attempt to run until the pain was completely gone. I am really sore after the race but not injured. Hallelujah.
1. I probably only listened to music for 10 miles of the race. I don’t know why but I just didn’t feel like turning it on for a while.
2. I did not stare at my garmin like I usually do and that was really nice.
3. It has been a long time (2.5 years) since my last marathon and I am excited to be back in the game and see where I can go. Although, I really do love the half and might focus on that for a while after the SGM this fall.
4. The marathon is ridiculously hard but I think that is why people love it, it shows you what you are made of.
Tell me about you’re experience with the marathon/half-marathon!
Blisters… ever get them? What do you do about them?
Hardest race (mentally and physically) that you have ever done?
What is going to be the best part of your Monday!?