Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Looking Back - Thunder Road Marathon 11/12/2011

After a week of searching and trying to figure some things out...running wise, I have decided to write a race report. More to close the race out in my mind than anything, however, I know there is much to learn through the struggle of not meeting a goal.
I trained hard for this race and wanted to go strong. I needed this race to show me that last years BQ was not a fluke. I needed to know I could pull off another 3:45 marathon. I needed this to prove to myself that I could go the distance and not falter. However, this was not to be. Now I sit and deal with all the "what if's" and "I should of's".
The day started uneventful. Just like every training run. I got up at 0500 and met with the one who created me, who understands me, who knew what my day would hold, and who would be with me every step of the way. I read my Bible and prayed for a glorious day for me, Michelle, and all my friends who would run.
Michelle and I left for the race and both of us were in agreement that we were calm. I had not told anyone what I wanted to do in this race. I had just said I would line up with Ed and the 3:45 pace group and see what happened. That is what I did....
The gun went off and we were running....
Mile 1 - 5 came and went. I just focused on staying with Ed. I noticed that my stomach was starting to feel weird and my legs were not turning over. However, I felt like I would bounce back after I took a gel.
mile 1 - 5: 8:36, 8:35, 8:16, 8:19, 8:25
Around mile 5.5 I took my first gel just like I did every training run. But I noticed it was not working well with my stomach. Mark Ulrich joined us and I felt like this would push me on. During mile 6 - 7, I started playing the I want to turn off at the half point game in my head...WHAT! No!
I promised myself I would run with the pace group to the half turnoff then if I did not feel any better, I would just turn off and run the half. I noticed I was now 1 step behind Michelle. I was having a hard time keeping it together. And I would have turned off at the half point, if I had remembered passing it.
I really should have quit. I cannot recall mile 11 to just past turning onto Morehead. I remember thinking, "How did we get here?"
Mile 6 - 13 splits: 8:22, 8:30, 8:32, 8:23, 8:26, 8:25, 8:24, 8:45
Then Mark asks me if I'm OK. This jolts me back into reality. I try to figure out where I am, why I'm doing this, and why I haven't stopped yet. I told him I wasn't doing well so he suggests just slowing down for a few miles. After I admitted I was feeling bad, my times start going up...up...up. Mark was wonderful and encouraging. However, I could not pull it together enough to get back on pace.
Mile 17 I see my wonderful family. I hear my husband yelling at me to get on pace. I see my sweet children yelling for me to finish. My oldest daughter, Abigayle had written me a note the night before. She had expressed how proud she felt every time I crossed the finish line of a marathon. So I decided I would finish. I knew I would not meet my goal, but for my children, I would finish what I started.... no matter how messy it would be.
Mile 14 - 19: 8:54, 8:56, 9:03, 9:22, 9:43, 9:16
At mile 20 I saw 2 angels waiting to run the last 10k... Holly and Denise! They looked so fresh and cute! I would have cried but I was too dehydrated. No tears would come out. I do remembering going through the wall at NoDa and wishing it would have fallen on me.... I could have stopped then!
At mile 21, I saw my family again. My mom and dad had joined Matt and my girls. Funny how even at my age, I just wanted my mom! She is a 2x cancer survivor and the strongest person I know. This gave me a small boost. I had upped the pace to a 9:09! =)
However, I soon was reminded how much time it took when you have to stop on the side of the road to throw up.
I would run, stop, run, stop, run stop. Somewhere along the Plaza, Theoden passed me. He said something encouraging but I honestly would not have known it was him, except that Holly said his name. I remember thinking that a really cute girl was running with him but I could not figure out who she was.... It was Kara. I didn't know it was her until I read her race report.
Mile 20-26: 9:09, 10:38, 10:01, 10:30, 10:48, 12:34, 9:08
As Holly and I turned the corner and ran I saw my family! My Maggie (who HATES running) got on the course and ran me in. This made all my pain worth it.
After it was finally over, all us girls got a picture!
After this race, I have to admit my ego took a blow. I felt like I showed a side of me to everyone that I don't like to show. I don't want to appear weak or unable. But that is what I felt like I showed to everyone. However, as I read the reports from others and talked to everyone, I soon noticed they did not think this. They understood... Some have been where I am!
All my non-running friends keep saying..."Hey, you finished!" But finishing isn't enough anymore. I feel like I need to finish well. But maybe it is enough. Maybe I should be glad that I was able to finish, even with the way I felt and the stopping to try to puke and the pain. Maybe I should be satisfied...but I'm not! I need to know I can do a 3:45 again. Not to requalify, but for principle.
This race is now behind me and I will not speak of it again.
Now I look toward Boston!
Let the training begin!

1 comment:

Jessi said...

Christa,
You are remarkable. Even in weakness you are strong. You have changed my life for the better and every time that I see you cross the finish line I soar with pride as well. Even though you were not feeling well, you did something that most people will never do! You're the top, baby!