Minneapolis Marathon- When the body doesn't cooperate

After changing to the half last weekend due to hot, humid weather we decided to run this marathon instead, I was hoping to redeem myself and start my comeback. Last year I ran this race with a 2nd place AG finish and 7th woman, completely unexpected but something I was hoping to repeat. This wasn't close to being the race I had today. This was one of those days when things just didn't work and much was out of my control. This isn't a list of my excuses just a way to reassess where I am and what I could have done different.

Over the past few days I just haven't felt "right" headaches, fatigue and weakness and then yesterday I started getting a nasty sinus headache and despite ibuprofen it stuck around. Pretty sure this explains everything else too. I woke up with a headache still and made mistake #1 and after great debate gave in a took a nondrowsy antihistamine which worked for the head but hurt the rest of me. By the time we arrived at the race start my GI system was now rebelling as well, multiple trips to the port-a-potty later I was in line to start with the 3:30 pacer.
Eating pancakes on Grandpa's shoulders waiting for the race to start

Mile 1-3: 7:45 miles feeling good except the weird bilateral ankle/shin pain. Surprised to look at my pace as I felt like I was running much easier, love that feeling!

Mile 4-5: Shin pain is gone, no idea what that was about. This could be a good day. There is a guy running in full hockey gear and carrying a stick! (I later learned that there was a group of people doing this who had raised $20,000+ for an inner city hockey program)

Mile 6: Belly is not happy, please behave! 10K 48:00 (7:44 pace) still can do this PR thing!

Mile 9-10: Talked to another runner who did Boston this year comparing heat stories.

Mile 12, not too bad!
Mile 12: Their is the family, just what I needed as I am slowing with on and off belly pain. I slowly take gel, but it is only making the belly worse.

Mile 13.1: 1:44, still on pace although losing time quick. I take advantage of any energy burst to push when I can. Now running in the National Park, nice a shaded, but the trail could use some work as I mildly roll the ankle for the 1st time.

Mile 15-16: Loose gravel and rocks and uneven uphill paths, yuck! This is all due to a course change due to flooding, but it is tough and here is ankle roll #2&3 and pain in the left hip! Mile 16: 2:09:48 (now 8:22 pace) yep continuing to slow. And there goes the 3:30 pacer. Run your own race and forget about everyone else.

Mile 18-19: Leaving the park and this involves the worst hills I have ever seen in a race, to the point that it is nearly impossible to run. Hip hurts, groin hurts and now the Achilles after the hills.

Mile 20-23: A little energy coming back, do what you can and get to the end! And now we meet back up with the half marathon runners requiring a lot of dodging as I attempt to get around the groups of walkers or single runners with iPods blasting who can't hear my "passing on the left". Wonder how much energy I am losing here?

Mile 24-26: Lots of encouragement as I continue to pass half marathoners is helping the push. Quads are screaming and so is the belly! And who turned up the heat? All of a sudden it is hot and sunny (70s) Finally the finish line 3:39:12

Marathon #20 complete!
I am not someone who can eat immediately after a race and managed a half bag of chips, but by the time we got home 2 hours later I was not doing well and needed to eat. I knew I was feeling bad, but you truly know this is the case when hubby says "you look awfully pale". Lunch and finally being out of the heat has helped. I need to get better about having a recovery drink with, this really helped me the last few longer runs/races.

Finally the weather cooperates (50s and minimal humidity with a high of 70s) but my body didn't. I know my lack of hill and speed training and less then ideal running for the past 3 months due to my leg injury did not help anything. I am happy to say the injured leg felt great! I am not complaining about my time or the race I had, I know I did what I could even though my competitive side always wants better. I am sure I have am lacking the needed rest after 2 marathons and 2 halfs in 6 weeks and need to give my body a break. There I said it, as hard as it is for me to follow I will try to do this. Now to step back for a few weeks, reassess my running and training and make a new plan to continue this injury free comeback even stronger.


  1. Congratulations on finishing what sounds like (terrain-wise) a tough marathon! i agree, i am sure your body needs a really good recovery and rest to come back stronger later in the season - enjoy coming up with a new plan, enjoy your Summer!

    1. Thanks! Day 1 of trying to rest and I am already failing, although I did stick with pilates and walking the dog ;)

  2. I was thinking of you this weekend... you did an amazing job! I understand the feeling of that competitive side wanting a pr, but despite all the challenges, you came away with an awesome time. Congrats!! And yes- rest up... post-marathon is a great time to take it easy!

    1. Thanks Laura :) Working hard at the rest thing, even started studying for a new certifiation to give me something to do.

  3. Two marathons and two halves in six weeks! That's a lot of racing! I have never done a full, though I do want to someday. I am more of a two or three race per year kind of a girl though.

    1. I know, I like to torture my body from about March through October each year! Be warned marathons are addicting :)


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