Marathon #30...I made it to the start line

After a rough September I was thrilled that I was able to bet to the start line of TCM but part of me was panicking inside with all the what ifs of missed training. My final "long run" of training went great, I headed out for 8 but met a friend with 1 mile left and ran 10, oops. I figured after missing my last 9 mile tempo I could handle this.

Two days before marathon day Nichole and I talked strategy and I was convinced to try a new approach instead of my crash and burn marathons of the past. Our plan was to start with 3:35 pacer and run 8:10s until mile 5-6 then creep down to 8:00 pace and slowly ease into 7:50s. My nutrition plan was in place, Nichole was meeting me around mile 12-13 with UCAN and we had high hopes for the day.

I spent Saturday working at the expo with UCAN, sharing this great product with other runners, chatting with friends and then relaxing. This was the coolest weekend we've had in months so clothing was a huge decision and debated for hours until the last minute. Decided on short, tank, arm sleeves, mittens and throw away jacket.

We headed down to start, drank UCAN and dropped our bags then I lined myself up with 3:35. Mile 1 and 2 were right on 8:10s and I had to hold back. Then the pacer was speeding up 7:40s for the next couple miles, what?! "Just find your own pace" I keep telling myself. I settled on 7:50s for most of the next 15 miles. In my head I was reminding myself that Nichole would be waiting for me near mile 13 and I wanted to run well. I grabbed my UCAN from her and kept running.

The next few miles felt great, even the part 16-18 where I typically struggle. Then I started to feel the fatigue of not fully training when I hit mile 21, I started walking water stops. The nest miles got worse...My leg started giving me sharp pains when running. I felt like my Achilles was pulling, not a great feeling. By mile 24 I accepted that I was done...I text running friends that I "quit" I was walking the finish. I gave short run attempts and stopped with pain each time.
Mentally I fought...Do I run through this and just be tough? If I run through this will I end with a big injury? I chose the smart option and walked a lot...I finished I missed my goal (by a lot).

Mentally I was a mess, a full range of emotions ran through my head Sunday night. My leg ached all night, I couldn't get comfortable so I knew I did the right thing.

Share how you got through a tough race...


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