Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving along and putting life in perspective….


Okay, I am getting over myself finally.  Two weeks later, I am finally ready to put Bay State 2011 behind me.  Thank you for your very nice comments.  They all mean SO very much to me! 

I still have no clue if I stressed myself out or had a virus, but looking back, I can highlight a few things that probably caused me some stress that day.

First, I HATE HATE being late…. so arriving to the marathon so close before the start was so very stressful to me.  For me, I was not relaxed at ALL when I started running.

Because I was stressed out, I simply was not in the right frame of mind from the start. I could not put myself in the zone that day.  In my best races, I just go.  There is complete flow, and I just zoom as what feels right.  Very little thinking is involved.  Bay State 2011- I was thinking WAY too much.  Was my husband getting bored while I was running?  Was he able to handle the stroller and the dog?  Why was I not in the zone?  Why did this feel hard?

I also think that my timing with my marathon was slightly off in terms of my work schedule.  The week before the race, I had just returned from a two week work trip to Europe.  We left for Nantucket the next morning and spent the rest of Columbus Day weekend there.  I then came home and threw myself into mothering Jack and Cisco the dog, being a nice wife (as I had left my husband with them for two weeks!) and catching up both in the office and at home.  Needless to say, I wore myself into the ground the week before the marathon, mentally and physically.

This is where I started to put many things in perspective.  I realized that I am placing  a LOT of stress on myself right now. Although life being crazy and hectic is all about perspective, my life is a little bit much for me right now.  I work full time and probably do 90% of the household work.  My husband is awesome, but simply is not domestic.  Also, I am crazy about what we eat, and he would order takeout every night. 

Next, on average, I am commuting three hours a day.  Between drop offs for child and dog daycare and getting to work, it takes about one and a half hours to go 25 miles.  And then, I turn around at the end of the day and do it all over again.  Realizing I managed to train for a marathon while living this life made me appreciate myself a little bit more and cut myself a little slack.

I also need to let my working mother and working wife guilt go a little bit.  My perspective was that I did not want my husband and son to feel any crunch by my busy work schedule.  But, I finally realized that this is not possible.  My life with work is busy, and it will affect my ability to mother and be a good wife.  And, because I was so crazy with this idea, I put some of the things I like to do aside.  I needed to change that.  This past week, I was creative with baking, making Halloween cake-pops.  I love to bake and give to others.  This project was a great outlet!  I went to hot yoga multiple times and bought the Jillian Michaels’ YOGA MELTDOWN DVD.  I took the time to not just read blogs this week, but to actually comment. I made time for me and I feel refreshed.

Okay, I am a little recentered.  Not quite there yet, but aiming for it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bay State Marathon 2011


I trained so hard for this race.  And, I did not deliver the results that I know I can achieve.

Now that I have started the blog post on that ominous note, here is the bright side.

I was stressed, I was sick and I did not quit.  I have never wanted to quit a race so badly at various points, but I never did! 

My bad karma started the day before the race.  A few months ago, I put my IPod shuffle through the washer and dryer.  It may have been clean, but it was broken.  As a treat to myself, I decided to splurge and buy a new shuffle.  After charging it, loading it with songs, I tested it. AND IT DID NOT WORK!  I normally do not run a marathon with music, but this course is small and does not provide the entertainment of the big city, so I thought I might need it.

I moved on, went to bed fully NUUN hydrated, and woke up at 4AM and puked.

What?  I just got myself back to sleep thinking it was a fluke.

I woke up at 5 AM, fed myself, the dog, the baby and the husband and then we all loaded in the car headed to Lowell.  We arrived exactly 22 minutes before the start.  I needed to pee and get in the corral, but first we needed to move my crew to the start.  I am practically in tears and on the edge as I am stressed by this.  But, my husband was here to support me so I did not want to take it out on him.

I make it to the start with a few minutes to spare and the gun goes off.

Mile 1: 7:59

Perfect for what my goal is

Mile 2: 7:49

Mile 3: 7:45

Mile 4: 7:51

Mile 5: 7:50

Mile 6: 7:56

Does anyone see where this is headed?

Mile 7: 8:01

(Here, we headed across a very wobbly bridge- it reminded me of running in a bouncy house)

I saw there was a water stop coming so I took my GU.

Mile 8: 8:22

Here is when I threw up the GU because the water stop was tiny and I missed getting any liquid.  In retrospect, I should have turned around for it.  But, this is how I learn.

Mile 9: 8:16

Trying to get my head back in the game

Mile 10: 8:07

Mile 11: 8:23

Mile 12: 8:22

Mile 13: 8:50

My husband told me he would find me near the half, and I never found him.  Mentally, I was demoralized and also demoralized that I had to run another loop.  (It was a double loop course.) I totally wanted to quit here.

Mile 14: 8:47

Mile 15: 8:30

Mile 16: 9:08

Mile 17: 8:57

Mile 18: 9:37

Mile 19: 9:14

Mile 20: 9:06

Mile 21: 9:41

Mile 22: 9:44

And during this mile, I threw up again.  A lot!  But, I actually did not want to quit because I was running on some random state highway in Lowell.  I just wanted to be done!

Mile 23: 10:19

Mile 24: 11:26

Mile 25: 10:28

Mile 26: 9:48

Mile 26.38- 3:53

Needless to day, I am still super disappointed with my race results. I went out a few seconds too fast at the beginning, but I really truly believe that I trained to run a much faster race.  For heavens sake, I only ran one minute slower at Boston when I had just had the baby less than 3 months before!

However, I cannot change that I was sick.  I am unsure if I had a virus, or if it was stress, or what it was.  I have no idea.

This splits are definitely up there with how not to pace a marathon (or any race), but I assure you that I had trained to rock the race.  I worked so hard all summer. Like my friend said, some days we have runs where it all clicks.  Other runs just feel miserable.  I just happened to chance upon the latter.  I worked for every minute of the race and worked so hard to not quit.  That I am proud of!

I have lots of other thoughts….. but I think I need to process them a little bit more.  They may involve the morning I had before the race- not relaxing.