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.


  1. I think races where things do not go well are way harder than races where everything goes well and we PR. Of course you could have done better. You were sick! I can't imagine running with a stomach virus. I've puked in a race before (from the heat) and ended up running more than 30 minutes slower than what I was capable of. The good thing is that all the training you did is still in your legs and lungs, and you will cash in on it during your next marathon!
    Recover well!

  2. I'm so sorry. You were so ready to carry those first splits all the way to the end! :( I do know just how you feel, though, when you work so hard and remain so focused, and then don't have the day you deserve on race day. For me this year it was IMLP--and I had the same problem--nausea, throwing up, and then total electrolyte and hydration depletion. Stress? A virus? I had the same question... and it will never be answered.
    But Boston is coming. And you will crush that race. I am positive about that. xo

  3. Oh AR, I totally feel your pain. Throwing up during a race is THE WORST. I threw up during Boston and during the BAA 10K. I always hate it...

    I'm glad you stuck it out and still finished- that is a feat in itself. There are always more marathons and I know for a fact, a fast marathon is around the corner for you. You always amaze me!!!

  4. Ugh I am so sorry... totally been there and it's just not any fun. Obviously you were not feeling well and something wasn't right... you will have a better race very soon!

  5. Oh Adreienne. I'm sure this is all still with you even days later. It is never easy to process a race that we train so hard for. and then when it ends up turning out so opposite of what we have planned. Uggh! I hope you have recovered well...mentally and physically. I have a list other books I've read in addition to picking Ana maria's brain. Looks like you also have Mary Iron Matron reading your blog...she seems like another wise one. You've got some solid resources! :) Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald was one that Jill recommended. Take care.

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