Not many pre-race thoughts here! I literally decided to run this race on Tuesday the week of. It was the final day for registration and I was feeling pretty antsy to run a race. So...I registered. I had a 16 mile long run in my pocket and not much training otherwise. I don't usually train the traditional way for marathons though, so it is what it is. Not sure why I felt compelled to run this particular race, but I did. I had originally intended to run Grandma's Marathon in June, but decided not to and needed a replacement race I guess! I went down to Rochester the day before the race with Eric and the boys to pick-up my packet, eat dinner, and head back home for a good nights sleep.
Sunday, May 24, 2015: Race Day
We woke up very early to hit the road and drive down to Rochester for the race. The race start was at an elementary school outside of town. We were to start at 7am! Eric was driving and I was trying to rest and stay relaxed during the drive down. The boys just slept! For whatever reason, I didn't figure the timing out right and we showed up to the start line with 10 minutes to spare. I got in line to use the porta-potty, only to realize that I would miss the start if I stayed in line. So, I jumped out of line, took a couple pictures with my boys, and headed to the start! The field was small, with only 293 finishers in the marathon, so the start line was pretty easy to navigate.
|Pre-Race pic with Ryan and Ethan|
|And we're off!|
The first 6 miles of the race was beautiful countryside. It was all on the road, which had many rolling hills. None of them were huge, but after the first couple of miles I was starting to feel them! The weather was cool and cloudy, which was perfect weather for a marathon. BUT, then it started to drizzle rain. I didn't mind at first because I liked how the rain was keeping me cool. Eventually being wet just mad me feel cold and heavy.
I was starting to feel the effects of not being able to use the porta-potty before the race and saw one just before the half marathon split. I was hoping for a good split time, but at this point...I had to go! I lost about 2 minutes stopping, but got back into my rhythm pretty quickly. I hit the half marathon split around 1:52, which was "meh" for me - in other words, not my usual pace and an indicator that this would not be a fast race for me.
I ran with the 3:45 group for a little while and listened to their banter. I wondered how people could be holding such a conversation at mile 14 of a marathon? Especially at a pace like that! Why weren't they preserving their energy or focusing on what they were doing...running a marathon? Instead, they were chit-chatting away about random topics. I wonder why they run marathons at all if they are not going to run them to their best ability - which would mean they wouldn't have enough time or energy for chit chat! I guess I'm different then them. All of my marathons, whether fast or slow by my own means, are all run to my fullest ability "that day". I predict that I will never run a marathon and take the time to chit chat with someone...but by mile 23 that would change, haha!
Eric and the boys were MIA at this point. I was wondering when I would get to see them. As I approached mile 16, I caught a glimpse of them! They were hanging out at an aid station with their umbrellas and handing out gels to the runners.
|Ryan handing gels to the runners!|
|Ethan doing his part!|
|Approaching the boys!|
|Getting some hugs :)|
After I left the guys at mile 16, I started to crash. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I came to realize the real reason that drove me to this race. I didn't come to this race to run fast and BQ, or to use it as a long run for another marathon. I came to this race to humble myself and give myself permission to stop running. It was like a huge epiphany. I was running along when it occurred to me that my entire life had become about running. My business is called MN Running Company, my clients are always running and racing and training with me, and even my friends all run and talk running with me. My husband, brothers, and dad have all run their first marathons because of me. Run, run, run...
It turns out that I was burnt out, after all this time. I listened to my gut and by mile 18, my inner voice was telling me I was done. No more running, at least for now. I stopped in my tracks - literally - I pulled to the side of the course and pulled out my cell phone. I called Eric and asked him to come and get me. I was done. I have NEVER quit a race before and trust me, I have wanted to. So, this was shocking to both myself and Eric. He said that they were all waiting at mile 20 and that it would just be easier if I just ran to them. So, I started up again and headed to mile 20.
|But I kept on going!|
So, the thing about mile 20...it was a relay exchange and there were a lot of people there cheering. For some reason, instead of quitting, I was rejuvenated. I also was sub 3 hours at this time, which meant I could still sub a 4 hour marathon. I think I was nuts, but I decided to keep running. It would catch up to me though! By mile 23, I was not physically done...but mentally. I started to walk.
As I was walking, this guy passed me and cheered for me. Then I started running and he started walking, so I returned the favor and cheered for him. After a couple of back and forths, we ended up walking together. Then run/walking together. Either way, we seemed to need each other to finish the race. His name was Seth and he was not from MN. He was here to get his MN marathon. He was running a marathon a month. Crazy!
We carried on with conversation...see, I became one of those marathoners that chit chats, LOL! Anyway, I was getting rested up with all of the walking and felt like I could really run in that last mile. But, I didn't want to leave my new friend in the dust, so I continued to walk with him and not worry about my race or my time. We finished at 4:08. Which was fine for me since I had walked a ton, but certainly not the best I had in me that day. Oh well.
|Finishing with my new friend.|
All in all, I think I needed this race even though it wasn't a good one. It had a purpose. The purpose was for me to acknowledge to myself that I was done with all this running. The week after this race, I made the hard decision to close my business and my gym. I always knew my best thinking was done on the run. I just needed to listen to what my inner voice was saying, and I guess it took this marathon to get the message across.
Event: Med City Marathon
Place: Rochester, MN
Date: Sunday, May 24, 2015
Overall Place: 130 of 293
Gender Place: 37 of 105
Division Place (F4044): 9 of 25
Half Split: 1:52:35
Final Time: 4:08:13 (9:29 avg. pace)