My 2015 season started the last week of December 2014. I was preparing for Flying Pig in May. I did so well that my husband challenged me to qualify for Boston. That's when I decided to register for Indy. From that first week of training until now, it has been about 45 weeks. Let's do some math:
45 weeks x 5 days of training per week = 225 runs (this is an estimate, of course)
Of those 225 runs, very few of them were run in the afternoon or evening. We'll say, at the VERY MINIMUM, 200 early wake up calls ranging from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. That includes just over 1800 miles and, I'm guessing, at least 15 races.
I don't think it's arrogant to say I was dedicated.
All of this lead to ONE RACE. This is the life of a runner. So many miles, early mornings, mommy guilt, wife guilt...all of that sacrificing for ONE RACE. My training after Pig was as perfect as it could be. I was going to get a 3:30-3:32 at Indy. That is, unless something happened that was out of my control...and it did.
|We decided to caption this: Mad, Heifer, Thrilled (we chose our own words...Jackie called herself a heifer, folks!)|
It's no secret that I've been trying to get pregnant since April. I was taking a risk by registering for Indy because I could potentially get pregnant at any moment. As race day approached, and pregnancy didn't happen, I was slightly relieved because I felt I could run my heart out like I thought I was intended to do.
It's also no secret (to my closest friends, anyway) that I've been on my period for EVERY IMPORTANT RACE this year. I am not joking. The Winter Run, Flying Pig, Johnstown to Granville Half, Hilliard 10k...the list goes freaking on. So, it wasn't a shocker to me when I counted the weeks leading up to Indy and noticed that I'd be on my period again. Since having James, my periods have been quite awful but I manage. They've worsened in the most recent months but have always been regular. Period day came and went...NOTHING. Of course, I suspected pregnancy but didn't want to believe I would find out the day of my race. WTF. I had been feeling weird all week but decided it was all in my head because of nerves. I decided to bring a pregnancy test with me to Indy but not take it until after the race. I was afraid if I took it before, I would totally freak myself out. So I tried to ignore my instinct and move on.
|What I sent Dani and Marion so they'd know what to look for...too bad they only saw me once! Dani responded "Send one of your bra...you know you're gonna take your shirt off!"|
I felt completely fine that morning. I was ready to go! Jackie and I lined up with the measly 3:30 pace group while Amanda went up with the cool people (insert kiss face because I love you, Amanda). My only regret at this point was the fact that I wore throwaway pants that I actually loved. As I said in my last post, I wanted to give myself at least 7 miles to warm up before I decided how I really felt. The first two miles were fine other than the fact that I got hot very fast. It was low 40s at the start and I was sweating in mile 1 (I wore a tank, shorts, and arm warmers which I pulled down a few miles in). I was talking with Jackie, goofing off with my fellow runners, all was good.
After two miles, my legs were a little fatigued but I just assumed it was because I was still warming up. I took a gel at mile 4 and noticed it was hard to get down. I drank water and that was hard to get down as well. At mile 6, I was still feeling the same. I remember I planned to take a salt tab at that point. After swallowing it, I felt like it just stayed in my throat. I couldn't make myself drink water. It just wouldn't go down. WATER WOULDN'T GO DOWN?! You guys may remember my recent chest pain/swallowing trouble that ended up being GERD. I've had some bad GERD days this week and today was no exception.
When 8 miles rolled around, I started getting stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. They were intermittent and painful but at least I had moments of relief. I was also feeling more fatigued. I took another gel at 8.75 miles and, again, had trouble getting it down. Same story with all the other water stops. I decided to give myself 2 more miles before I would decide to take action. At mile 10, it was only getting worse...more fatigue, more lower abdominal pain, more GERD symptoms, and more hip tightness. It wasn't the worst pain but it wasn't going to get me a BQ. There was a medical tent at 10.5 miles, so I decided to stop there. I said to myself. "If I go to the bathroom and I've started my period, I'll keep going. If the panties and toilet paper are clear, I'm stopping."
All was clear and so was my desire to continue. Here were the thoughts spiraling through my brain:
- If, in fact, I was pregnant, stabbing pain in my lower abdomen isn't a good thing. Mommy instincts kicked in and I felt like I would be hurting my potential baby.
- My one and only goal for this race was to BQ (whether it be 3:30 or 3:32). It wasn't to run my 4th marathon and finish. It wasn't to experience the Indy Monumental. It was to BQ. I felt that 10.5 miles was enough time to determine that this goal was not going to be achieved on this day. I would not have been able to run 16 more miles feeling the way I felt and thinking I might be pregnant. Why put myself through that misery if I knew 3:30 wasn't happening?!
Obviously this was a tough situation for me. I have the best, most supportive friends. All I could think at the time was "I really don't want to get to my phone and have 20 bazillion Facebook posts to respond to!" I first saw Amanda then Jackie, Marion and Dani were there shortly after. They embraced me like best friends would. I talked to the hubs and Theresa and that's about all I could handle at the moment (until I was able to get some Starbucks).
I had a 3 hour drive home...alone. I didn't turn on the radio the whole time. I talked to a few more people, shed a few tears but not many...and really felt ok with what just happened. Of course, when I got home to the hubs, I cried for 2 hours!
I want to take this opportunity to share my faith and testimony. I think the reason I felt so good about my decision to stop is because I felt such peace when it happened. I wasn't crying; I didn't feel overwhelmed; I simply felt peace. At mile 8, I asked the Lord to tell me what to do. I heard VERY LOUD AND CLEAR. He told me to swallow my pride. He told me to stop feeling as if I needed this race on this day to prove myself. He told me to think of my body and what it was communicating to me. His peace crashed into me like a wave. I know (and HE knows) that I have trained my body to run a BQ. It just wasn't my day.
Am I completely bummed that I put in that work with nothing to show for it? ABSOLUTELY. Am I bummed that I won't be running Boston in 2017? ABSOLUTELY. I knew that this was my last opportunity for a couple of years since I was planning to get pregnant. Yes, I'm upset...BUT that connection I felt with God at 10.57 miles outweighs every other feeling I felt today (minus that amazing Razorback win...OMG did y'all see that?!).
I am sorry if some of you felt in the dark. I just needed to process it all. I still don't know if I am pregnant so you can skip that question. I will say that I haven't started my period but a woman's body is weird so who the hell knows what is going on?! I do know that I am looking forward to reaching 2015 miles in 2015 and enjoying my off season!