Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Veterans Marathon 2015

You guys read about my secret in the last post. I knew I had to give myself another chance to go for that 2017 BQ after not finishing the Indy Monumental last weekend. Because the thought makes me want to barf, I'll just put my finishing time out there now:
Sure, it's my second fastest time (only four marathons under my belt) but very unimpressive for my current ability. My Boston qualifying time is 3:35 so I trained for 3:30 to ensure that I'd actually get accepted into the race (for 2016, you had to beat your qualifying time by 2 minutes and 28 seconds!). I was going to allow myself 3:32 at the slowest. A 3:30 marathon is an 8 minute pace but all of my race pace training was around 7:45. I just wanted my body to be ready...AND IT IS/WAS!
Amanda and me at the "expo."
Just like in Indy, I felt great that morning (except for my GERD symptoms which have been rough for 2-3 weeks). No aches or nerves. It was in the high 20s, approaching 30 degrees, at the start. The wind was very light ranging 5-10 mph the entire race. It was pretty dang cold but tolerable. [I can't forget to mention that Amanda was there to pace me. If you need a good friend, she's a good one to pursue. I am officially encouraging you not to pursue her because I am selfish and want to keep her for myself.]

Flat Lisa. I was looking sharp and representin' Cbus!
After the cannon sounded...yes, a cannon...we set off towards the cow fields. Oddly enough, I never saw a cow, but I knew they were there because I smelled them. It took maybe 3ish miles to warm up to the point that I wasn't numb anymore. It took my running body about 10 miles to warm up before I felt ready to conquer this challenge.
If you are one who requires spectators, this is not the race for you. There is basically no one out there except those at the water stations (which were irregularly and oddly placed). The volunteers were very nice, though. This race was a half marathon loop which we ran twice. The second loop was tough because the few spectators that were present had gone on there way to the only sit down restaurant in town (Bob Evans). Also, if anyone tries to tell you this is a hilly course, they tell LIES. I would call it rolling inclines. All you have to do is run in Dublin, OH and you could handle this with ease.
 Let's break down the miles. I'll organize it into my four marathon phases:
  1. The Warm Up Phase [Miles 1-7]: It took me longer than seven miles to warm up which actually made me nervous. Nothing significant happened in this phase. We were just trying to keep our pace under control and around 7:55/mile. I took a gel around 4 miles and a salt packet around mile 7. Splits: 7:45, 7:56, 7:40, 7:55, 7:55, 7:48, 7:54. Not too shabby.
  2. The Fun Phase [8-13.1]: I finally warmed up and knew in my heart that I would BQ today! I took another gel around 9 miles. It was kind of annoying to run through the finish line and not be finished! Our half split was 1:43:19! PERFECT! Splits: 7:46, 7:47, 7:45, 7:55, 7:47, 7:56.
  3. The Relaxation Phase [13.1-20]. Sometime during the Fun Phase, one of the few spectators was yelling, "Relax and make it fun!" I'm not sure what it was about that phrase, but it really worked for me. I used it a lot during this phase because it seemed to instantly relax me. Sometime shortly after the halfway point, I commented to Amanda that my hip was starting to bother me. I didn't make a big deal about it because it felt like a pain that I could easily push through...something that would probably go away soon. Despite this sensation I was feeling, miles 14-17 were very strong: 7:47, 7:58, 7:55, 7:53. It was mile 18 that I knew things weren't looking good. The pain was not subsiding and actually getting worse. I could feel my gait changing. Mile 18, 8:18...YIKES. My first 8-something mile of the race. It wasn't a mental blow to see that number because Amanda taught me that "one mile does not define your race." Miles 19 and 20 just got worse (8:49, 9:41). The pain kept increasing and reality set in: I WAS NOT GOING TO BQ.  I do remember, after mile 19, Amanda told me that I could still get 3:30 if I could average 8:20/mile (I didn't do the math in my own head because I was in so much pain, but I trusted her math skills). For a split second, I had some hope...I can easily run 7 more miles at 8:20! Except that I was in EXCRUCIATING PAIN. You guys, this pain was worse than child birth without meds. It was in mile 20 that I let Amanda leave me. Staying with me at that point would have been marathon hell for her. Looking back, I'm slightly annoyed for her because she would have won overall female! The winner ran a 3:15!
  4. The All or Nothing Phase [21-26.2]: The last 10k. For this race, I will have to rename this "the walking phase" because that's pretty much what I did the entire time! UGH. So frustrating. I was in so much pain that I couldn't get my legs to run. It was the weirdest feeling. My legs have been moving perfectly fine ALL YEAR LONG! Why was this happening to me now?!!! I have a history of hip issues but haven't dealt with it since the Columbus full in 2012. I had a slight issue last year but I was convinced I was over-training/over-racing for my fitness level at the time. Splits: 17:01, 13:41, 12:42, 14:51, 12:43, 12:30, 4:06 (0.41miles). Amanda ran the last 1 1/2-ish miles with me. Have I mentioned how great of a friend she is? Takeaway from this phase? Lots and lots of pain and legs wouldn't run...they just wouldn't. I cried when I saw Amanda, told her this was "the stupidest shit I've ever done," and just wanted to finish so that I could take a shower. When I crossed the finish line, the lady who handed me my medal said "You look like you are disappointed." Ha! I couldn't hide my frustration.

Final thoughts...where do I begin. With all of my success this year, my goal was to be inspiring to my fellow runners and even my fellow non-runners. I wanted to show what hard work can accomplish. Literally every race this year was a great one...until last weekend. My training this summer and fall couldn't have been more perfect. What I didn't know is that God intended me to spread another form of inspiration. He smashed me in the freaking face with this question: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO REACT TO FAILURE WHEN YOU'VE PUT YOUR ALL INTO SOMETHING? I know failure is relative. You all think I haven't failed, but, in my eyes, I've failed miserably.

Only Amanda got to witness my initial reaction. I was devastated, pissed off, crying, feeling sorry for myself...all in a matter of 10 minutes. I then realized, as I was hobbling to the car, WHO AM I TO THINK I DESERVE THIS RIGHT NOW? I reflected on my year and realized how much I have gained through running this year. Historically, I've lacked so much confidence in many areas of my life. I have grown so much this year in that area and it's all because of my running friends (and the hubs, of course). I have gained so much through my training and all of it has been SO MUCH FUN!

Thanks again to my secret keepers for keeping this under wraps. Many thanks to all of you who have been a part of my 2015 training. You guys can't begin to comprehend how much you all mean to me! I am ready to take as many days as I need to make my hip feel better so that I can get my 2015 miles in 2015!
This one was mainly for Dani because she likes me with my shirt off ;) LOL!! Seriously, though, I sent a message to my secret keepers after the race and told them "I might have had a shitty race but at least my abs look good today!"

Side note: The GERD crap was an issue the entire race but not one that was going to cost me my BQ. I started different meds on Friday. I'm giving it two weeks to improve my symptoms or I'm seeking a second opinion about my situation.


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