I was so hoping to have an amazing recap of the Wisconsin Marathon this past weekend and unfortunately I do not. The trip was amazing and I had so much fun, so absolutely no regrets. I am also not unhappy with the race. The course was beautiful, volunteers were fantastic, I had a great support crew cheering for me, Lane was able to navigate the course and see me in several spots and it was well organized and overall a fun race. For me, it just was one of those days that the stars don’t align for a great race.
I felt good the first 3/4 of the race. My pace was right on track to break 4 hours, which was my primary goal. While I would like to qualify for Boston soon, I knew that I needed to have a sub-4 hour race before I was going to see a BQ again. I wanted a sub-4 to feel relatively easy. I wanted my legs to feel good and my stomach to behave and to just feel as good as I have on my training runs.
The last time I saw Lane on the course was at about mile 20. The wheels were starting to fall off at that point. I knew I was still on track to break 4 hours, but I knew it’d be tough. It was starting to get a bit warm out at that point, it was probably in the mid-60s, which I am not used to. And the biggest issue for me, the water/Gatorade stops were only about every two miles. I was well hydrated going into the race, so that wasn’t an issue, but I was taking 3 cups of water at each aid station, walking for a few seconds to drink them, then I started running again. Less than a minute after starting to run again, all I could think about was water. I needed water. Sometimes you have those moments where you have an all-consuming craving for something and you MUST HAVE IT NOW. That’s how I felt about water for the last six miles of the race. My problem was that drinking all the water would have made me feel like a fish bowl and would have likely made me more miserable as well.
After mile 20, my pace dropped considerably. I could not get my legs to turn over. I didn’t feel like I was moving so slow (for me) but my pace didn’t indicate that. Between needing water so badly and being frustrated with my leg turnover, the last six miles were a mental battle as well. I am very proud that I didn’t cave to wanting to walk. I told myself that even running slow would get me to the finish (and the water) sooner, so I just needed to keep moving. I was able to have a strong final push at the finish, which I am also really happy with, but I wish I could have felt that kick at any point during the last few miles!
I’m still not entirely sure what my final time was, based on my Garmin (which I forgot to turn off right away), I’m thinking it was around 4:07. Not quite what I wanted, but honestly, its faster than several of my last races have been, so I’m ok with that. I’m also really happy that I was able to push through the fatigue and negative thoughts and keep running. As good as walking would have felt at the time, I’m so happy that I was able to keep running the entire race (except water stops).
Was it the race I wanted? No. But the end goal is always to finish. To cross the line and enjoy the experience and I feel like I was able to do that. I am also really happy that I was able to let go of any frustrations I felt about it and enjoy the rest of the trip. No one wants to hear me complain about what I could have/should have done differently. I am really proud that I can cross off state number 24 and marathon number 35. I have plenty more opportunities to come and this one race doesn’t define me in any way. Next up – Utah Valley Marathon in six weeks!
How do you deal with negative thoughts when a race (or anything) isn’t going your way?
Are you able to let go of disappointment and enjoy the moment?
What is your next race?