No matter how prepared you are, well you’ve trained, or confident you feel going into a race sometimes things just call apart. The 2015-2016 race season was by far the busiest and most taxing one I have put together. Plenty of races went just as planned, some better than I expected, and of course there were those races that were just disasters. The most recent race to put me thru the wringer was Tomoka Marathon in Ormond Beach, FL on 3/26/16.
Going into this race I felt great. I was returning to a race I had won the year before, had a good base of training, completed a 15 miler at 6:31 average the week before, knew what to expect from the course, and was just amped to be running my favorite marathon again. Everything was going exactly as I had planned: rolling thru the first 5-6 miles around a 6:25 pace I felt relaxed and strong. But that was soon to change. At an aid station I accidentally grabbed a cup of electrolytes instead of water but instead of skipping the fluids I drank it. Since I was planning on it being Gatorade I figured “Okay not my favorite but I know my body can handle it.” Well turns out it wasn’t Gatorade (it was Heed) and within a couple minutes I knew it wasn’t going to sit well with me. I tried to push thru but as time went on my stomach kept getting more and more knotted till between mile 9-10 I stopped and vomited. The next 17 miles were a run-puke-walk-run-walk-puke-run death march. Least to say this was not a very fun race and one I should have dropped out of. I eventually finished sometime north of 4 hours and with pretty bad dehydration.
*Somewhere around mile 20 and looking much better than I felt*
Am I disappointed in how the run went? Yes. Am I going to let it affect me, or what I think of this event, in a negative way? Hell no.
You can’t let one subpar run or race defeat you. No matter how poorly something may go you have to look at the bigger context of your training schedule, race season, and life. Yes we’re all going to struggle and fail at times but that does not mean we have lost. As long as you get back out there and keep running you have not lost. It may take you a few days, weeks, or (gasp!) months to get back into the swing of things after a poor race, finish of a race season, or recovery from injury BUT the important thing is getting back out there. For me this turnaround from post-race thoughts of taking Boston super easy, calling this season a wrap, and going into a recovery month only took a night’s sleep. The day after Tomoka the first thing I thought when I woke up is “I have unfinished business”. If took less than 24 hours for me to go from dehydrated, vomiting, and just generally over running for the season to ready to attack the Boston Marathon in less than 3 weeks. It really is amazing what a good night’s sleep along with a ton of water and some beer can do for you. Although I have been dealing with little knee issue and haven’t gotten the quality workouts in I would have like I am going to cross the Boston starting line and run like I know I can. Will this be a P.R. race, No. But will I leave it all out there and have a blast doing it? Yes.
I guess what I am trying to get at here is that no matter how badly you may fail in any endeavor you’ve just gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and put those shoes on and run like there is no tomorrow!
**This run was 4 days after Tomoka….the body’s recovery ability is absolutely astounding!**