You guys! OMG Your incredible support and sweet responses made me cry- in a good way- and helped me feel much better. I honestly don’t think I’d be recovering as well from the DNF without the amazingness of the blog community. Hugs. Thank you so much. Seriously.
I felt nothing but numbness yesterday afternoon. I think I was just in shock and didn’t want to believe what happened. And then the littlest thing set me off. I cried, and cried, and cried.
In my head, I knew I did the right thing. I also knew it was just a race and there are a million things worse in the world so I should stop feeling sorry for myself.
But in my heart, I hurt. How could something I trained so hard for 14 weeks for, slip away and be over just like that? What did I do wrong?
I didn’t sleep last night. I kept hoping it was a bad dream and I’d get a marathon do over. I choked back tears on the flight back to Charlotte. Then, when I got home I found the ridiculous note my Thursday self left for my Monday self.
Stupid Thursday self.
Yesterday I was upset because my stomach got in the way of my goal. But it’s funny how quickly we forget about pain. Today the “what ifs” set in. I doubted that my stomach really hurt, I wonder what would have happened if I would have tried Gu for the first time, if I would have ran just a few more miles, if I didn’t force myself to carbo-load, etc, etc, etc.
I learned a long time ago, “what ifs” are a ridiculous waste of time and energy. You can spend you’re whole life wondering about the “what ifs” or you can live your life and embrace the decisions you make.
My stomach has still been a mess, and the small amount of food I’ve eaten since my race yesterday is sad. I knew I shouldn’t run today. But I needed to do something. I laced up my shoes and took the furball for a 2 mile walk.
As soon as I got back, I felt like a run was truly what I needed though. I just wanted to do a couple easy miles to clear my head. I knew I hadn’t eaten nearly enough in the past 24 hours to run. The thought of bringing Gatorade or sharkies made me gag, so I grabbed one of my hubby’s Gus and some water to take with me.
My legs felt amazing. This actually helped me cope with my marathon fail. I still ran 12.5 miles at an 8:16 pace yesterday and the fact that my legs weren’t sore or tired at all was a testament to my sound marathon training.
My stomach felt the same In the first 2 miles, I had 4 cramps I needed to massage away which I think is pretty typical for me lately. Then, I made it exactly 3 miles before I ran out of steam.
I decided to try the Gu for the first time ever.
OMG! This is the stuff I have feared for years? Why did I so adamantly avoid this candy-like food that tastes like my favorite cake flavor for so long? Umm wow. This is seriously the first thing in days that’s tasted good to me. If there is anyone like me who is afraid of Gu (which I kind of doubt), don’t be. Try it.
The Gu settled fine in my stomach. I still got cramps, but I’m obviously not using the Gu as my scapegoat. I did get a huge burst of energy post Gu-ing and was so glad I took it.
I ended 5 miles at an 8:49 pace, and felt better
I don’t know what my racing future holds. I may try another marathon in 12 days (I’m registered for run but may drop to the half), 12 weeks, or never. As many of you wise readers pointed out, my marathon DNF does not define me as a runner.
And you know what? My awesome PRs and best races don’t define me as a runner either. Racing and running are two separate animals. When I got into distance running, racing was the furthest thing from my radar. I don’t run to race. I run because I enjoy it. And if you run but never race, you’re still a runner in my book.
But I’m not going to lie. I’m eager to get out there and race again After all, I enjoy racing too and want to cross a finish line so badly again.