Before we get to the Chicago Marathon thing, can we discuss something?
(Warning, it’s kind of gross.)
(I hope you’re not eating red grapes right now.)
(Because my big toe is apparently in the business of growing them.)
I know that’s disgusting. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to see it and I’m even sorrier that I had to discover it upon taking my socks off after the race on Sunday. Nasty. And unlike any blister I’ve ever had.
A little surgery with a safety pin and a book of matches was in order.
All drained out and wrapped up now, and it doesn’t hurt, but still. Major ew.
So, anyway. About that marathon.
I ran a 3:49. 19 minutes off of my goal, not even close to a PR, and really just…meh. Really average. I can’t tell you how many marathons I’ve run in 3:46 or 3:54 or 3:48 or whatever. (Actually, I can. Almost all of them.)
It’s frustrating. I feel like performance and quality of training are uncorrelated variables. Last year at NYC, I ran a 3:54 after spending all summer traipsing around Asia and then training halfheartedly for seven weeks. This year? I bust my ass all summer and I get five measly minutes for it.
I don’t think my goal was too ambitious. 3:30 would have been a 12-minute PR for me, but dammit, I put the work in. MacMillan (yeah, I know) put me at 3:22. 3:30-something was a perfectly reasonable goal.
I don’t even know if I can really blame it on the heat, although I am sure it was a factor.
Or the fact that I think I actually over-hydrated, and spent the last half of the race lugging a sloshy Gatorgut.
Or the crowds. Or the course. Or going out too fast (shocker: I held back!). Or the grape blister (I didn’t even feel it while I was running). Or the fact that I had this horrible song stuck in my head for 26 miles. Nope: this failure was all me. I was defeated by my own apathy.
Because at some point, I gave up. I’m not sure why, but after coming through the half at a very respectable and conservative 1:46, the motivation just slipped away. There was no defining “screw this” moment. It just sort of happened. I took a quick walk break to consume a Gu and after that, I just couldn’t get back on pace.
I looked down at my Garmin and saw 9:XX: I shrugged. I felt tired so I walked a bit: why not? Oh, cross the course to grab a cold sponge and take a little stroll while squeezing it over my head? Lovely! Somehow I lost my race face. And I don’t think I even realized it until it was too late.
The most annoying thing about all of this is that I don’t feel like I gave it my all. My last mile was close to 7:00. That shouldn’t happen at a marathon.
Sometimes I wonder if I simply don’t have the mental fortitude to race these long distances. Run them? Sure. Enjoy them? Definitely. But I seem perpetually unable to keep my head in the game. The intensity just vaporizes and I convince myself that I don’t really care enough about my time to push it. Finishing will be good enough.
I’m not living up to my potential. I’m pretty sure of that. It’s frustrating and I’m not sure what to do about it. Suggestions welcome.
Anyway. All of that said, I had a freaking fantastic weekend in Chicago. The race course really was lovely, and I had a blast spending time with an awesome collection of family and friends. I smiled and laughed so much this weekend.
Pardon me for a moment while I thank the Academy here: Stacy, Carol, Van & Rosemary, Joe and the Bromar crew, Julia, Lisa, Danialle, Christy, Amber, Janine, Laura, Amy, Megan, Brie, Jordan, Dana. Thanks for being a part of my weekend. And everyone who tweeted and texted and emailed…thank you so much for your support. Okay, the “shut up” music is starting…
And there’s another purty medal in the box.
And I got to shack up with a hot chick on Sunday night.
Um. Most amazing outfit ever. And see? I’m not the only one who wears hot pink compression socks!
Also, random thought. I am really over automated things in bathrooms. After spending the day in airports, I miss the days of flushing my own toilet and pumping my own soap. Because nothing sucks more than getting repeatedly sprayed in the ass by an enthusiastic auto-flushing toilet, and then have to do a dance in front of the sink to get it to turn on, only to be rewarded with a measly four inches of paper towel.
Alright…I’m off to eat some burnt potstickers and drink cheap Chardonnay and continue to navel-gaze about my athletic ineptitude. Back to the regular tomorrow. Good night!