Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hitting Reset

What, no Wisconsin Marathon race report? A little over a week after the race I've come to terms with it, considered my next move, and put a new plan into action. So I guess I'm already over what happened there and don't feel the need to rehash every step.

Did I qualify for Boston? Nope. Did I run my fastest marathon yet? Hell yeah! I'm happy about the PR but it was a bitter pill to swallow to run ahead of pace until mile 21 and feel the wheels totally come off. I kind of feel like I was due for something like that to happen to me though so when I look at the big picture, I'm not bitter about it. I'm taking the stance that any goal that comes too easy isn't an aggressive enough goal. It's the whole point of a challenge right?

So what happened? I'm still not exactly sure. Like I said, I ran ahead of pace (average 8:10) for 20 miles. Somewhere between 20 and 21 I started to feel a tightness in my left hip- which showed up right away with an 8:30+ mile 21. I remember wondering if I should stop and try and stretch but also knew that doing so can also mean the "kiss of death" in a marathon. It kept getting tighter though, until I felt so locked up that my stride was becoming obviously lopsided- and painful! So I did the unthinkable and stopped to stretch and then walked for about 30 seconds. Nearly a 10 minute mile 22. Ugh. At this point though I knew I could still squeak in under a 3:40 finish time if I could get back to running 8:30s for the last 4 miles.

Nope. I knew for the second I started running again that my body could no longer get back to that pace. It was infuriating, but at the same time I refocused on at least running a PR. All my body could do at this point was shuffle/walk out 10-11:00 miles to the finish. It hurt (in more ways than one) but I did it.

What should I have done different? It's hard to say. I felt like everything was completely on point for 3/4 of the race. I honestly thought I had it in the bag! This week I've spent some time researching why something like this happens late in a marathon and it seems to be due to running the same pace for extended periods of time on a flat surface. Um... check? So one thing I'm going to do next time is throw in some 20-30 second strides every mile or two to break up the repetitiveness of a single pace for long.

Next time.  When will that be? Honestly, the thought of going through another training cycle for 12 to 16 more weeks is not something that interests me. I feel like my fitness level is where it needs to be right now and all I need is for the pieces to come together on the right day. So... I'm trying again! In three weeks. I'm registered for the Sunburst Marathon in South Bend on the 31st! After taking a recovery week this week I feel like I can buckle down and be ready to race again then. Let's look at Wisconsin Marathon as a 21-mile training run at race pace... which a 5 mile cooldown. Ok? Ok. Let's go.

Marathon #13. Every finish is good. 


  1. Tracey I ran the 1/2 that day and when I finished got on my bike to go cheer on the Marathoners. I had several friends race the full from 2:40 Marathoners to 4:00 and none of them hit theirs goals. I think that most runners are failing to account for the strong winds and cool temps in the first half and then sunny and warm the second half. Hard to train for those conditions

  2. You know, I keep hearing from people about the wind being a factor that day. Honestly, I didn't really notice because I was so focused on whatever else was going wonky with me and my stupid left leg. O_o It just goes to show though that really anything can happen in a marathon. It's hard to get those absolute "perfect" conditions!

    Oh, and thanks LIz!

  3. Hit it. 100% confidence in your 5/31 performance. *fist bump*