Sunday, March 3, 2013

Napa Marathon 2013

Well happy March 3rd guys, I've got nothing going on in these parts so just, hope you had a good weekend and we'll talk later, cool?

Oh...so like....I have a running blog....and I have to write about my races....even the ugly ones?

Boy.

I did not PR today, and I thought there was a high, 78% chance that I would.  I was basing that on a) the fact that the weather appeared to be working in my favor, b) I PR'd in the half marathon just four weeks ago, c) I tapered pretty hard-core and foam-rolled/stretched every day the week before, and d) I just kind of figured that the only direction to go in racing is UP...as in...improvement....

If I had had the time last week to do a real analysis of my goals and expectations, it would have looked like this: based on my recent 1:26 half marathon, which is about 2 minutes faster than the half marathon time I was rocking when I ran a 3:05 marathon, I would run a 3:02-3:04 marathon.

(friends, a sub-3 hour marathon is obviously a goal for someone who has run a couple sub 3:10 marathons, but that hasn't been on my realistic front burner recently.  My body is F-U-C-K-E-D up.  If you've read for a while you know that.  My body cannot last 26.2 miles without some major leg failure, i.e. this leg-lock I've referred to, which streams down through my calf, and then makes my calf cramp.  Not in the cards until I learn how to take care of it and fix myself.)

Point being, my goal was to PR, and a 2:59 was a "well maybe if there is a 20mph tail wind!" kind of 0.3% chance.  But 3:02-3:04, I thought I had in the bag, for the reasons mentioned above.

And then, the other 22% of me understood that a) the shoes I was determined to wear were making my right foot angry; b) in my training, a 6:50-7:00 pace was never really feeling that much easier; c) my buttcrease/leg-lock issues would likely make an appearance, and d) the Napa marathon course is bloody boring and difficult in the mental kind of way.

THAT 22% WON.  For all of those reasons.  Plus a few other reasons.

Reasons....reasons....man, I'm so used to training in the 40-50 degree morning air, and this morning was muggy and the sun just blared on the never-ending pavement.  I scratched at my forehead around mile 18 and it felt like a pile of sand was stuck up there - just salt.  I was losing so much salt.  Not acclimated to running in that temperature.  And I was guzzling electrolytes when I could, but it wasn't keeping up and I felt the nausea that accompanies dehydration early into the second half.

More reasons...I could not hold a sub-7:00 pace on the uphill miles.  Just couldn't.  And there were a tasty number of uphill miles.

And....the no-headphone policy and the sloped roads both turned out to be true, adding whatever degree of difficulty to the wear and tear on my legs, and to my sanity during the empty, lonely, miles of 16-24.

Big reason: I stopped to WALK and/or stretch.....during EVERY...SINGLE...MILE...starting at mile 20-ish.  Once my goals were out of grasp, I gave in to that temptation.

I have never stopped more than once in a marathon, in the however many marathons I have run (7? 8?).  

I want to let you know that to ME, a non-PR on any given day does not bring me down.  To me, this is a great memory (even the painful parts!) and I don't regret or feel badly about the day or the result in the least.  To me, striving for goals is often the funnest part, and I welcome the fact that I will reach to break these time barriers in the future, and will one day do so.  There were also many parts about the day that I LOVED.  I was still running after all.

But the day felt really bad, because so many people were physically there to support me, and I felt awful that even their big hearts couldn't lift me up to a PR today.  I also felt down because many others contacted me throughout the day to ask how it went.  That is the BEST question to ask me when I can excitedly tell you good news, but by the end of the day, I felt awful having to answer again, you know, I didn't do my best.  I DON'T LIKE LETTING PEOPLE DOWN.

(I realize that SOME of you want me to fail, because that is just simply how blogging works, and so at least I fulfilled the expectations of some people.  YAAAYYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyy).

Seriously, like, my dad was at the finish line.  That will probably NEVER happen again (because I'm never running the boring as shit Napa-no-headphones-allowed-marathon again, famous last words), and so when I DO PR, and when I DO run under 3:00 hours, and when I DO run even better than THAT, he won't be there.  I just wish I could have had that happy moment, and let everyone know, it was YOU on the sidelines and knowing YOU would be at the finish line and knowing YOU had told me you would send me good vibes, that is why I was able to push it and reach my goals.

I thought of each of those people.  At mile 14 when I could see my PR slipping out of reach, (after a 1:31 first half, when the hills started to push my miles to a 7:15-ish pace, and I knew it was getting harder and harder to dig for a 1:33 second half for a PR), I tried to think of these people for help.  I thought of running in hard at the finish line as these people cheered.  I thought of feeling strong at the next big crowd-support location and getting a surge from the awesome and hilarious posters my friend Allison had made for me.

And then I felt like I failed these people, because I couldn't get their energy to transfer into me.  That's why they were THERE, and I couldn't do it.

The sun.  My calf.

My goal changed from, "1:33 second half, you can still PR" to "1:36 second half, you will have a second-best marathon time" to "fuck me.  Let's at least finish under 3:10".

So I took my dainty little time, walked every mile, to get the goal I settled for with legs that weren't properly working.

3:09:30.  10th place woman.  3rd place in age group.  7:14 pace.
26.38 garmin, 7:11 pace.


(Women in 6, 7, and 8th place all passed me in the last 1.5 mile.  Darn.)

THE BEGINNING:

  • Stripped off my sock-arm warmers at mile 0.5--well my oh my, this is quite a warm muggy morning now, isn't it?
  • Miles 1-2 -- "so pleasant! This pace feels like a piece of cake! Thank you caffeine and tapering!"
  • Mile 3: foot--shut up.  just, shut up.  not now, too early, let's deal with you later.
  • Mile 4-10: my foot problem, whether plantar fasciitis or otherwise, was re-enacting the Kaiser half marathon.  It was going numb, making my inner ankle sore, on the verge of cramping.  So at mile 7, when I saw the Gentleman, I shouted out one of our pre-planned possibilities: "bring my other shoes to the next stop!"  I knew I was going to see him at mile 11, and I knew I needed to change outta these sucky shoes.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
Mile 1: 6:32
Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:52
Mile 4: 6:43
Mile 5: 6:49
Mile 6: 6:58
Mile 7: 7:02
Mile 8: 6:57
Mile 9: 7:01
Mile 10: 6:56

THE MIDDLE
  • I realized if I stopped to change my shoes, I would have to take off the chip timer and get it onto the other shoes.  Ugh.  I convince myself the shoes aren't that bad, and I don't make the switch.
  • IT IS HOT, gonna pour some of this water all over my hot head...gonna suck down some Gu and Gatorade to make up for all this salt loss.
  • Is this long, slow, incline, ever going to end, because if NOT, then I am kissing any chance of a PR goodbye.
  • ouch ouch ouch okay I need to stop real quick and stretch this calf before it full on spasms on me.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
Mile 11: 7:01
Mile 12: 6:59
Mile 13: 6:54
Mile 14: 7:13
Mile 15: 7:10
Mile 16: 7:28
Mile 17: 7:27
Mile 18:  7:18
Mile 19:  7:26

THE END
  • hahahaha, just walking through every water stop, just walking.  juuuuust walking.
  • just stopping to stretch out the cramp.  just stopping.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! Hi Irwin! Hi Dad, Sister, Niece, Brother-in-Law, Alexis, You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
  • I'm done, I'm embarrassed.  Hi everyone, I didn't come close to my goal.
Mile 20: 7:32
Mile 21: 7:22
Mile 22: 7:28
Mile 23: 7:46
Mile 24: 7:43
Mile 25: 7:51
Mile 26: 7:36
0.38:      2:38

Yeah yeah Napa, soooo pretty.  Not after 3 hours of running.

Hi to my loves!


Proved it! No heel strike! I knew it.

Mile 24.  All of these pictures are.  The husband was busy handing me food and drinks at the other stops (miles 7, 11, 16), which I appreciated greatly.

I know what you're thinking.

"Dang, those miles aren't all that slow considering she stopped to walk and stretch."  You're RIGHT! I noticed that too.  I was semi-stoked that these stop-and-walk miles were under 8:00 minutes.

and

"well, you went out too fast."

Sorry, I still don't buy it.

I ran about a 1:35 first half at CIM 3 months ago, and still positive-splitted with a 1:37 second half.  Taking it slower in the first half still leads to a slow second half for me BECAUSE MY LOWER HALF IS FUCKED UP and my legs twerk up and lock.

I ran a 1:31 first half at CIM the year prior, and ran a 1:34 second half.  Point being, my 1:38 second half today was not, in my opinion, due to going out too fast, but due to my laundry list of excuses listed above.

I know what I'm thinking:

Is a marathon supposed to hurt almost the entire time? Am I just a wimpy whiner, or am I doing this whole thing wrong?  Or, like elite front-runner for today's race Caitlin Smith, maybe it just wasn't my day for who knows why.

You can still say I'm awesome if you want to :) That's what I do when other bloggers races don't go as planned....and I mean it when I say that to them....but it still is silly isn't it.

God, I love running.

70 comments:

  1. You are still way way way faster than I ever will be! I look at your pictures and think, "Whoa- now THAT is a real runner." I'm impressed that you were able to run that fast through all the pain. Once you figure that shizz out, you'll be sub-3:00 no problem. Just keep chugging along!

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    1. I'll keep chugging! Thank you, and you a real runner too no doubt ;)

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  2. I think the thing that shocked me most about this post is that your name is not actually Rose. We've been had! (or I'm too dumb to have realized)!!

    But really, what a bummer. Humid, muggy running really is terrible. You certainly LOOK like you're kicking ass in your mile 24 photos!

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    1. Rose is my middle name--we don't use my first name in these parts ;) I'd like the blog to stay out of the search results of any future employers/clients/colleagues etc.

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  3. Bummer, dude.
    Yes, we're all cheering for YOU, but I'm not sure how much it helps things to focus on how you're "letting us down." I don't think any of us can look at your performance today and feel "let down." You didn't give up, even with intense pain, boring-ass landscape for 26 miles, dehydration, and shoe issues (I won't even say I told you so). You ran a freaking marathon and that in itself is an amazing task, not to mention that you did it in under 3:10.
    I really, really hope you resolve your leg issue. I can only imagine how well you'll do with a healthy leg, considering how much you've accomplished with a gimpy one. I know you don't feel like hearing this right now, but CONGRATS. YOU ROCK.

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    1. Letting other people down is really about: letting MYSELF down by not being able to feed off of the wonderful support I've been undeservingly given. Support really does give me wings. I was disappointed I couldn't ride on that this time.

      But not a bummer, in hindsight. I'm still glowing with happiness from the weekend!

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  4. 3:09 IS still awesome. And, you really didn't let anyone down or do that badly, even if it feels like that. It was just a tough day; it happens. Your dad will be just as happy for you when you do break 3, no matter where it is.

    Also, good to know about Napa. I've considered running it.

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    1. I still recommend it, especially since you are local. Sign up early and it's not too expensive. Just DO NOT be suckered in by looking at the elevation map and thinking it is an easy course. That does not tell a true story!

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  5. We weren't there expecting a PR out of you. I had an extra bottle of kombucha that I was DYING to get rid of ;-)

    It was a blast to watch you run. I think my doctor can help you. Seriously.

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    1. You drove all the way to Napa to get rid of kombucha!?

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  6. Whoever made that rule about no headphones has never run a longer road race. I'm sorry it didn't as you would like, but glad a no PR race doesn't ruin your day. 3:09 is still a great. The amount of support your husband and friends always give you during a race is awesome as well.

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    1. They are awesome! I bet headphones couldn't have saved me, but man there were many lonely miles where I could have used some entertainment to distract from my calf, my foot, etc.

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  7. Why does it make me so sad that the pure cadence hurt you? I love those shoes and want everyone else to, as well. But ive been there, having to give up on shoes I was dedicated to because they induced foot surgery.

    No headphones is dumb. What exactly is there reasoning for that? High traffic? They want you to enjoy the ambience of the vineyard?

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    1. I am thinking of trying another pair of the Brooks pure line. I still love those shoes. I do. And I don't entirely blame them. I think something had been developing with my right foot long before I got the cadence. I know I had been ignoring some pain in that foot back when I was wearing the Air Pegasus...

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  8. Well I've yet to run a marathon so no clue how it is supposed to feel. But no one looks happy running them so I imagine they hurt. Even though it wasn't an ideal race, you finished.

    Wtf is with races banning headphones?! I get why directors think it is a good idea (safety, etc) but in actual practice it is just silly. Especially if the course is pretty sparse on cheering crowds.

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    1. People do too look happy running marathons!! Honest! I'm usually happy except for mile 24 and 25, then happy again.

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  9. Ballllsss. I agree that it was not a matter of going out too fast... I suspect you are more than fit enough for those paces; rather, things just didn't happen to line up for yesterday. When the heck is this leg-lock nonsense going to sort itself out?!!

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    1. GOOD. question. I guess I'M the one who is supposed to sort it out, huh. how many more doctors should I visit....

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  10. Injury's suck. I won't say it. But, I'll whisper it, "Until you rest and heal....it ain't gonna get better." Hind sight is 20-20. I ran on mine for over a year and paid for it dearly. Our stubbornness is fabulous, right? You still rock. I don't know how in the heck you pulled that off, but it's awesome!

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    1. Agree. And add that there may be an intervention/treatment that will facilitate healing. I've read on here that just resting hasn't really solved the prob for you. You might need to bite the bullet and spend some bucks. You ARE worth it.

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    2. You can shout, if you whisper I might just pretend I didn't hear!

      It's true, rest hasn't much help, instead made it feel tighter, but then again, "rest" has topped off at two weeks (with swimming and biking). I'd still like to know what it is before committing to rest, given that a non-race pace feels fine on my legs (and is therefore hard to convince myself to take a break from). It's anything under a 7:45ish pace that brings out the leg problems.

      And thank you Michelle!

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  11. Oh RR! I'm sorry you didn't have a great race but remember you are still really talented and hardworking at this shit. Truly.

    I feel like you put into words so many things that I'm feeling about running these days!!

    Hope you make it out to Davis this weekend.
    M

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  12. I'm glad that you're not taking this race too hard. You did fantastically well for someone who has a cramping leg. I'm happy you had so much support! I know you have pretty set opinions on this, but if I could just write a word in defense of big marathons. I know you've written in the past about how racing with crowd support and runners around you striving for the same goal helps you go faster. At the Boston Marathon, the crowd support is INSANE. It's really what makes the race. No boredom issues at all. Also, you would have quite a few women running ahead of you and next to you for competitive motivation. Unlike most races, a really good amount of women run a sub-3 at Boston - although, last year was very unusually slow. If you don't like hills, the Berlin Marathon is THE RACE. I wouldn't recommend it for someone trying to do a sub-4 due to crowding, but a sub-3 goal will give you a good seed at the start. There's a reason this is the fastest course in the world - not a hill in sight. Anyone gunning for a world record is doing it in Berlin. Then Oktoberfest is the next day which is also awesome! Anyway, congratulations on a great race! You really toughed it out, and it's so nice to know that your family was there for you.

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    1. I imagine you are right about the big races. Crowd support makes a big difference. Chicago, NY, Boston....wish there was something on the west coast. Los Angeles? Eugene again? Not quite the same I guess. But then again I like to think I have enough strength to reach goals WITHOUT boosts like a flat course, crowd support...

      Never even heard of the Berlin marathon! The problem is I'm not comfortable forcing one of our 1-2 real vacations per year into a marathon week...we love hiking and stuff, so forcing my husband to Berlin but then saying "sorry, tapering" "sorry, recovering" would be uncool. I think I could pull off a weekend alone in Chicago though maybe?

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  13. Ugh. Just not your day. You've got a sub-3 in you. But I'm so sorry you were let down with this race. I had a similar experience in my last marathon. Went out with high hopes and a lot of training (for me) under my belt. Within the first MILE, I knew it just wasn't my day. And yeah, when it's hot and you're not used to it... that sucks, too.
    Sorry! If it makes you feel any better. Your stop-and-walk miles are still faster than my best marathon miles. :) Keep truckin', bad ass!

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  14. You are crazy awesome. Keep at it, you are going to nail that sub 3 before you know it! I want to come up there and run Napa one day! Looks beautiful.

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    1. Thank you! Napa 2014, get signed up while it's still cheap! I do still recommend it even though after running it 3 times, I'm always surprised at the hills and the boredom....

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  15. I want to say that you DID AWESOME, OMG YOU'RE SO SPEEDY AND YOU RAN SO FAST and everything. And you did. And getting an AG place is awesome. But i know how it feels when a finish falls so short of your expectations, and what you know in your heart of hearts you could have done. So the only thing I will say, is that when WHEN you get that leg sorted out, you will PR. Just dont let this race get all up and screwy in your mental space. You didn't go out too fast, and you weren't wrong to expect a PR - and even possibly a sub-3. Hold onto your HM PR because it DOES indicate you can run a marathon that fast - and you will soon!

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    1. Just what I needed to hear. Thank you Penny!

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  16. This is a great post Caitlin. Even as you're non-running friend I still loved reading it. You love running and I love you! You're so AWESOME!!! I mean it ;)

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    1. My love for YOU outweighs my love for running MIXED WITH my love for the bachelor franchise.

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  17. Ehhhhh, shit happens, yo. Warm running sucks ass. The leg situation is something to take seriously, and blah blah rest blah. Super sad the shoes were not magic.

    CIM do-over!

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    1. CIM 2013! "Can't be worse than 2012"

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  18. oh I am sad that you are sad, but I am still happy that you did it and especially happy that your dad was there at the finish line. That is pretty awesome! I am also jealous that you were in beautiful Napa (even in warm running weather), but I guess since I am going to disneyland this week I can't be too jealous.

    Give your neice kisses for me! I can't wait for the "save the date"
    Love, brittani

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    1. I'm not sad! I just felt bad that I couldn't pull it out on a day when I had so much support. Not sad. I would be happier if I was at Disneyland though! Have fun!

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  19. That really sucks. Sorry it didn't go as planned, I think it's just one of those things where sometimes things aren't perfectly aligned and you can't run your best. Sometimes it happens in training sometimes it happens in races. Best thing is to just keep trying and not let it get you down. BTW You're AWESOME!

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  20. Here in Italy the no-headphone policy it's mandatory in almost every race, at least 95% of the street races; different story for trail running and skyrunning where everything it's more free. I think it sucks (together with the fact that you must be part of a running-team to partecipate to street races: wtf! running it's an individual sport isn't it?). "Fortunately" i'm not (yet :-))as fast as you, so I can keep my headphones on without anyone caring for now. And when I'll be able to run a sub 3.10 marathon I'll be so happy I will not mind being disqualified! Stupid italian rules.

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    1. Italy, what?! Is it a safety thing or a concern about coaching in earphones? and skyrunning, what!? what is that!

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    2. Don't ask :-/
      Regulation Fidal on the road races says among other things that:
      * It is forbidden to wear headphones for listening to MP3 Players or other music players during the game, be disqualified. (they consider it like doping, more or less... no comment)
      * The athlete enrolled in a club is required to wear the uniform of the club, otherwise fine in money to the company (and if you're note enrolled in a club you can't sign up to most races)
      * It is forbidden to accompany an athlete hand in hand at the finish line, disqualification of both
      and a lot of other crappy things.

      Skyrunning it's this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyrunning , it's quite common here in the Alps

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    3. Sorry for the bad english (just copied and pasted the rules from google translate... hope it make some sense)
      Look for skyrunning in google images to get the idea of it, if you want

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  21. Oh my goodness, your name is Caitlin, too! I feel like our name is still so uncommon - at least among adult women - that I get excited whenever I encounter another adult woman named Caitlin!

    Anyways, I'm sorry you had such a rough race, especially with the weather turning on you and all. I know how that feels and it's so frustrating. Also I hope you can get that leg-lock/buttcrease situation squared away, too, because damn that sounds painful.

    I'm with everyone else in that the no-headphone rule sounds totally sucktastic and I don't know why race directors keep doing it.

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    1. Yep, almost every other Caitlin I know is between 18 and 22 right about now. I've always known you and I had the same name, hehe, sorry for not spilling the beans.

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  22. I have the same foot issue you describe with the PureFlow, which is why I was worried about you running the race in them. That said, I will most likely never, ever, ever get remotely close to a 3:09 marathon unless they start distributing shots of EPOs at the EXPOs. So bask in the glow of knowing that you are still so freaking fast and awesome. Your form looks perfect, so I have no idea why you have a butt crease issue. Usually major heel strikers have that? You just need a good break, some weight lifting and a some fun runs!
    And I agree with giraffy, hot running sucks ass!

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    1. weight lifting! That better be the cure.

      Was your foot issue ever diagnosed? Is it entirely because of the pair of shoes and nothing else? I'm worried that the issue will return in other shoes if I don't do something more proactive than get a new pair of shoes.

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  23. You are the worst and I am grossly disappointed. You should quit running and blogging forever because this race clearly demonstrates that you are a failure at both.

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    1. I so appreciate your honesty! It's very true. Being 7 minutes off a marathon goal time is....pretty much...the definitive mark of a terrible person.

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  24. Haha about Rose's comment.

    You ARE still awesome, you're actually flying in several of the photos - no feet on the ground at all. I can't fly, so you're much more awesome.

    Yep, it was a rubbish day. There will come a better day. Hang in there - we're still impressed.

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  25. Ugh, I'm sorry you couldn't have the race you wanted on the day you wanted to have it. I hope that the people who were out there to support you support you all the same no matter what kind of day you have -- and I can't imagine anyone but you in this scenario thinking "3:09 marathon, what a loser."

    Also, running in the heat, any heat, even Bay Area spring "heat," just sucks -- especially when you're not used to it but really all the damn time.

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  26. Hi, sorry you did not PR. You did great!!! About an hour ahead of me! Wow, you are fast!!! Great job. You will have PR next time. Wish I ran into you afterwards!

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  27. Nearly every race is not my race, so I get where you're at learning from this... but still being disappointed. You are amazing. And no heel strike!

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  28. I clearly still think you're awesome. The day I can run a 3:09 marathon is the day pigs fly out of my ass. You're my hero!

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  29. 1. You're still awesome.
    2. I am tempted to veer into the "but of course it hurts!" territory, because that's how I'm justifying my own return to running, but the truth is I don't think it is. We both need time off and an MRI.
    3. Hot marathons suck.

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    1. Time off!? Y tu, Gracie? I concur on the MRI, or in other words, I need a diagnosis. Step number one.

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  30. omg, I seriously thought your name was Rose this whole time! haha! I'm sure you'll get the leg lock figured out (leg unlock?), and you'll get em next time! K

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  31. A 309 marathon on a bad day is pretty impressive. Congrats!

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  32. I get the whole leg lock bullshit, but there is not really a consistent reason. It just seems like when my hips tighten up my stride gets choppy and tight. My quads and calves start overworking and I basically can't run fast at all. The good news is it doesn't always happen. If you uncover any answers, let me know! I'll do the same.

    There are good and bad races, just how it goes. Someone once told me, "one race doesn't define you." I like that. Shoot look it the Olympics, two men DNFed, one woman, and there are several other times where someone in their prime shape just has a crappy day. You can't push the body too much, it's smart and it likes to push back!

    BTW, those long stretches of road with no one cheering for miles and miles, were brutal! You'll PR soon and you are awesome!

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    1. Thank you Caitlin! I value these words coming from a runner as accomplished as you. And even elites get leg-lock! Who knew?

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  33. I think you are da bomb! Seriously, so bad a$$! I love your confidence. I like how you do your own thing, run how you think fit to your own body, and how even a "bad" race for you is still awesome! I also love how you started at HMP! I could never do that, too fearful of falling apart later. But you, you can do that, and that is awesome! I hope you figure out the body issues. Pain is tricky and doctors know less that we think about it. I wish you luck!

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    1. haha, apparently I cannot start at HMP....but I'm glad you think it is confidence that I go out fast instead of stupidity :) A 6:30 first marathon mile after 2 weeks of tapering, excitement, adrenaline, and caffeine, feels like slow motion. It is major restraint!

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  34. You didn't let anyone down. Hell, you inspired us! You still ran an incredible time and pushed yourself. Mama said there would be day like this, there'd be daaaays like this my mama said (Can you hear me singing for you)?

    Chin up, you kicked ass. Now rest. Seriously. Rest.

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  35. You *are* awesome. Damn, woman! Running a 3:09 when your body feels like shit? Incredible. Sounds like you are at the point, however, where you gotta fix that body to get it under 3 hours. I know how frustrating that must be. Like you have time for tons of stretching and PT and strength training and yoga and ALLLLLLLLLL the stuff that comes with training for those crazy fast time goals.

    And I hear your with boring-as-shit, lonely courses. That was totally my last marathon. What a mental mind f*ck. The only cheerleaders out there for us were the workers at the aid stations! UGH.

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  36. Just catching up on your blog. Honestly impressed with your time considering your past couple months with hell body. I think you can still pull impressive half times with injuries where you are in that 90 minute range... but the marathon is a whole different game. Once this is cleared up, I know you have far below a sub 3 in you.... your body just wants to wait for the race that I can be there too :)

    Run on girlfriend.

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    1. You're right. I think I can withstand my leg issues for 90 speedy minutes, but 2 hours or more and the breakdown really begins. Thank you for always being so supportive Christie!

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  37. "Taking it slower in the first half still leads to a slow second half for me BECAUSE MY LOWER HALF IS FUCKED UP and my legs twerk up and lock."

    To be honest, that makes absolutely no sense. The risk in going out at faster than goal pace is simply that you redline for longer and risk running out of glycogen and whatnot because, well, you can only run at say...90+% of MHR for so long during a marathon. The faster you are, the more you'll be able to handle. As I've told people before: if you're close to getting down to the 3:00 mark you have to push the redline an extent, but there is absolutely no reason to assume you HAVE to positive split because frankly, burning through your reserves early serves no one.

    On the other hand: if you're suggesting that some bio mechanical issue is keeping you from holding it together during the later miles? That's another issue entirely, one that has nothing to do with speed, and one you should probably get checked out. Speaking as someone who may be sidelined for far longer than expected after years of ignoring phantom pains, get a recommendation for a RELIABLE PT or Chiro. These can be hard to find, but its better to nip this shit in the bud now as opposed to suffering an actual break down. I could give you full details on the extent of my twisted pelvis saga, but the bottom line is I have to relearn to use muscles that I'd used improperly for years and just powered through, despite not having been really "healthy" in a couple years and it sucks.

    That said:

    2:59 pace means about 6:50, right? I know people who have struggled in that 3:05-3:00 range for years because I think that's a tough nut for many to crack. You've got to be ON and ready, and nothing you said above sounds idea. Maybe you went out a hair on the fast side, but I doubt that's what did you in. Sometimes shit days happen and it must be pretty nice to say you had a shit day when you're sub 3:10, something most of us mere mortals (or in my case: fat, lazy hobbyjogger who gives good advice she can't follow) can't relate with.

    So in sum, get that leg shit checked out. Seriously.

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    1. I want so badly to believe in the negative split....but I gave up on the idea at CIM 2012, when a 1:35 first half was still not "slow" enough for me to negative split. I felt fresh at the half, but the leg lock attack stiffens me to a 7:30-ish pace tops. For Napa, I thought a 1:31 first half was reasonable since I believed a 3:02 was in my reach. An even split. It's possible that the 6:31 first mile contributed to the slower second half, but what I know of my body, I don't think that is it. My legs didn't feel glycogen depleted at all. Strong quads by the end of the race. Biomechanical issue, yes. I can somewhat withstand it for the length of a half marathon, but not a full.

      The chiro I have seen (approx. 5 times?) is highly reputable in the bay area, recommended by some superstud athletes, has major triathletes posted all over his wall. The physical therapist I have seen (4x?) has rehabbed marathon Olympians like Magdalena Lewy-Boulet. I've also visited two primary Kaiser doctors, and two physical therapy Kaiser doctors, had one x-ray. No diagnosis from all of this, nothing felt better from ART and massage, and one recommendation to take time off for 2 weeks, which I did....

      I would really like a diagnosis. But after so little success and so much money already spent on these specialists, I sometimes lose my motivation to make someone help me figure it out. I would take time off if that was the solution, but I don't trust that it is. So....I'll take this as a reminder to find someone new, or spend the money to see a therapist regularly.

      Thank you for your advice! Please give an update on what's going on with your pelvis! Did it originate from muscle imbalances?

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  38. I am so so proud of you and how you ran that day. You are so strong and powerful and I thought you did amazing. I know it's a bummer not to PR, but you should still feel really good about how you did.

    I loved cheering you on and hope I get the chance to do it again in the future. What a fun day it was!

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  39. Let us down?? No way! I for one am inspired by your ability to feel crappy & still pull off a 3:09. You will get that sub-3 when your body heals. In the meantime, thank you for being you & inspiring little slow runners like me. :)

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