Grandma’s didn’t go as I had hoped, at all. 3:07. My fourth slowest marathon.
My legs felt terrible from the beginning in a way they haven’t before. I’m pretty sure I was fighting off the bug that kept Anna home from school the Tuesday and Wednesday before the race. She had a fever of over 101 and although I tried to be so good about washing hands and not snuggling with her when she just wanted to burrow in my chest – I started to feel a little off the Friday evening before the race. NOOOO. I told myself it was nothing – just nerves and the taper itch.
But after the first two miles at 6:30 I knew the pace wasn’t sustainable. My hamstrings were super tight and even my hip muscles were burning (what the?!). I felt like I wasn’t covering any ground with my stride. Instead of lightly tapping the ground, I landed heavily and couldn’t get my legs to work efficiently. They felt just awful! I won’t recount the marathon; honestly, I’d like to forget about it! The days right after the marathon I was just angry. All of those miles! Some crazy hard workouts! All for a 3:07?!? Obviously some would be thrilled with a time like that, but I know my potential is much faster than what I raced, and hence my disappointment (it’s not about the time, it’s about racing to your ability/potential!).
Nate and I drove from Duluth to the Cabin on Saturday to meet his family and the girls. There was the Musky Festival 5k on Sunday morning that we always do. I did about a 3 min warm up, which was a good idea as my legs were so stiff! The gun went off and my legs felt better than they had the day before. Go figure. I cruised to a 20:22, gaining speed the entire race. I saw Nate just 15 seconds ahead of me and tried to chase him down, but that’s where I could feel the marathon the day before. My hamstrings did not have an extra gear. Ha! He can have the win this time. Results here. I won my age group so I get a free entry next year. Hopefully next year it’s a week and a day after Grandma’s, not just the day after!
I will say, though, my legs were way less sore after doing the 5k. I strongly recommend at least a 5 min shake out jog the day after a marathon. Probably not a 5k race, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do!
Then came a period of about 2 weeks where I just didn’t want to do much of anything. I got out for my runs like Meghan wrote for me, and some days I’d wish I could do more, but most I was glad to call it quits after just 30 mins.
Now nearly a month later I’m in a better mental place. I don’t know if I’ve just moved on, called the race a fluke (or was it? There is a part of me that wonders if I just haven’t lost speed and endurance?) – or what. But I’m okay with it. I have the next cycle to work on my weaknesses, hone in my strengths, and log a lot of miles. I really do love the grind of marathon training!
I’m signed up for both Chicago, where they let me into their American Development Program, and TCM. I’ll travel to Chicago if I think I’m on the brink of an OTQ. My 3:07 at Grandma’s doesn’t exactly give me a lot of confidence, but then I remember I ran a 2:52 at TCM last fall with only two 20 mile runs (not recommended). I couldn’t have taken that many steps backwards, could I? So there is hope! All I can do is do what I know how to do each and every day!
Gotta run! ~Nichole