Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: December 2015


I always say that I want to post shorter, more frequent blogs, but then life gets busy, I find a pocket once a week to spew my thoughts here, and it’s somewhere between 1500 and 1 million words.  Which… I’m pretty sure is TL:DR for most people.

Since this is the first day of vacation, I finally have the time daily to compose some thoughts, so I’m going to attempt to do that.  It’s about establishing habits, and frankly, seeing if this is something I actually want to do or not.

So, embarkation it is.  The first day of my 20 day work break.  The start of my gentle return to being an endurance athlete. I’m DEFINITELY ready for the former, and think last night was an inkling that I’m ready for the latter.


For some reason, I’ve been more motivated to ride than do anything else, so I’ve been rolling with it.  The running will return because I have goals, obviously, but I’ve been indulging the cycling the last 2 days.

Last night, we decided to do a Holiday Light social group ride with our new team (Bicycle Sport Shop) because it sounded fun.  It also sounded absolutely terrifying because:

  • This is my third group ride ever, and the biggest by far.
  • This is only my second ride at night in my adult life (the first was 3 miles last week around the neighborhood at about 7 mph).
  • I haven’t ridden my bike outside since September 29th.
  • New team = new people to make an ass of myself on the bike in front of.

But, the weather held out and Zliten was really into it and didn’t let me make excuses and we went for our first group ride with our new team.

It was a little wonky to get started, and I was terrified at each stop to tip over so I unclipped both pedals each time, but the actual RIDE was great. I decided I wasn’t going to be scared, even though my headlight sucked and I could barely see,and just enjoy and have fun and… I did!

This was a total social ride, we rolled at about 12.5 mph with stops at lights and some time checking out particularly awesomely lit streets. But I feel like I didn’t totally screw up riding with a bunch of people and had an absolute blast.


We all sat down and had some beers after, and I can confirm that these are great people and I’m going to try to ride with them as much as I can this year. It won’t be all that much before March because of that marathon thing marathon, but this spring, my goal will be to become completely comfortable on the road with people while I’m not training for anything in specific.  It’s a great way for me to maintain some fitness while working towards another goal of mine.

Also, I think these people are going to be just faster-than-me enough to challenge me on the bike and get better.  I was chatting with a guy who’s bike time at his 70.3 was my goal at Kerrville (and his goal was a little loftier).  This are the kind of people I need to chase around!

Most importantly… this is the most excited I’ve been about any sort of sweaty thing in quite a while. I read some blogs and race reports last night and they filled me with excitement for the upcoming year instead of wistfulness.  I won’t say my mojo is completely back yet, but it’s a good start.

The Way Out is Sometimes Through

The way out is through.

This is how I operate most of the time.  I love to plan.  I’m really good at getting myself in (good) trouble because I’ll plan something exciting.  Like training for a distance I’ve never raced before that makes me nervous.  Or renting a bike and riding up and down a steep 2 lane highway in the sleet in Alaska.  Or deciding to tackle a scary work goal.

I don’t know how many times this year, I said, “rock and roll, let’s do this”.


And that part is awesome.  The adrenaline rush, the self satisfaction of taking on a great goal, the knowledge that you’re taking a step towards a thing that you’ve dreamed of with a twinkle in your eye and said “yeah, I want that to be a part of me” – this is my stuff.

Then comes, as they say, the messy middle.  That part where it’s no longer “I’m awesome, I’m going to go PR my half marathon in January”, it’s “holy shit, this is a lot of work and hard and I’m tired and maybe I’d rather go eat cookies and sit by the fire instead”.  It changes from the rush of committing to something to the effort of actually following through.

This is where I typically shove the visor down on my head, focus on the feet (immediate task) directly ahead of me, and know that sometimes the way to feel better when you feel like shit is just to let time pass while you continue doing the same damn thing you’re doing right now.

The way out is through.

Except sometimes it’s not.

Many times these last two weeks, I’ve been tempted to employ this old adage.  In fact, the original plan was to start run streaking Dec 1st.  That’s two days after the marathon.   I knew I’d be doing 1-3 milers for a while, but I figured it would be a good way to not lose my running mojo.  Until I lost it completely and finally diagnosed my problem as complete and utter burnout.  The worst thing you can do is throw something like a streak at it.

So, instead, I retreat.  Instead of barreling through, I’m accepting that I have weakness and I’m not going to just tough it out.  And there is peace in that.

The way out is not through this time.


What does that mean?

I’m admitting that work has gotten the best of me this year and I’m walking out the door December 15th and not looking back until next year.  I’m going to do my best not to even think or talk about it.  Could I use this time to solidify my plans for next year, work through some lingering problems, or even reach into some exploratory creative stuff?  Sure.  But I know I can use the break way more.

I’m admitting that this fall/winter season does not have to be the most awesome perfect season of racing at all costs.  It’s so bizarre to have my body feeling amazing and the problem is my mind is leaking out through my ears.  That’s the hardest.  If someone said “go run 15 miles to save this dying puppy” I’d be like “ok” and probably have a decent run, but if someone said “hey lets go run 15 miles, it will be fun”, I’d be like “nah, I’m cool, I’m going to just curl up on my couch and remember when I loved this stuff”.  The invisible problems are the worst.

I’m admitting that this fall/winter season does not have to be the most awesome perfect season of racing at all costs. I mean, it’s already tainted with two bad races.  I need to a) not put too much pressure on myself so I buckle since I am so very fragile right now and b) put enough pressure on myself so I realize that I am working towards a goal that I’d like to hit very very much, brain, that’s ok with you.  I can’t say either race was a waste.  There was SOMETHING that came out of hitting rock bottom twice if nothing else that I realize I need to bubble wrap myself for a bit while I sort some shit out.

I’m admitting that I need a little time to heal from too aggressively pursuing too many goals this year.

I’m putting a lot of faith in the upcoming 20 days.

I hope to fall back in love with running, and the way I did that last year was to head out the door whenever I felt like without a distance, pace, goal, or any electronics.  I will start by running around the block.  I may only do that twenty times if that’s what it takes.

I hope to gain perspective and get myself centered and relaxed enough to get back to it in January refreshed and rarin’ to go.  Both with training and work.  I’m looking forward to be excited about something again, truly excited, instead of going through the motions.


Kinda faking it here….

I hope to strike the balance of a relaxing and productive and fun break.  The last two weekends I have done so little, I ALMOST felt the itch yesterday to get out and DO THINGS.  I’m looking forward to that point where I am actually excited to leave the house and do something, not “ugh, I have to go/do x”.  I think I’m pretty close to that milestone but not quite.

I guess the saying may still ring true, because I feel like the way out is through… these next 20 days.  I just have to make sure to use them wisely and intentionally to recover.  And not rush things.



December Resolutions – A Map and a Plan

Usually I do this shit on January 1, but, it’s time early this year care of deep thoughts brought on by two crappy races in a row and the desire not to schluff and mope my way through December.

I keep thinking through why my late season racing has gone way south, and its got nothing to do with my training.  That has gone pretty dang well.  But, life has been a little weird lately and I think that has worked its way into my overall physical and mental well being.

Let’s create the map then, shall we?



All stress is stress and there’s too much of it. 

This year has been exceptionally stressful for various reasons.  It is the first year of my promotion to Senior Producer over multiple products, so a little is to be expected, but this is ridiculous.  The beginning of the year primed the pump.  August stepped it up into overdrive, and the cherry on top was our big November release.

I have history of losing my shit this time of year – hell, two years ago I punched a wall 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. I didn’t quite do that (maybe I should have? it was incredibly cathartic…), but I have been seeing the big blinking signs like getting really jumpy and snappy and making mountains out of molehills, even besides my lack of enthusiasm with… life.

I found a way to keep up with what I felt like the minimum training was to succeed in my races, but even with that, my overall stress load was too much and maybe I should have gambled by staying under my blankie more often.

My mind is unquiet too often lately. 

Over the last few months, I’ve found I’m increasingly unable to leave my work in my office, or concentrate on other things that are bothering me only when I can actually do something about them which is kind of a big rule of mine.  I’m more often mulling problems over on runs, while sitting and watching TV, late at night, etc, and finding my blood pressure raise over it.

Over the years, I’ve built up good habits to put that stress in a box and leave it where it should stay and they have been unraveling over the course of this year.  Frankly, upon the first day back from Florida, I was sitting at home on a day off work and my husband just MENTIONED a random work comment and I freaked out and stewed about it for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.  This is not the person I want to be and if I’m bouncing off the ceiling for nothing, it’s sure hard to keep my head about me when things get hard.


I’m not excited about races or training right now.

Space Coast was the culmination of a lot of BS, but weeks before that I would literally have to drag myself out the door almost every run.  I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep.  Once I got out it was usually ok, sometimes even great, but you shouldn’t go through that absence of motivation for weeks – especially when it doesn’t rebound on race week.

Over the last week off, I’ve read some really inspiring race reports, which have ignited the tiniest little spark in my belly.  It will come back.  In fact, just a few minutes ago, I looked at a triathlon picture and thought “I kinda can’t wait to do that again”.  But, to go full force into training right now would probably just snuff it right back out, so I’m being careful with my fragile self.

This new fueling plan isn’t working.

I gave it 4 months.  Operation: carb and calorie overload may have fueled training well, but was it that much better than last year?  I don’t think so.  This extra weight is definitely making me feel awful and neurotic and I’m back to offhand comments about looking like a cow and feeling a sense of dread instead of excitement when it’s time to play dress up.

I was willing to handle it in exchange for some awesome PRs but obviously that isn’t happening.  Maybe that’s because of my mental state, but I’m thinking that the extra 10-15 lbs aren’t helping either.  So, it’s time to try something else.


I’m relying on crutches to escape.

Let’s not spin this twisted – I think that a few glasses of bourbon or a few pints of beer is a proper way to celebrate every once in a while.  Whether that is the finish line of a race, a gathering of friends, or sometimes, just celebrating the end of a rather cantankerous day.

However, I’m finding that, intermingled with all the things in my life right now, it’s less of the “hey, let’s get a drink and celebrate”, and more “ughhhh what a day, I need a drink”.  And I’m finding that I’d rather have another than go to sleep sometimes because who wants to deal with tomorrow sooner when you’re stressed?

Theses are all happy times spending time with my husband or friends or out… talking, plotting, scheming, laughing over silly you tube videos, or whatnot, so I’m not spending time being all depressed and crying over my beers or anything.  But, there’s no denying that I’m escaping something.  Not to mention the extra calories, lack of rest = less recovery, and all the other practical reasons why an increase in alcohol consumption might not be a great idea during season.

I’m a little bored.

It’s definitely not that I’m not busy or have a lot going on.  I just find that I end up wasting my precious free time doing stuff like dorking on the internet, drinking beer, or just watching netflix after netflix because I’m too mentally and/or physically out of it to do something more interesting.

I’ve also ducked social interaction or been really reluctant to drag myself out because small talk, or work talk, sounds PAINFUL to me in my crispy crunchy state.


So, what’s the plan?

#1 – Take the time off I need to mentally recover from the year and set myself up to really relax.

I’m going to burn a few extra PTO days and give myself a full 20 days off at Christmas – starting December 15 at 5pm, through January 4th.  I was going to go back for 2 days in the middle of it since the office is slow to save some time off, but right now, what I need is solid time away.

I have a LOT to do to feel like I’m in good shape to leave things for the year, but I’ve been making good progress.  I have been really on top of my to do list, I’ve kept focused, not fucked around on the internet too much, etc.  My goal is to have nothing to fret over during this awesome long break.


#2 – Wait to start training again until the itch hits me.

I want to remember what it feels like to be *this* about all this stuff.  Physically, I’m fine, my legs feel awesome.  Mentally, I need some time.  I need to be patient with myself so I don’t jeopardize having a great winter season.  My endurance is in a good place to succeed – even if I do JACK and SHIT for two weeks or even a little more, and then start slow from there.

Right now at ~10 days out, I feel halfway there.  I am cranky from the lack of endorphins (I’m a joy to be around at work, let me tell you), but looking at my bike shoes, run shoes, or thinking about jumping into the cold pool or training plans still gives me a bit of the heebie jeebies.  Not yet.  Soon.

I need to run again when I feel the itch and start with as little mileage and structure as I need.  I need to give myself space to bail on runs and swim, bike, walk, do yoga, or just do nothing if I need to to get back to the place where I love sports again.  However long that takes.

#3 – Eat better.  More plants.  Less refined grains.  Count calories again.

I think if the last 4 months of fueling taught me anything, it’s that carbs (even refined carbs) definitely have their place in my diet.  Pasta or a sandwich is not a failure of epic proportions to be guarded against at all costs.

However, I also really miss the amount of fruit and veggies I used to eat.  To hit the calorie and carb targets without completely ODing on fiber I had to eat less of them.  That just never felt right and I’m going to stop worrying about that.  I’m going to keep the stuff that feels good and ditch what felt wrong.

This month, I’m tracking again and I’ll eat 1500 calories per day + activity.  In general.  I’m going to go back at times to a lower grain type existence but not put any hard and fast rules in place.  That means mixing my potatoes with cauliflower again, switching flour for corn tortillas, mixing my pasta with veggies, and all those other tricks I had before to eat nutritionally sound meals without feeling completely deprived.

I’m sure it will take a few weeks to get it on straight, and I mean, who does this during the HOLIDAYS, right?  So, there will be some treats and exceptions to the rule.  But, I think establishing the habits is the main focus this month.


#4 Transition away from drinking like a fratboy.

To be honest, with 4 more days of work where it still feels like everyone is in competition to get on my last nerve (sorry guys, it’s mostly me, not you), and some holiday shindigs, I don’t feel like this is the time to really inflict some sort of strict rules on myself.  Also, it’s offseason.  It’s very rare that I get to indulge without worrying about the swim/bike/run implications.

However, I do want to do a few things this month to start good habits:

  • Set time limits on when I need to go to bed.  If it’s a day I have to get up in the morning, I need to be in bed 8 hours before my alarm no matter what.
  • Set a general limit on how much I should imbibe that evening.  If it’s party time, then cool.  Let’s do it up.  If I just intend to stick with a glass or two of wine, then, that’s what I should do instead of letting it escalate once I have a buzz.

#5 – Free time suckers

The one thing I’m sure about is that Facebook is pissing me off lately and I spend way too much time on it and angry about crap.  So, I’m setting a 10-minute a day limit on it. I do like keeping up with family and friends and what they’re doing, and pretty much everyone has gone to using it as messenger so I can’t abandon it, but I’m sick of everyone using it as a way to share their political agendas and other such bullshittery that I don’t need to see on a daily basis.

Honestly, other than that, I’m hoping the boredom thing will sort itself out with the other changes.  If I’m more excited to train, I may want to train more and just feel blissfully tired like I used to and be ok with the totally G-rated version of netflix and chill most nights.  Once I get time off and feel less crispy, I may actually get into something again that I want to dedicate free time to like gaming, sewing, music, etc.  Once I get more rested and recovered, I may find myself wanting to go out more like I used to.


With a map and a plan, I already feel better.  That’s the point, right?  Hopefully concentrating on these things will help me establish some good habits, and roll into 2016 set up for success!

Food Porn, Selfies, and Beach Pics: Cocoa Beach

While the impetus to go to Cocoa Beach was the marathon, this time we decided to just wrap a chill beach vacation around it instead of immediately taking off to do something epic.


It was exactly what we needed.

Friday, our travel day was pretty uneventful.  No near misses of flights, no luggage drama – although aparently sun butter is not considered food, but PASTE, which means it can’t fly.  Thank you TSA for saving the plane from the terror of my sun butter.  LOL.

Upon landing and getting our rental car, the next order of business was a publix sandwich.  We are addicted.  So good.


Then, we picked up our packets and got some running goodies (gels, socks, etc).  I like the shirts this year!  And, a ladies medium fit me pretty well, even feeling fluffy as I do right now. Score.

The night before the night before, the name of the game is lots of good calories.  So, we hit up Ruby Tuesdays and I had a mess of salad bar, rice pilaf, and blackened fish.  Noms.


We saw a good luck froggy on the car after we left dinner.  I liked him. 🙂


Our next intention was to just slink into bed and chill out and sleep early… but the bar next door had a band and it was LOUD.  So, we enjoyed that from our room and read and watched TV until about 11pm.

Saturday, I set no alarm and between the noise and the bed being kinda springy and me being tossy and turny, I woke up around 9:30.  We had a quick shakeout run – 1.5 miles – it was nice to get it out of the way early.  Usually I agonize over “should I shouldn’t I, and when” with those and skip them.  In our sweaties, we then got some hotel breakfast buffet stuff, splitting a waffle, half a bagel, some bacon, juice, etc.


We bathing suited up, and stuck our feet in the ocean for about 10 minutes, and then read and went for a swim in the pool.  The water was so warm, the temps were perfect… it was nice.


Another publix sandwich for lunch was nommed (no oil on this one) because… carbs.  Then, as per tradition, we went to the movies to see something to take our mind off of the morning.  The conclusion of the Hunger Games was pretty great, I can’t wait to just own them all and marathon (badup CHING!) watch them.


I had been craving a steak like mad, so for our last supper, we went to Backwoods Steak House again which was right next to our hotel, and got a salad, filet, and mashed potatoes.  The salad was great, the steak was overcooked (which I don’t mind – but it was DEFINITELY closer to well done than the medium I asked for) and our mashed potatoes tasted… funny.  We didn’t want to take a chance with the marathon the next day, so told the waiter and got baked potatoes instead and they were great.  The place was great last year, think they just had an off night, I guess.


Then, we settled into bed.  Just in time for the band to start playing next door.  I tried to sleep around 8:30 but no go.  It was a late night, and I kept counting the hours until my 3 am alarm.

Sunday, we woke up and did all the normal things like eating cereal with blueberries and coconut milk and Zliten was antsy to get to the shuttles 2 hours early so we did that.

I covered the race here, so I’ll skip that, but once we got the shuttle back to the car, we went back to the room, cracked open some beers and snacks while we took some painful showers and hobbled around and got cleaned up.  After becoming presentable-ish, we hit the bar next door and the band had just started.  It was time to enjoy it, damn it!


We drank coronas and I internet stalked people doing Ironman Cozumel and ate onion rings and I got a buffalo fried shrimp salad and Zliten got an amaze-balls burger and fries.  Our server was into free diving so we tried to talk him into getting his scuba liscence and enjoyed our afternoon.

After a while, we retired to the room and got kind of crashy.  I realized I needed more food BAD so we went out and grabbed some tacos from Rock the Guac.  They were pretty good, not great, but totally adequate, but from a place with that name you don’t expect the guac to cost extra, right?  WRONG.  Crazy.


I ate one and saved the rest for breakfast and passed out for 11 hours.  No band late on Sundays.  Righteous.

Monday, we woke up starving and immediately housed those tacos.  We puttered around and went to the pool for a bit and read and swam (Zliten went to the ocean, I skipped it because I felt unstable) and enjoyed our morning, but then it was time for some more food.  Because…. #marathonmetabolism.

We went to a highly Yelp – rated Italian restaurant called Marinas, and it was so the right choice.  The house salad was GREAT, the bread was crusty and delicious, and the lasagna was some of the best I had ever had, and it was nice to have a reasonable portion – about the size of my fist, unlike many places that give you a piece the size of your foot.  The cannoli was pretty spectacular as well.


The afternoon was for a few errands, and then getting back into suits and hanging at the pool to read and have a very quick swim (we decided we weren’t into it, it was too overcast and chilly), and then got ready and walked a mile to stretch out our legs, and so we could meet one of Zliten’s college friends for dinner.

It’s always nice to meet someone new that’s awesome.  I think we clicked well or at least they put up with me well, I was a little off my brain game less than 36 hours out of finishing a marathon, heh.  After a very delicious but tiny turkey melt and two glasses of wine, and a lot of conversation, we bid them adieu and headed out to check out a bar on the way home called the Sandbar Sports bar.


We got another snack – split some fish tacos that were to die for… so good, and a dollar margarita (which tasted about like you would expect).  After that, I switched to drinking whiskey on the rocks because… it sounded good.  Each glass ended up getting a little fuller when she served them, and there were some shots in there too.

We ended up meeting a cast of very interesting characters.  Some folks visiting from Michigan – a retired teacher and her husband (didn’t catch what he did) who got divorced and remarried.  Some locals that either worked at this bar or another in the area with crazy bar stories.  An older gent who lived in the area and had some interesting stories.  A very cheery, very drunk girl that we *think* was a prostitute.  A fun bartender – she loved to hunt deer, she was going to grad school, and was complaining about being asked when she was having kids one month after getting married.  I know that one, sister.

We decided that a cab was the safest bet with marathon tired legs (Zliten is paranoid of falling down after his bear fighting incident) and the cab driver didn’t even turn on the meter and we just tipped him.  Awesome night.


Tuesday we woke up feeling a little rough and had a few bites off the hotel breakfast but we weren’t really into it.  We swimsuited up one last time and hit the ocean for a bit, and then the pool.  Usually, that’s a pretty good hangover cure trick for me, but it wasn’t cutting it.  We tried to take a quick nap but the hotel maids thought we were out of the room and interrupted, so instead we just packed up and got going.

My stomach wanted little kid food, so we hit Beef O’Bradys.  Huge menu of incredibly mediocre fare.  We got fried pickles to start with, and I got half a grilled cheese and a side salad with ranch.  The server was VERY nice and brought me a tiny side of tomato soup to go with it.  I felt much better after, and we tried to find something to kill a little time before our flight.


We hit up the Dinosaur store and museum… which ended up being a store that is BUILDING a museum that’s not ready yet.  Some really cool fossils and geodes and an amazing toy store.  We wandered for a bit, and then decided we would just get going towards Orlando and the airport.


The last stop was to pick up a last Publix sub for the plane and to get some coconut patty things that are only in Florida for my team at work.  First one was accomplished, second was a bust.  Couldn’t find them anywhere.

Luckily, found them in the airport!  Whew.  My AP would have been sad, he loves them.  We got through all the lines quickly, though I forgot to check in and was rocking the Southwest “C45 and C46” positions in line (aka – you lose, sucker!).  However, it was a Christmas miracle and we ended up with two seats together and bump bump bumped our way home through turbulence.

Our flight got in a little early, so we were able to pick up the leezards, grab some takeout chinese, and collapse into our couch and then shortly after, our amazing and wonderful bed.

Space Coast Marathon: Time on Feet Record

Two swings, two misses.  For having such a great early season, I’m not liking this direction.  There were some redeeming qualities of the marathon, but to be honest, I think the most important thing is the realization that my physical and mental shape right now is at rock bottom.  And once you hit that point, you no longer ignore it and you drag the microscope out and examine things.

But, that’s another post coming soon.  Today, let’s focus on the spectacular personal worst marathon (or if you’d like to put a positive spin on it – personal time on feet record) out of nowhere I ran last Sunday going play by play.


Race Issue #1 – Tired, didn’t get good sleep.

Life has handed me a lot of stress this year, but especially over the last 4 months.  And even more especially over the last few weeks.  Between late night whiskey stress relief sessions and being kept up late thinking about work and stuff, I was really banking on getting some awesome sleep once I was away from it all.

Then, our hotel ended up being right next to a bar that had live music until 10pm Friday and Saturday… and we may as well have had front row seats.  And the beds weren’t that great.  I managed to get probably 8 hours at least between tossing and turning on Friday night (about 12 hours in bed), but I was lucky if I got 3-4 the night of the race with a 3am wakeup call.

Race Issue #2 – The weather.

I was perfectly comfortable in my tank and capris by race start.  That’s not a good sign at all for the day to come.

And, weirdly enough, I never felt that hot after the first hour or two, but I could tell my system was being over-taxed when I felt out of breath running 10-11 minute miles (when I was running) on the second half of the course.


Race Issue #3 – Wasn’t super excited for the race.

While I wanted to treat it like a training run, I should have been jazzed to do a supported long run with thousands of my closest friends.  No nervous energy, no “yay its m-day”, I was just like “ok, guess I’m going for a long run now”.

Race Issue #4 – Everything felt off at the get go.

Something felt not-right even at the easy 5 hour pace.  I’ve started races too fast, and I don’t think I did this time at all.  In fact, I started slower than I expected to want to run.  Did not help.  Nothing ever got better.  I tried to convince myself that I’ve run 20 miles feeling shitty before, but that only got me through about mile 12.


Race Issue #5 – Potty stop tanked my pace 15 seconds per mile.

I knew I needed to use the restroom about mile 1, but not urgently.  I waited until mile 8-ish where I thought I could jump right in but there was still a little wait.  I was at 11:11s when I stopped, I was at 11:26s when I started again (which is below the pace I needed to be to break 5 hours).

During the race I had convinced myself I needed to go, but if I waited the urge may have gone away.  I think I may have subconsciously just wanted a break from running.

Race Issue #6 – Tried to catch back up with a 5 hour pacer or Zliten.

I made the call that I was going to pick up the pace to try and get back with someone.  I needed that motivation to keep going.  Those were probably my fastest miles of the day, and I think that if I would have taken it a little slower, it might have been better for me.  I don’t think it caused the crash bang boom, but going a little slower may have delayed the inevitable.

Race Issue #7 – Never caught back up.

I could see the Galloway 5 hour pacer up in the distance, (maybe a third of a mile), and my pacer was in front of that, and Zliten was in front of that.

Unfortunately, by that time, I was so mentally thrashed I broke.  I think there was some unintentionally strong gatorade that made me queasy that didn’t help, but it was more than that.  I just let it slip away and in the next 3 miles, the 5:15 and 5:30 pacers just blew by me.  I didn’t care.  That evoked nothing but a “whatever” response from me.  I was done.

Race TRIUMPH #1 -Not giving up

Knew I had 0 chances at a PR, but I didn’t take the exit at 13.1 (which would have gotten me a finish and a medal and credit for the series).  I knew I had some more lessons to learn that day so while I constantly regretted it on the course, I made the turn away and kept going (for like, over 3 more hours of torture).


Race TRIUMPH #2 -Set a backup plan

After a few miles of pity party, I decided that I wasn’t going to let myself just walk the last half.  Even though I was having a rough day, I was able to keep myself roughly to a schedule of run 2 songs, walk 1 on the second half and promised myself the 5:45 pacer wouldn’t get me.

Sometimes an aid station would come up right after I’d start running or I was like OMG I CAN’T run yet and do 2 and 2, but I found that walking was still pain.  Running was just different pain.  I just ran until I was gaspy and then walked and stretched.

Race Issue #8 – Wicked, wicked, wicked back of my body muscle cramps.

I think I figured this one out around mile 24 – I was feeling so rough and dejected that my form had degraded and I was slumped over for about 12 miles.  I kept better posture the last 2 miles and felt a little less rough.  Before that, though, it was so bad I kept pulling over to try to work it out each walk break and once I just sat on a bench and stretched.  During a race.  Yeah.

Race Issue #9, and the mack daddy of them all – My head and heart just never showed up

You can’t run the back half of a marathon without a brain or your drive.  I know that a lot of things went wrong that day.  However, this is two races in a row where my mojo has just abandoned me, and I have to look to my life and see what I can do to fix that.  I had my shit together earlier this year and now I’ve just fallen apart all over the place twice in a row.

The Aftermath:

On the other side was definitely not a pity party.  The minute I finished I got my medals and shoved pizza in my mouth to get some calories in so I didn’t collapse and die, and then we went and drank beer at the beach and then ate tacos in bed and had a lovely rest of the vacation.

The upshot with THIS race is that I think we’re going to do the half next year.  This is not a good time of year for me to really rock a marathon.  I always have a big work deadline right before this and that’s not going to change.  The weather is never going to be my perfect day, it’s always going to be hot and humid.  It never fits well into my training year, it’s always a big rush to get up to marathon distance.  I think I’ll take the pressure off next year – starting at 6, being done close to 8am… and then getting on with my vacation!

I’m super glad I had considered this a training run, and not an important race, and I’m just slightly more disappointed than if I went out and just BOMBED one of my 20 milers.


I’m super glad  I never caught back up with Zliten (for his sake).  I probably would have whined him to death.  He went on to do a 5+ minute personal best and had a tough but great day.

I’m also super glad I didn’t try to push any harder than I did if I wasn’t going to really go for it.  Going along with the person worst time is probably a personal best for feeling good after the race.  I was a little hobble-y the day of, but really no more so than after a long training run.  We walked a few miles the day after and my legs were still sore but it felt good.  By today, I feel like I could be back out resuming easy runs and maybe a double digit slow run this weekend.

However, my mind falling apart on me is the thing I’m more concerned about, and it is absolutely positively not ready to get back out there yet.  I’m not sure how long this will be.  A week? Two weeks?  But… I know I need to get to the point where I feel like I’m itching to run again.  Not where I just feel like I can or I should.

Now that I’m on the other side of #marathonmetabolism and #eatinglikeatenyearold and transitioning from the race and vacation back to normal life, I’m ready to work on some of the things that I believe are deeper issues that may have influenced my body to revolt and brain to flee on race days.  Stay tuned for that one.


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