I was so driven...life revolved around triathlon...brand new to the sport my first tri was a huge awakening.
I didn't pull off the time I wanted, the time I think I'm really capable of....IF I had trained properly. I'll admit it, I kind of ignored the hills on the run. I figured I would suffer through them, and still pull off close to the time I wanted without hill workouts, shockingly it doesn't work that way :p. I've always considered my mental strength my greatest asset in racing, but this race beat me up and cracked that mental drive. At the end of the day I learned a ton, about myself and triathlon and wouldn't trade the experience for the world. It was an ambitious goal on just over 2 months of swimming and riding and I cant express the satisfaction I got crossing that finishing line.
(Finished in 6 hours, 6th in my AG)
Turned around in my second tri, a sprint distance and raced to 3rd female overall which I was psyched about. Anyways it's so far in the past now, I needed a break from thinking about triathlon, and the only reason I started writing this was to give me an output to this sport I was obsessing about, instead of endlessly harassing friends and family with my thoughts, splits and crazy workouts.
But Baby I'm back!
I spent the last couple months doing a run focus to reach another one of my goals, running a marathon. I know "they" (those mysterious interwebs experts) say you don't need to run a marathon before you do an Ironman, and I think they are right. However I think it benefitted me to close out my season with one, to know what it feels like to cover that distance, to have the confidence of going in there with a plan and reaching it.
Even if I ignored the hill training this time too...damn you'd think I would learn my lesson the first time :p
I had a perfectly logical reason (aka: excuse). I was determined to run a marathon in 8 weeks, but there was a possibility that I would be moving to Scotland either 2 weeks before the marathon or one week after. So training in Texas, for a hot and flat marathon, with the possibility of moving to cold and hilly Scotland. Whats a girl to do? Obviously sign up for 2 marathons on the same day, one in Texas, one in Scotland and see where I end up!
Well I ended up in Scotland at the Lock Ness Marathon, with not a flat portion to be found and a monster hill at mile 19. Guess I shouldn't have skipped those hill repeats. My goal on the flat course was 3:25, I figured with the hills 3:35 was a good adjustment. I didn't realise how ambitious that was, the hills didn't look so big on the course layout.
Mile 5...when my calves started hurting...not cramping...why are you doing this to us pain...
I think the last time my legs started hurting at mile 5 of a run was my first month running.
I started questioning, but I had braved the UK train system and made it all the way to Loch Ness, I was either going to finish this marathon or become best friends with Nessie, and Nessie didn't pop up to say hi.
It was a roller coaster ride, I had no strength on the hills so it was a yo-yo effect with everyone running around me. Going up the hills I would fall behind, going down the hills I would surge ahead...pacing was completely out the window!
Mile 19: mile long hill, everyone I can see starts walking because running up the incline isnt any faster. That doesn't help the pain.
Mile 20: Ok everything hurts, I mean really hurts, but I've worked this hard, its so hard to keep going. I need something to keep me motivated.
Queue the head games: Ok lets see how many women I can pass, 10k left, I won 1st female in my last 10k, sooo lets see if I can do that here and not have any women pass me before the end.
1,2,3,4, 3...crap gotta keep her in my sights cant be passed, 4
Mile 23: Ridiculous surge of energy, I'm really going to finish this, I'm actually starting to feel a bit better...
Mile23.2: Ohhh man this hurts, can I finish?
Mile 25: Head on into the wind, just keep moving, just keep moving.
Mile 25.8: Two girls pass me, ohh no I've held them off the last 10k this is not happening.
Sprint! All out, lets go, ohh man my legs don't feel collected to my body they are turning faster than I thought they could.
26.18: Passed both of them back!
26.2: WOOT!! I am a marathoner!!!
Oh dear lord I cant walk...seriously. I don't know how I ran this thing, after the race my calves refused to extend or flex at all. I had to take itty bitty steps to the food tent...after I picked up my bag on the other side of the field...it felt like it took me years...
I wasn't really planning on writing a race report, but I left my running group back in Texas and the family doesn't quite get it when I talk about this stuff.
Fun fact: it was 2 weeks before I could walk normally again, I am proud to say I left it all out on the course that day.