Simple story really: (1) well trained (minor bumps, including the flu about eight weeks before the marathon); (2) well paced long runs; (3) no physical injuries; (4) felt pretty good at the start... and then proceded to have the worst run of my life. I had a goal of sub-3:50 (with sub 3:40 being a real possibility if I felt as strong as I had during some of the 15-17 mile trainers). I started having bad stomach cramps at mile 10, finished the first half in 1:54:03 (8:41) - not tragic, but not headed for a 3:40. Then ran the second half in 2:34:40 - an 11:45 pace! Ran-walked with my stomach shutting me down after about each half mile of running. Didn't vomit, no other intestinal issues. Just pain.
I thought I was pretty well-fueled. But there were two potential culprits: (1) pasta dinner the night before with a garlicky/oniony sauce - which causes some GI issues, but nothing severe; and (2) I mixed a sixteen ounce sports drink that morning of NUUN, (tablet in water), which I had used during training, but not more than three or four times, and not on any seriously long runs. The drink was a little fizzy, and did not sit well.
So, I'm devastated. My goals went up in flames. I'm convinced that I'll never be able to build up enough speed to be the Marathon runner I want to be (sub 3:40)(my times are 4:26; 4:12 (but felt very strong at end - ran paced with my wife on her first marathon); and now, 4:28.
Any tips on how folks have recovered from a fiasco like this? It's all well and good to say "forget it." But I can't seem to stop obsessing about it.
Life isn't fair -- get over it!
But seriously... that is really part of the answer. Sometimes things just don't go well and that's the way it is. But there's always next time, so pick yourself up and get back to it. Also, try to enjoy the process as much as the finishing time. After all, we aren't solely defined by the finishing time next to our name in the results.
Also, let this be a temporary setback. Maybe you need a little break or time off from running to get recharged. Also, the passing of time helps you get some objectivity about the matter. The last couple of marathons I ran, I missed my goal by under 2 minutes each time, but it was still bitterly disappointing at the time. However, now I'm a couple weeks and a couple months removed from each race, it's not a big deal. Just like you, I looked at what things went wrong and contributed negatively. I also examined what things went well, so I keep trying to learn from each marathon I complete.
Maybe you will never run sub-3:40, but it will only be a certainty when you decide to stop trying. As long as you keep training and racing, then there is always the possibility. Good luck!
Live and learn right? Try to chalk it up as a learning experience, and look forward to your next one. Easier said than done right? You can do it. Maybe not as fast as you want to do it, but it will happen.
sounds like you have a pretty good handle on what might have caused the stomach issues ... and it's fairly evident that was the leading factor in you not reaching your goal ... so if I were you I'd feel pretty confident in trying it again and just eat and drink something different before my next one!
Good luck ... you will get there ... I truly think so.
Im sorry but COME ON. Are you for real ?
Get over it. You could have cancer, H.I.V. be on death row be starving hungry.... but no you ran a little slowly !
You completed the race - well done. Some people dont have legs to even walk.
Some people i find truely strange.
Get over it.
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