I had made a promise that I was not going to run another marathon and haven’t since my last VT Cit Marathon in 2007. Instead I have completed other “marathons” in the past few years . . .major surgery while 12 weeks pregnant with my first child, followed by an early c-section due to pregnancy complications in 2008 , then the marathon of first-time motherhood where I also experienced my first bout of postpartum depression (undiagnosed until 8 months-took a long time to find myself again), then pregnancy again, this time with a toddler (EXHAUSTING!), another c-section due to pregnancy complications along the way, and again postpartum depression (even trickier the second time around). In between the marathon of motherhood I have been trying to get myself back to where I want to be with running and am finally feeling AMAZING and headed towards a peak performance (at least I hope).
The last 26.2 miles that I attempted ended with a stay in the medical tent at the end of the race with an IV drip in my arm. Not exactly the finish that I had hoped for. I had been running very well that spring up until the week of the race when I came down with a horrible sickness that required taking lots of Sudafed to attempt to dry out my sinuses. Basically when race weekend rolled around I felt like crud and was completely dehydrated from all of the Sudafed coursing through my veins. I should have taken this as my cue to bail out and to skip the race altogether until I felt better and then to sign up for another race. For those of us though who have a running “addiction,” choosing not to run when sick or injured is generally not an option. So I ran, all 26.2 miles and it was grueling. I hit the wall. It was hot and then as soon as my body felt as though I had slammed into the pavement with my head pounding it began to pour buckets of rain. I dragged my body across the finish line just missing my p.r. and well off Boston Marathon Qualifier time. My muscles were seizing and vertigo began to set in. I got myself to the med. tent and then basically collapsed onto the cot. This was a stupid day to run a race!
Now, you are probably asking yourself, “and why would anyone ever want to do this race?” My husband put his foot down and said no more marathons and I agreed. We agreed that I could still run a marathon distance only if it was broken up in relay format so as to have adequate rest periods in order to re-hydrate and refuel (I often have a problem with bonking anyways as my metabolism runs like it is a race car rapidly burning through fuel.) This seemed like a great compromise until now.
This past summer and fall I began amping up my mileage in order to train for running the Vermont 100 on 100 Relay as an ultra team with two of my best friends and then later in the fall the Reach the Beach Relay. I chose several 10K’s and Half marathons to run along the way and started to find a real groove with running. My whole mindset concerning racing and competing these days has totally changed. Perhaps I have found my “inner-chi.”
Pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum was by no means easy for me and I have had to find ways to learn how to cope with this, how to alleviate stress, and how to focus in on positive energy. I also have a great friend Ken, who has the ability to hypnotize in order to help people overcome difficulties.I actually believe he used conversational hypnosis to help me (this will require a whole other post to tell more about this) find a different perspective and inner quiet when running to be more successful. As of late I have felt fantastic on long runs and even having too much energy if I don’t get in my higher mileage workouts. Racing this summer and fall was awesome with lots of personal records along the wat.
I want to try the marathon again because I just can’t seem to let go of my goal. It is something that I want to do for me. I am hoping for a Boston qualifying time (although they keep lowering the qualifying times!) but even more than that I am hoping to have a consistent race where I feel strong, race smart, and feel proud of my accomplishment at the end.
I can’t wait! VT City Marathon 2012, Burlington, Vermont