Race day-The weather actually matched the stellar forecast. Clear blue skies, mid 40s, no wind, with warming sun and an eager crowd waiting behind the starting line- 7:00am in Eugene. Thought for sure the race would meet, if not surpass expectations, just like last year when I set my PR. I trained faster, logged 100 miles more this year. My confidence was high.
But, wasn’t my day. Actually, wasn’t my week.
Will caught a bad cold the previous Sunday and had several days of temperature to accompany a deep cough and running nose. When you are taking care of a sick 2 year old, washing your hands every 10 minutes, just isn’t going to work. And it did not. By Wednesday, knew I had ‘the crud’. Did feel better by Friday so decided to make the drive south with Carter Saturday AM. I still had hopes for some PR glory.
Knew I wasn’t fully recovered from the cold and likely would need to drink extra water to avoid dehydration. But I truly believed I could run and finish the race.
This race will go down as a few lessons learned:
- Don’t run a marathon within 3 days of a bad cold. Give your body a week to fully rest and recover.
- Don’t run crazy fast. You’ve run 10 marathons, you should KNOW THIS RULE
- Drink more fluids
With both calf muscles and hamstrings clinch fist tight, stomach in knots, congestion headache and sandpaper taste in my mouth, I limped off the course at 17 miles. Looking on the bright side, the day held several positives:
- For 17 miles, I my average mile pace was 8:08.
- Tied my half way mark time of 1:43 hr
Unfortunately, those same positives became negatives, when running a marathon when my body wasn’t 100%. The last mile, I could feel my body’s rebellion escalating and quickly determined it wasn’t worth it.
Moving forward, I will try to remember these lessons and apply them in the future so Eugene 2011 will remain my only DNF (did not finish) marathon.
Also, on the positive side, since I didn’t run the full race, I don’t need much recovery time before my next race. So, I’ll likely try again in June.