Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Marathon That Wasn’t

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’ve been counting down the days until my 3rd marathon, the Inaugural Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in St. Louis! 


I have been super pumped ever since registering for the race in very early Summer, not long after running my 2nd full marathon in April.  I have always been intrigued by the Rock ‘N Roll events because of their fun, hip, and loud and proud atmosphere, which is almost essential for a marathon (if you ask me).  Ok, maybe not “essential” but it sure does make it a lot of fun! Open-mouthed smile

Our weekend in STL kicked off with an oncology checkup on Friday morning.  We took our kids out of school to go with us since we didn’t see a whole lot of point in driving up to the doctor on Friday morning, home on Friday afternoon, and then driving back up to STL on Saturday morning.  It stunk, though, because that meant Tyler could not go with us since he had to take the ACT test on Saturday morning.  He wasn’t too upset, anyway, because he had big plans to work all weekend to make some gas moo-lah and then he also wanted to bow hunt some.  So no biggie.

We got to Siteman late…ahem, honey…and got in for my appointment while the kids waited in the waiting room.  I’ll admit that I was very apprehensive about taking them to the dr with us, and here’s why:  When I’m at home and with my family, I feel like I have to be strong for everybody, especially my kids.  When I go to the dr I feel like I don’t have to pretend.  If I’m nervous, I can be nervous…if I’m scared or want to cry, that’s ok…most every cancer patient here feels the same way.  And to bring my kids into the place where I’m going to have to put on that brave face, well, it makes me feel like my two worlds are colliding.  But this was the best way for things to work out on Friday so I just sucked it up and we took them.  And it was fine.

During my checkup I mentioned to Dr. P about some pain I’d been having in my left side for about the past week.  After checking me all out, he said that he thought I either had a fractured or dislocated rib.  Really?!  I mean I knew that my body was exhausted during the training for this marathon but a broken rib, really?! 

I can tell a big difference in the condition of my body this time around in marathon training…my 3rd in a year.  I’m starting to have little nagging injuries that I’ve never had an issue with in my 7 1/2 years of running: shin splints, ankle problems, and now my ribs.  Also, I am exhausted.  My body is just tired.  Can you see the signs and symptoms of over-training??  I can.  Loud and clear.  Training for three marathons in one year is just too much for me.


So now with all that information, what do you think I did? 

Yep.  You guessed it.

I went ahead with my marathon plans.  Ridiculous, I know.


Marathon morning started out great.  Like all my other big races, I prepped the same way:

  • 2 alarms set at 5:30am
  • A roll and almond butter as I was getting dressed
  • Shorts, shirt w/ race bib, compression sleeve, compression socks, shoes, and hair in ponytail
  • A cup of coffee as I got ready
  • 4 chocolate Gu, 3 pieces of gum, my iPhone, headphones, Spibelt, and inhaler

No wonder it takes me so long to get ready. Confused smile

Anyway I met my sister, Layne, and her sister-in-law, Sarah, and we made the short walk to the start line in downtown St. Louis.  My sister-in-law, Kristy, was there too but we came from different hotels on race morning and weren’t in the same corral so I didn’t get to see her until after the race. 





Obviously we passed the time waiting until 7:30 by taking lots of pictures.  I got the new iPhone 4S last week and I am LOVING the great quality of the pictures!

I have to break here from the usual race day report for a sec.  Remember when I told you awhile back about the fellow patient that I had made friends with in my dr’s office?  Well when I was at the dr Friday for my checkup, I asked about her.  I’m so sad to report that she passed away a few weeks ago.  I knew when I saw her at my last checkup that she didn’t look well, but I was praying for her miracle.  But God knows best and has bigger and better plans than we can even begin to imagine, so I just trust in Him and know that He’s got this.  In was in her honor that I ran on Sunday, and I wrote it on the inside of my left arm:


I thought about her almost the whole race.  Which I don’t know was exactly a good thing because I would look at my arm and start to get choked up- which isn’t easy to do while you’re running, and even HARDER when your running with a cracked rib.  I’m praying for peace and comfort for her family.

At 7:30am the Inaugural St. Louis Rock ‘N Roll Marathon began!  Layne and I were in corral 6, and there were almost 30 corrals holding all us 20,000 people!!   



The corrals were released every minute and a half and before we knew it, we were off and running! 


I felt ok at first.  I mean, my side was a little sore but nothing bad.  I was trying to keep my pace slow because I didn’t want to start out too fast and then have nothing left at mile 20.  The course for the full- and the half-marathoners was the same for the first 8 miles, and I remember the fleeting thought of only doing the half but I pushed that thought way far back in my mind because I didn’t want to take an “easy out.”  I didn’t want to give myself that excuse just because it was hard.  Of course it’s hard!  It’s a stinkin’ marathon!!  It’s supposed to be hard!  And also, sometimes a lot of things hurt when you first start running, then you get in a groove and things work themselves out and you settle in for the run, so I didn’t want to mentally bail out too early just because I was struggling. <-----See how mental running is?!

Things changed, though, at Mile 7.  My side really started to hurt, not just a nagging ache, but a deep hurt every time my left foot hit the pavement.  I knew that there was no way I could finish the full marathon like I had my other two…if I was to finish there would have to be some serious adjustments.  I considered a walk/run ratio but the less impact of the walking felt so good that when I would pick up to run again it felt like a knife going in my side.  At Mile 8 I had made my decision, and I was good with it.

Here’s the texts I sent to Jack to let him know that I would be finishing the half, rather than the full:












I also got a text from my mom telling me that she loved me.  I have an amazing family. Smile

Here’s how all the splits went down:


I crossed the finish line with these official stats from RNR:

I had/have absolutely no regrets in finishing the half instead of the full marathon.  None.  I’m actually surprised that I’m not a little more upset about it!  Ha!  But I know that there is no way I could have finished 26.2 miles with the way my ribs were hurting, and the damage I would be doing by pushing it, well, that would just be irresponsible running.  I made the right decision and I know it. 

And hey-now I can say I ran a 2:16 half-marathon with a broken rib!  Does that make me tough or what?!  Lol~

Post race we stood around and visited for a little while and then walked back to our hotel, happy and satisfied with our day.  Even if the day didn’t end like we have been planning for the past 4 months of training, it was good.  Sore, but good! 


My sisters and I have already been in talks about our next race.  Yes, that’s SISTERS with an “s” Winking smile  Jessica was first to notice that the Rock ‘N Roll series also goes to Vegas!  Now that would be a fun girls’ trip!! 

Who knows where our next runs will take us?!

Love y’all!



Sarah @ See Sarah Eat said...

That's amazing that you were still able to complete the half, I can't imagine how much that must have hurt! You are awesome :) So sorry to hear about your friend, will keep her family in my prayers.

Dana, Enduramoms Founder and CEO said...

You are so amazing. I love your share of technology + running in the blog. And wow ... you had quite a stressful weekend. Kick your heels up for some pampering.

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