Surviving a Marathon

They say (runners mostly) that every marathon teaches you something.

Today I learned that I will get my money’s worth despite discomfort – and what lengths I am willing to go to get said money’s worth.

In short, I threw up 3-4 times during the race today starting around mile 12. It was not fun. It was also unexpected. I had no clue as to why it happened, even looking back – I am completely mystified as to how or why this happened. But in the moment I was very worried because for several miles I could not keep down water/gels/sports drink.

My race plan changed in a instant – from chasing a time goal aggressively to deciding if I was going to drop out, or just slow down and get through and aim for damage control.

As a good friend of mine would say: I called an audible, and pressed on at the expense of everything I trained for. I chose survival over quitting, and that I don’t regret. Watching the time goal slip away was hard. Dealing with weird phantom nausea for 14 miles when I was in only moderate physical pain was even tougher.

I still pr’d today. So that was actually pretty cool considering how quickly my race plan changed.

So today I learned that it is ok to change a plan. It’s really ok. There will be a time when I will question if I can get through a workout. I feel pretty confident calling on this experience will help me remember why I am doing what I’m doing. I’m acutely aware race plans do not always go as planned, and today I learned how to roll with the punches and just survive.

It sucked but it’s ok. I was fortunate to have two great friends waiting for me to haul my butt across the line, and able to enjoy myself afterwards.

With regard to the race, I would recommend Glass City to friends, and I would do it again. It is the flat course it promises it is, it is also a very well executed event that offers a full marathon, half, relay, and 5k.

There were a TON of volunteers, water stations, and spectators, which was great for a marathon of this size (between 1300-1400 people). AND they gave you two beer tickets- even though I ended up not being able to enjoy them. 

I had two minor complaints and one of these was addressed in a very great way.

My race plan was to go out with the 4:25 pace group. Except the 4:25 pacer was not in the corral- or rather they were likely in the corral sans sign. My point is I could not locate them prior to the start of the race. This was a huge part of my pre-pace plan and for the the first 12 miles (before I got sick) I was pretty miffed about it, however I made lemonade out of lemons, and ran with another girl who was also looking for that pace group. In the corral I had asked the 4:10 pace group about the 4:25 group and he said he wasn’t sure and that the pacers were all pretty disorganized. 

HOWEVER, at the finish line, miles 16, and 21 and I think one more place the volunteers were handing out sliced oranges. At this point I was able to keep food down, but speeding up nauseated me quickly. The fact that there were people who cut up this many oranges, in my mind cancels out of annoyance regarding the pace group debacle. I will also remind you I detest bananas- so having orange slices instead was enough to almost make me cry a few times. 

The other minor complaint I had was at one of the water stations I asked volunteers where the next one was, and no one knew. But one volunteer apologized and said “I’m sorry we should know that and we don’t, we will know next year”. I mean how can you be mad at that? 

Overall I would do this again, it is fairly priced, and it really is a very well executed race. Despite how everything came out I ended up having fun… Well I had fun once I finished 😉 


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