Leading up to my marathon this past Saturday I had felt awesome! Then about three weeks ago I started to have calf issues. After starting to feel better I got the go ahead from my doctor and was ready to take on the race.
My goal for this marathon was to break 3:35 to get my Boston qualifying team, that meant every mile had to average under 8:12. My training had been great leading me to be pretty confident I could attain that goal.
On Friday I took a personal day from work and headed to my favorite bagel place for breakfast and carbo loading and then made my way to the armory for the race expo.
The line to get into expos at the armory is always long because it is a government building and they have check your bag etc. I got there early and the line moved pretty quickly.
I picked up my number, walked around a little bit and talked to some friends before heading home to relax for the rest of the day. I was actually feeling great and my calf wasn’t bothering me so my confidence was raising for the race.
On race morning I woke up at 4:15 to get ready and then headed out of the house a little before 5. My amazing husband dropped me off at the East Falls Church metro station due to track work and I caught the first train into town. When I got off at the race start, I ran into Mandy and then we found our coach.
I hit up the bathroom a couple of times before the lines started and then planned to drop my bag off at bag check and go to the bathroom one more time before the race started. I gave myself 30 minutes to do this, boy was that a mistake.
This was the first year that this race did not start and end at RFK stadium, so they had school buses to move our stuff to the finish line. The buses were organized by last name and when I went to find mine the line to check my bag was 2 bus lengths long. A line to check my bag? Seriously? It took 20 minutes to check mine. Then I jogged to my starting corral, I still had to go to the bathroom but I knew I would make it in time the lines were so long. Let’s just say I got creative with going to the bathroom and I wasn’t the only one.
When the race started I felt great. I held myself to a good pace around an 8 minute mile and continued to feel awesome even into the hill at Calvert (cruel rock n roll, just cruel). I pushed on through Columbia Heights and got to see my mom, brother and nieces around mile 9. Then everything started to fall apart.
As we headed down North Capitol my IT band started to hurt, then my knee was hurting, I hadn’t and pain like this at all during my training. After that my glutes started to get tight and then my hamstrings. By the time I got to H street NE I was hobbling and my pace had slowed to 8:45 minute mile. I even stopped to walk a one point. At this time I knew I wasn’t gong to finish this marathon and I would be lucky to make it through the half.
As I approached the half marathon/marathon split I had started to feel better, but I knew the smartest thing would be to go the finish, seeing my coach and fighting back tears I told her I was done for the day. I made it to the finish with a time of 1:46:38. I was in a bad mood and all I wanted was to get to my phone so I could call Dan and tell him he wouldn’t see me running down the mall because I was out.
I approached the bag check and there were a few people in front of me, but no one was getting their bag. Apparently there was no organization what so ever with how they put the bags in the bus so they had to look through every bag to find your number. The line started to get long and they hadn’t brought anyone a bag. A nice man next to me let me us his phone to call Dan and I left him a message, holding back tears I continued to wait for my bag.
45 minutes later people started to get mad and just got on the bus and started organizing the bags themselves. We were calling out numbers for those in line. About 15 minutes later (roughly over an hour after I got in line), my bag was found and I was able to phone Dan and answer all the text messages coming in asking me what happened. (unacceptable Rock N Roll, you should have your organization down to a T with all the races you run).
I managed to hold myself together until I called Dan. I broke down, I had been holding back my emotions all week with the “can I run or not” and it finally all came out. He told me he was coming to the armory to meet me and bring me my clothes and then we would go from there. He had been with my brother and my mom waiting for me by the waterfront. After he met me, I broke down again. We ended up having to walk to Eastern Market to get on a metro train and then met my family for lunch.
I wallowed in disappointment for the day, all the hard work and then your body just won’t let you do it. Now I am waiting on news from the doctor to find out what is really wrong with my calf. Hoping it is not a stress fracture, and trying to look on the bright side, I don’t want this to ruin my BIRTHDAY WEEK!