Sunday, November 20, 2011

What happened?

If I (or you) could answer that question, it would make me feel a lot better...

The bottom line, I ended up dropping out of the race just short of mile 13.  I'm not really sure what happened to me between Thursday night and Sunday morning, but things went downhill in a hurry.  I crushed my Thursday afternoon run and thought I was all ready to go.

Friday rolled around and I may not have felt quite as good, but only now in hindsight do I realize it was a sign of things to come.  By Friday night I felt what could only be described as "off."  I didn't feel sick, but something in the back of my mind kept saying something was wrong.

Saturday morning rolled around and I got in an easy 7.  It felt harder than it should have, and I didn't have nearly the appetite I expected the whole day.  I figured it was just nerves, but once again, something still felt "off."  On my way up to Philly (around 2pm), I felt really, really tired most of the way up.  I didn't think much of it, because driving makes me tired, but even after a nap, I still felt kind of crappy.

In the expo, I continued to feel worse, and finally by the time I sat down for dinner with a few friends, started to worry about how bad I felt.  I had what I considered a rather light breakfast and lunch, but yet still wasn't all that hungry come dinnertime.  I ate what I could, then eventually settled down to sleep.  I was extremely tired for having only run 7 miles a little bit after waking up.

Race morning rolls around, and for the most part, I thought I would be ok.  I didn't feel nearly as crappy as I did Saturday night, and figured I'd be good to go.  After a very short warmup and some stretching, I found my way to the front of corral 2 10 minutes before the start.

After a minor delay, they sent off the wheel chair division, then had corral 1 and eventually corral 2 move up to the start.  I was real close to the front, just where I wanted to be.  The gun went off and we started...

I immediately felt off, but wasn't too alarmed.  In general, I've been known to take a few miles to settle in, and feelings of strength/weakness come and go, especially in long races.  So I just sat back and waited, expecting to eventually feel better.

Mile 1: 5:48

A bit fast, but aerobically, it felt alright.  I pretty much felt like shit at this point and was sweating an awful lot considering it wasn't even 50 degrees.  There was a breeze that would come and go, and it made me feel even more uncomfortable.  But no matter, I kept going...

Mile 2: 6:02
Mile 3: 6:02

My pacing started to fall in line.  I sort of had people to run with, but everyone seemed really antsy and would either pick it up or drop back instead of maintaining a pack.  My  name was printed on my bib (which I don't remember asking for), so I got a lot of cheers.  It actually started to get annoying in a hurry...

I was doing my best to get water down, but I didn't even think of reaching for my stingers for fear I would get sick.  I was already boarderline feeling sick as it was.

Mile 4; 6:08
Mile 5: 6:01
Mile 6: 6:07
Mile 7: 5:59

These miles were mostly flat, and I knew a slightly hilly section was coming up.  I continued to feel worse.  I never really got excessively sick, but I felt somewhat light headed, knew I must have looked pale and still felt really, really off.  I've had some rough marathon paced runs before, but this was getting ridiculous.

Mile 8: 6:13
Mile 9: 6:15
Mile 10: 6:18

These next 3 miles were somewhat hilly, a bit more than I expected.  I gave back some time, but it wasn't just the hills working against me.  It was getting really hard to focus on anything but how shitty I felt.  By now, 10 miles into a run, I had to start feeling better, but yet nothing was improving.  My 10 mile split was 1:00:51; I should have been at a 1:00:20 for a 1:19 half, so I was still in the ball park.

As we hit a steep downhill, my abdomen right along my large intestine started cramping, pretty badly.  It started to dissipate by mile 11, but I already had it at that point.  I couldn't possibly fathom running anymore and I wasn't having anything resembling the least bit of fun.  The course at this point was looping back to the start so I knew if I was going to drop, it would have to be now.  If I decided to go on and really got myself into trouble, I'd be out in the middle of Philly with no way to get back to the start.

As I approached the start area, part of me wanted to go on.  But my split times were telling me that anything resembling a race was over.  I was also getting passed like crazy...

Mile 11: 6:23
Mile 12: 6:57

I decided not to go across the half marathon finish line, but opted to continue on the marathon course to try and find my parents, who had all my stuff.  I knew within a few minutes of stopping I would need warmer clothes than the shorts and singlet I was wearing.

Somewhere before Mile 13, I had it and ducked off the course at a gap in the barriers where there weren't many people around.  Thankfully, my parents were actually nearby and walked over.

Even with my sweats on (which was enough to keep me warm prerace), I was freezing.  We drove back to our hotel, and I slept the whole way in the car.  I slept more in the hotel, and was still really cold.

After I should have finished, I woke up and ate something, feeling just a little better.  I finally ended up driving back to Baltimore, only to get tired again on the way down and sleep more.  I probably slept for a good 1.5 to 2 hours total after what was essentially a 13 mile run.

As I write this now, I'm kind of hungry, and finally not tired.

The questions that remain after today:

-->Why did this happen?

-->What do I do now?

I don't know that I will be able to come up with an answer for the first one.  As for the second one, I'll post about that tomorrow.  But at this point, I'm leaning towards cutting my loses, focusing on what I accomplished this year (major mile, 5K, 10k, 10 mile, and half marathon PRs), and just getting ready for the next one.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no expert, but coming off a difficult race last weekend, I'd say you had some 'confounds' also going on; especially if you report not feeling right in the days leading up to. According to a coach I know, the body has to mobilize its energy stores to try and heal/address what's wrong instead of storing it for the race.

    As for #2, just some time needs to pass. Like you said, live to race another day. Sorry the day was not what you had in mind.

    Best Wishes.