Getting B-Slapped By The Marathon

I’m baaacccckkkk. I’ve missed you all dearly. A lot has been going on and it’s about time we get caught up.

Let’s just get Ojai out of the way. #$%#@.

I had a lot going on leading up to race day but for some reason I really thought I could pull off a GOOD if not GREAT race. Β I mean, look at that elevation profile! Who wouldn’t want to go for it? My brain kept telling me to just do it but I should have known that the conditions were not ideal for me.Β 

Why? It’s a fast course, right? Yes it is. But the stars did not align. I could not get comfortable in my pace and my head was working against me the whole time. When my head is not in it that means my heart is not in it and when that happens 26.2 miles feels like 262.2 miles. Ojai smacked me down and reminded me to respect the distance. This isn’t a 5k. This is 26 freaking miles. Downhill or not, that ish is HARD. And I love it.

The bright side? I did not quit. No matter how badly I wanted to throw in the towel I powered through. That meant a LOT of breaks. More than I have ever taken in a race. Around mile 21 I met reader Krystal who caught me during an “eff this” moment and really brightened my day. So sorry I was dazed and confused but thank you for your encouragement! It meant the world to me.

So what went wrong you ask? After all I was all fired up on my willingness to PR right?

A few things…

1. Crammed Training. Coming off Ragnar with a lingering injury lead to low miles in April. Then when I decided I was going to do Ojai whether or not my hel hurt I entered 3 weeks of crazy mileage. I ran 50 more miles in May than I did in April. Yeah, I would call that a big increase. Also not likely the smartest move as I did not properly taper. Oh, did I mention I did not run one single 20 mile run? Not one. Not since January. Ooops.

2. My MIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer race week. Tuesday to be exact. This has been beyond rough. Mentally and physically I am drained. One week they said she was fine, the next it’s cancer. How the doc went from one extreme to the other is beyond me. We have been praying round the clock and will be leaving for Texas in a few days to spend time with her.

3. Work asked me to go out of the country for 2-3 weeks the same day that my MIL was diagnosed. Stress city. I was told to prepare to work in Tokyo for 2 maybe 3 weeks. I would have to leave June 16th. I cried. Literally. Multiple times. How can I leave in the midst of a family crisis? How could work not understand? After a few days of going back and forth and discussing our family’s state of emergency I finally made the decision to stand up and say I couldn’t go. I had not heard a word from my big boss before I left. Stressssss.

Given the above it makes sense to me why I could not and did not give it my all. I had nothing left. In the end I crossed that finish line in 4:09:xx.

Not my best, not my worst. But then again given the above I would say I am pretty freaking lucky to have even finished in that time.

I would like to say a quick thank you to my COACH πŸ™‚ You know who you are. Your encouragement over the past few weeks has changed my running game. I am so thankful for you. I sincerely appreciated every email, text, tweet, etc! Chicago here we come!



I have had a few days to recover and now it’s time to get ready for Chi-Town. I am heading to Barre at Lululemon La Jolla tonight and will likely get a few workouts in here before we leave for Texas. It’s probably going to be hotter than hot in the pan handle so either early am or pm running will have to do.

I may register for a few shorter races to test my fitness along the way. Coronado on the 4th of July is a favorite and maybe a half mary in between to use as a tempo. We shall see. If you have any suggestions let me know. The only weekends that are out are June 30th (nor cal wedding) and August 17th (nor cal wedding).

Side serious note:

Please keep my MIL in your thoughts and prayers. We do not know what lies ahead but we have faith in HIM and his plans. This will not be an easy journey but in the company of family and friends we can’t go wrong.

28 thoughts on “Getting B-Slapped By The Marathon

  1. Life just plain stinks sometimes and I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. Sending prayers and love. And separately proud of you for holding on to the race, no matter the pace. Finishing is a huge battle always and you did! Proud of you. You’re a star and as Pam wisely told me, every finish line brings a new start. xo

  2. You already know this, but one race does not define you. Each marathon is like the birth of a child, you expect them all to go great but they are all different and some are way more labor intensive than others… you can never predict how each one will go. I am more proud of you for this one than some of the others, because the tough ones are so flipin difficult and, they take so much more effort than the ones we fly through. The finish time is simply a number, it’s what you did out on that course Nicole that you should evaluate yourself on. You said it yourself “you had nothing left” you are my hero. You are courageous, tough and we all know how fast you are, you don’t need to prove that to anybody, you are an incredibly talented runner and a beautiful person. I am down on my knees praying for your MIL..may she have strength, grace, be free of pain and a full recovery. Biggest, tightest hug ever.xo

  3. I have to tell you that you gave me the BIGGEST boost when you drove my and cheered for me. I was really struggling and that totally gave me the little push I needed to keep going so THANK YOU!

    I’m amazed by your strength and determination Nicole and you are a total inspiration! I’ll be sure to keep you MIL in my thoughts and pray for the best for her, you and your family πŸ™‚

  4. Goes without saying that I have been thinking of your family since you told me about it on Sunday. Def in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. As a cancer survivor, I am lifting your MIL up in prayer. Two of my favorite verses since my diagnosis in 2008 have been Mark 5:36 and Jeremiah 29:11.

    Oh, and way to battle that marathon. You rock, Mama;)

  6. You have to be proud of powering through the mental trials. They are even harder than the physical sometimes (or all the time). I’ll be praying for your mil.

  7. So sorry to hear about your MIL. What a rough time you have been having. You and your fam are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. You seriously had me in tears reading this…I am sorry to hear about your MIL and happy you told your boss to F*^$ off! You did awesome in your race! We can’t always do our best πŸ˜‰ (unfortunately). Chin up, best wishes and happy running!!!

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother in law. That sure is alot to take in the week of a race. 😦 Even though you had alot of stresses the week/day of your race, I think you did an AMAZING job! Have safe travels to Texas. I will definitely keep your mother-in-law in my thoughts.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing everything that is going on in your life! We (readers) really get to see how much you have to struggle with outside of the running world. God has given you so many gifts and a lot of strength to be able to do everything you have accomplished.
    I will definitely keep your MIL and family in my prayers.

  11. Major props to you for sticking that race out, seems like it was a tough one for a lot of people.

    Most importantly, just wanted to say I will absolutely keep your mother-in-law, as well as the rest of you family in my prayers.

  12. On a serious note, you and your family (especially your mother-in-law) are in my prayers. Cancer is a tough journey for the entire family…and I’ll be praying for each of you.

    As far as the race – others got it right on the nose – one race does not define you! As far as prepping for Chi-town…you know SoCal longer races all but pretty much dry up in the summer, but I’d do a 5k/10k blitz as “speedwork” training. I’m going to try and build that into my summer schedule as I can!

  13. No matter your race times, I am – and always will be – so proud of all of the efforts you put into running. We all have our ups and downs, but when you get news like you did this past week, it really puts races where you may not have performed your best into perspective, ya know? Love you guys, safe travels, and give her a big hug from all of us when you see her.

  14. Your MIL and family are in my thoughts and prayers. You put in a good effort on Sunday especially with so much serious stuff weighing heavy on your shoulders. You are one strong lady!

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