Chicago Marathon 2015 Recap: It just wasn’t my race

October 22, 2015|Posted in: Chicago, Running

If you follow me on social media then you probably already know that my race did not go as planned last Sunday. I finished way off my race goal (and far from my other finish times). To be honest, once I knew I wasn’t going to make my goal I sort of gave up and just made sure I finished the race.

Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment, no matter what your time is. It is hard though when you have put a lot of work into something and get a result that sort of lets you down. One of the reasons I love running is that you’re only competing with yourself. I’m just trying to beat my own time, not someone else’s. The hardest part about running though is that it’s all on you.

If anything, I learned some great lessons and things NOT to do before a race! Overall, I am still happy I ran the marathon and finished. My husband ran with me toward the end and that meant a lot to me. But it just wasn’t my race and I had an off day.

Here are all the things that went wrong though so maybe we can all learn from my mistakes!

• I arrived late to the race. This really messed with my head! I was still able to start on time but it was a mess getting to my start corral. We were staying with family in the suburbs close by so chose to take the Metra train in which I’ve taken many times before. Well, it was late – 25 minutes late! So we immediately had to start running from the train station to get to the starting line. Once I got close I had to use the restroom and beg a man in front of a LONG line to let me cut since I was in an earlier start corral than him. Then I literally sprinted to my start corral getting there 10 seconds before it closed. So I was already out of breath and stressed.

• I didn’t drink any water for about 3 hours before the race. I got up super early that morning and drank water right when I got up but that was it. I thought I would have time to get a bottle of water once I got into the city but the train delay messed up my plan. So being dehydrated is obviously not how you want to start a marathon.

• I had a side stitch for the first 8 miles. It wouldn’t go away! I think this was due to not drinking water. I couldn’t shake it and it caused the race to start off poorly.

• I was having asthma issues. I don’t know if it was the sprinting to the start line, lack of water, or side stitch but my breathing was off from the beginning. I felt short of breath. Then I remembered that I forgot to give my husband my inhaler in case I needed it and started to panic inside. I kept trying to convince myself that if something really bad happened the medical tent would have something. I didn’t want to push too hard.

• Lack of sleep. I had been traveling all week before the race for work and that always makes me super tired. Plus Ady has teeth coming in which never makes for a good night’s sleep. I’ve felt like a zombie lately.

• I wasn’t thinking positive. Because of all of these things going on, I just started getting really negative in my head. That is a terrible way to run a race and I really should have just pushed those negative thoughts away and started saying positive ones. I was really bummed out that the race wasn’t going well so then I just let the bad thoughts take over. Don’t do that!

As you can see, a few little things piled up into what felt like big things. Every runner has an “off” day and unfortunately, mine was on the actual race day which has never happened to me before. I knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to go well. I actually remember thinking after the first mile “uh oh, this doesn’t feel right”. I just knew.

I am mad at myself because I know what I’m capable of and I definitely didn’t perform to that level. But I just have to shake it off, be happy I finished my FOURTH marathon, and learn from the mistakes. The Chicago Marathon is always a great race and I’m glad I was at least able to run it!

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I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.

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