Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blame It On Your Brain

This weekend, (as you probably know if you're a running blog reader), I ran the Eugene marathon.  I'll write the recap, but this is not it.  I'd rather get the emo stuff out now and try to make the recap more fun.

I have very mixed feelings about the race. I ran a 3:32:40. 

That's about 2 and a half minute PR.

I am SO thankful for a few things:
1) My boyfriend Anthony came down and hung out with us girls the entire weekend.  He got up, drove us to the start, took pictures, drove me back up to Portland, etc.  And he was a sweetheart about it. 

2) Sarah (SR) ran with me the WHOLE time.  She researched the best way to pace me, spoke with others, wrote damn splits on her arm, got me water at almost every aid station, was SO encouraging at the end, and didn't let me hit the track ground during my overly dramatic finish as my legs pretty much gave out.  I have no doubt I finished better with her than I would have on my own.  What a great friend.

3) Eugene and the people there:  It was a great weekend and a beautiful town. It was great to see friends and meet new ones.

But I'm finding it really hard to be thankful for my race.  I know a 3:32 marathon isn't a BAD time.  However, about a year ago, I ran Boston on almost no training in a time not too far off from this one.

This training cycle, I poured my heart and time into making this a great PR race.  I figured a 3:20 was a stretch and a 3:25 was reasonable.   I have never tried so hard for anything in my running "career".   And I came up very short. 

It's not that I didn't give Eugene my all.  I did.  I had a great pacer, good weather, great support.  I could blame this on the Ragnar Ultra last week.  I could blame this on over training in general.  But, I don't know what led to me not reaching my goals.  I know it's still a PR but I also know that this does not feel good. 

So instead of giving you excuses, I will give you Milli Vanilli:


Gotta blame it on something (gotta blame it on something) 
 
BLAME IT ON THE RAIN.  YEAAAHHH. YEAHHHHH.   

42 comments:

  1. I know the feelings you're experiencing....I mean, I've only run two marathons so far, but their finish times were less than 1 minute apart (thank goodness the second one was a teeny bit faster!) but I know what it's like to not reach your expectations.

    That being said, you still rocked it hard out there, girl. Give yourself time to feel crappy about it (that's OKAY!!!) and then find your redemption race. You're a strong runner. You can do anything.

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  2. dude i so appreciate your honesty bc i would feel something similar.

    ragnar definitely wasnt the ideal physical and mental taper, but you gotta remember that for your 3rd marathon, you didn't go out 7 days before and run the hardest miles of your life either. theres prob a reason why elites dont do that right before a race :)

    maybe take a break, a mental purge. come back and run fontana fast. gain your confidence back. and then tackle the distance again... NYC baby. ill pace you there if you buy me a slice of cheesecake.

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    1. You are right about everything. NYC!!! I already owe you about 5000 slices of cheesecake for this weekend. I'm already excited about NYC.

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  3. Congrats on the PR! Plus, celebrate because a 3:32 is an awesome marathon time. I do feel ya on the disappointment. You put so much work into this race and didn't get the result you were looking for... But, you also ran a butt ton the weekend before and kicked arse! Don't be so hard on yourself! Perhaps you can try another marathon in a few weeks to see where you'd be with fresher legs? Now go celebrate :)

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  4. I felt the same way after Long Beach - yeah it was a PR, but it wasn't the PR I wanted nor what I thought i was capable of. I got pissed everyone said, BUT IT WAS STILL A PR. Bah, PR. Don't care. And since I missed Mermaid Half, it's still my standing PR. LAME.

    Ragnar was no joke on you ultra's. You obvs gave it what you had, that picture of you on the field you were kicking ass. Follow SR's advice. She's clearly the running Rain Man.

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    1. lol about the "rain man". And now this weekend we're going to see what you can really do :)

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  5. I'm definitely not anywhere close to running the paces you run (even on your easy days :) ) but I know the feeling as well. The week before Ragnar I PR'd a 5k but not nearly by as much as I wanted to, and it's hard to not feel somewhat selfish about those things. We all hold ourselves to such high standards of what we aim to be capable of as runners and we're our own worst enemies because of that. You are a serious inspiration to girls like me who are new to this and trying to get out there and learn to be faster and push harder, so that in itself is something to be majorly proud of and I'm happy to have met you through Ragnar :) Keep pushing and you'll be hitting that 3:20 mark in no time!

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    1. Thank you. I find it surprising to possibly be even remotely inspiring, but that is so good to hear. Now go get that 5k.

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  6. I also appreciate you honesty and would feel the same. I have a marathon in a month and have trained harder for this upcoming marathon than I have in the past... I SHOULD do better, but I may not and it is scary.

    Running is such a mind-f*ck of a sport and PR's and feeling great are unpredictable. I always tend to assume the worst and hope for the best on race day and try not to think too much about it.

    Either way, congrats on Ragnar and the PR and for helping others train for their best times.... now THAT is something to be proud of.

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    1. Maybe I should start assuming the worst. I am super proud of Ragnar! Thanks for your thoughts!

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  7. I'm blaming Ragnar. Most people do not recover in one week from 30 very hilly miles run in the span 20 hours. Some people might (ahem, SR) but those people are not the norm. Next time when you have a proper taper, I think you will see better results.

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    1. I agree. As usual you are the sensible one.

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  8. yesterday, when I read about how you PR'd, all I could think was wow, I am so proud of my friend, Margot. One week a win, next week a PR, awesome. Plus, I dont run, or even like running (although I oddly love running blogs), so I shouldnt even care. But I do, bc I care about you, and you are awesome! So, turn that frown upside down and celebrate your accomplishments, bc I am. (ps--that video was so funny)

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    1. You are the best friend ever! <3. It is very random that you read the running blogs.

      Dude you need to watch more of their videos. They are all hilarious.

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  9. Margot, I've always looked up to you and related to you as a runner for some reason. (Maybe it's because our little bloggies started around the same time?) Anyway, I am so freakin' proud of your BQ race...we're going to run together next year at Boston, whether you like it or not.

    GIrl, your legs were tired as crap going into this race, whether you realized it or not. I can't believe how tough your race-legs were at Ragnar and you know just as well as anyone else that doesn't lead to you realizing your potential one week later at a marathon. You ARE a 3:20 marathoner (if not better), no question. It's just a matter of time before you get there. I'd look around for another marathon like one month down the road so that you can piggyback off of this training cycle, but still allow your legs enough recovery. That's what I did when my first marathon in Nov 2011 was a flop-- I found another one a month later and dropped 25 minutes off of my time. So glad I did that, otherwise I'd have a really sour taste about running in my mouth!

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    1. I look up to you as well! I'm also 100% sure we'd be friends in normal life so that's probably part of it.

      I remember your kick butt marathon! Anyways, I'm not sure about Boston, but I would love to meet you there if it ends up being a go.

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  10. There are some spectacular specimens of human physiology who can run high-intensity high mileage and recover overnight. I am not one of those people and, it seems, neither are you. AND YET! You PR'd. The marathon isn't like a microwave - you don't pop in training and reap a fantastic race. There are so many factors (I hear), and any number of them can turn weeks of training upside down. Which is why I don't do them, and is also why I am humbled by you for hammering it out. Congratulations on the time, and best of luck (really!) recovering.

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    1. You have such a way with words ;-). You're right. Marathons are weird and I don't recover well.

      Thanks, Sarah! You are the best.

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  11. Let's just start off with: AWESOME TIME! Really and I'm sure you know and I totally understand getting the results can be disappointing when all you wanted was another number to show up, but try and focus on the positive things that happened there. You looked so fun in your bunny ears btw.

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    1. Thank you. I am definitely trying to focus on the positive and feel way better than I did when I wrote this post.

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  12. Hey Bunny, congratulations on BQ'ing. I think you asked a lot out of your body in the last 10 days and you performed quite well. Hindsight is always going to be 20/20.

    Take a nice break. Enjoy your running for just running's sake. The fall marathon season will be here soon enough.

    Enter the Lottery for the St. George Marathon. The lottery ends May 7th. It is a crazy downhill fast course. I think you could rock it there.

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    1. St George would be really cool! I think NYC will be my fall marathon and not sure I can handle more than that. Thanks, as always, for your support.

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  13. Amazing! Am ultra relay and then a marathon?! wow. I ran Eugene too. Best race ever. No wonder you smoked it!! Congrats!!

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    1. Thank you lady. Hope Eugene went well for you.

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  14. Thank you for this extremely honest post. Yes, it was a PR. But, that doesn't mean you can't be disappointed you didn't meet your goal after how freaking hard you tried. For what it's worth, I think you're awesome and have NO doubt your 3:20 is definitely in your future... and I can't wait to see it happen!!

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    1. Thank you. Yeah I tried wayyyyyy too hard. haha :).

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  15. I love how honest your post is, I ran Eugene also and I know that i had a 3:25 in me which was my goal but came up short with a 3:29, and while everyone is telling me it is a great time which I know that it is I am still super disappointed in myself! It was a PR and next time you will totally have that 3:25 in the bag!

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    1. Well...congrats on your time, but I know you must feel a little disappointed as well. Let that fuel your next races!

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  16. Dude. I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down. Totally! I'm generally a pretty 'zen' runner and rarely run with a time goal in mind. But I trained my tush off for MCM last year. Followed my program to a 'T'. I fueled. I hydrated. I felt strong. I felt fast. Until... well... I didn't anymore. It didn't matter that I PR'ed. I did NOT run the race I knew I was capable of. And it bites.

    Chin up, shoulders back (and bunny ears ON). Be proud of all your hard work. It's about the journey right? XOXO

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    1. You're right, it is about the journey. Sometimes I think I'm better off "listening to my body"...as silly as that phrase is. Zen runners unite.

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  17. Congrats on the PR even if it is bittersweet. Sorry you had a tough race, but I'm glad that you had friends there to literally carry you through and had support from your BF.

    It sucks that the marathon is such a gamble even with doing everything right in a training cycle. I'm sure you have a 3:20 in you.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! Yes, there were a ton of great things in the weekend (and I will write about them soon. Pity party over soon).

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  18. Congrats on the PR...YOU ARE SO HILARIOUS! Love the Blame it Rain... :)

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    1. Let's go back in time and go to a Milli Vanilli concert!

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  19. 1) I am the creepy cheer-er on the elliptigo -- glad I saw you and was able to cheer for you!

    2) Definitely take into account that you all did a RAGNAR ULTRA the week before

    3) 3:32 is still damn good in my book

    4) In a while, you'll find something to really be proud of in this race -- how you mentally and physically toughed it out, etc etc -- I was disappointed after a 21 min PR in the marathon last year because I missed Boston, but now I realize how cool it was.

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    1. Thank you for your words and thank you even more for coming out to cheer!

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  20. I know you did your best Margot! You set a new PR & BQ & that's awesome! CONGRATS!!!! hang your medal with great pride & smile!! :)

    maybe run San Diego R&R with me?! :) luv ya sweetie! xo

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    1. Thank you! Maybe the half in San Diego ;-). I'll look into it!

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  21. I'm sorry you feel that way. Hopefully in a couple days you'll be happy about a new PR!!
    I definitely think your relay had something to do with it. That's a lot of running and only a little sleep a week before.

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    1. Yup it definitely had an effect. I'm already feeling better about it all. Thanks for the thoughts.

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