I don't really know what I'm going to write, I guess I'll just start putting words together.
Everything about the prep in the last few days for this went right. I got enough sleep, I hydrated until I couldn't drink any more and i carb loaded for 2 days. Got 9+ hours of sleep on Sat and really slept pretty well on Sunday.
Drove down Sun night to Lisa and Steve's in N Andover, she cooked me spaghetti, low key, in bed by 10:00. Got up at 5:30, had some coffee, got ready to go and Mrs. Train and Lisa took me to Hopkinton. Talked to some folks on the bus, what a great day it is, qualifying marathons and such, passed the time. Then it's weird because you just get off the bus and then you're alone again.
Passed the time, sat on the other side of the school, out of the wind. Got a call from McCullough, but I couldn't hear him - thought he said he was going to start in his corral. That's OK, probably better for me. Got in line for portapotty again at 9:10. At 9:52 I got out of the portapotty - had some stress having to jog to get to start through sea of white bibs (I should ahve been there 20 min ago). I'm in the back corral though, so I got there in time and everything.
Me and about 4 other guys did my strategy of just lollygagging to the mat. Thought was to let the mass get a minute or so ahead of us so we could have room, and in theory they would be slightly spread out by the time we got there. We kept getting prodded forward and off we went, pretty alone with the crowd.
The crowd was just amazing the whole race. I wish I have been having a better day because I would have really enjoyed that. Mile 1, fine 7:09, exactly on pace. Miles 2 and 3 OK too. By the end of mile 3, though I don't know how else to describe it other than to say that my legs felt a little "rubbery". By miles 4 and 5 the effort was the same, but then you have 7:17 and 7:19. Then as 7:25 a few miles later. I was in slow steady fade based on effort at mile 7-8 of a marathon. I could already feel my quads, and it made me feel like the Kinvaras were not at all the appropriate shoe choice.
By 1/2 I was at 1:37 and in crisis. I didn't enjoy Wellesley at all, and I REALLY didn't like running downhill into Newton Falls, the part I thought I would enjoy most. I had envisioned myself flying there. 16 was almost a welcome change to uphill.
The splits pretty much tell the ugly story. I came to a shuffle, then a walk, then a full stop. I seriously considered stopping, and I'd like to say it's because I'm tough that I didn't, but it was probably more due to it being logistically difficult. I walked, then tried to run again, but it just hurt. I got to shuffling, and I could manage 11 minute or so pace from then on, but man was that an awful time. I told myself never again.
I referred to this as a spectacular blow up but that's not even accurate. I think a blow up is when you are having the race of your life for 20 miles and the wheels come flying completely off. My wheels were never even on.
Started counting miles not to the finish, but to where I could see Mrs. Train (on Hereford). By the time I got there, 45 minutes late, she had been in tears for a while. I stopped and gave her a hug and proceeded to the finish. I couldn't even muster an effort there. Really, why bother? Got through all the garbage there, eventually made my way to Rattlesnake, then later to Crossroads to meet some RAers (and take my medicine from BCR). I was so late thay had given away our room.
So that's it. All the build up, all the miles, all the energy used, and I laid the biggest egg imaginable, and I have nothing to blame. Maybe Jeff's right, perhaps I flamed out in training. That HM in Hampton was the last really good run I had, and that was 2 full months ago. I put way too much faith in that one good race, and in retrospect I think the reality is that I'm not in as ggod of shape as I thought I was. I don't even really know why I thought I was come to think of it.
The warmth after this winter, the lack of hillwork, the achilles, the hernia (if that's what I have), this bruise or whatever the hell I have on the top of my foot, all played a part I'm sure. Plus all the hype, all the build up, all the facebooking and goal times and names in the newspaper and pressure, maybe I just freaked out.
I was thinking aboput it and I haven't really had a BAD race in a few years really. It's just too bad it had to be here. Everyone's been very encouraging which has been great. But it's going to take a while for me to lick my wounds on this one. It's humbling for sure.
I had been looking forward to the down time this summer and having no marathon plans. Now I absolutely hate that fact. What the hell do I do now? Was that it? I guess I need to take it a day at a time, do some easy running and hopefully recharge. My body and brain need a break.
MTA: I'll probably just keep adding stuff. I think I just feel regretful and a bit sad that I stunk it up so bad. It's one thing when it's private, but when it's all over the place and you know you are going to have to report in to everyone who cares, it's...I don't know the words for it. Plus, no one knows what to say. Running friends want to say "hey, good job anyway, good training,etc." because they want to be nice and make it better, but that won't make it so and they know it so it all becomes a bit uncomfortable. You can't even really explain to non running friends why you are bummed, and you inevitably get "hey, at least you finished - that's awesome!" They mean well but it makes my head want to explode.
More: One of teh weirdest hardest things about this whole thing is also things that are triggering emotions. I got back in the jeep on Tuesday and was the peanut butter and jelly wrapper from the sandwich I atr in Hopkinton. I got home and saw the program and stuff. I pulled my dirty clothes out of my bag, etc. Every time I see these things I think man, that was just yesterday. It already seems like a lifetime ago, and I keep thinking I'm going to get a do over. It's almost like mourning the dead, which then pisses me off further because rationally, this is just running. No one died. My kids are still healthy. I still have a good life. What the fuck, man?