One of those days that shows you that you can do everything right in the process (or at least it appears that way) and sometimes the result does not go your way. Especially if fear starts creeping in. Once you start thinking about how away a finish line is or if you have enough in reserve or if your stomach is going to hold together, you need to recalibrate or things are going to go awry. So at that point, do you believe in the process that you had (and the fitness gained) or the final time on race day (regardless of outcome being good or bad)?
Frankly, it's difficult not being disappointed. I see this as a two year process building up to an end result that I bettered on almost no training four years ago. While the training will hold a place in my log and my memory, ultimately what everyone else sees and experiences is a 3:18 which is 33 minutes slower than what I've been thinking about doing during every workout of this buildup. Every workout went a certain way... too good. Which was my worry - Declan mentioned that this race is so faith-based in what you can potentially do versus the extent you've pushed yourself in training. And yet, I did not feel like I was pushed in training and I have to think that had I had an experience or two in the last year where you really deal with that first wave of hurt in the marathon, I'd be better prepared. Maybe that means run more races, but I think at this point, with everything I put into coaching and teaching, that that is not reasonable.
It's hard to open yourself up to this pain and the feelings that come with it (disappointment, embarassment - in the moment). No regret though from race day I suppose. I feel as though I could not have really changed anything. I felt adjusted to being here, the weather was good, I didn't think that I ate bad. I ran as hard as I could have. Unfortunately, that was not the pace I wanted it to be, and I made a conscious decision to slow down after ~18k because I had to. You either run hard enough to make yourself vomit (and face whatever comes with/after that) or you try to find a place of comfort and hope that feeling goes away. It didn't today. For about 16 miles, it was a constant wave of acid reflux, made worse by the Gu. I did vom regardless though. 38K it finally happened after 6K of muscle seizing and cramping. Felt better after that which made for a respectable kick (relative to the pace from 20-38K). Passed a lot of people in the last 2K who had passed me leading into that and really tried to keep it going until the finish line. Crossed the line and threw up again and collapsed to one knee and was helped off, which I really couldn't fight.
I am disappointed that running 6:20 pace felt so hard from the get go after cruising 6:10s for the last three months, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I still got myself through the race. I feel as though I ran more than I did in the last two marathons even if some points were 9 minute pace. I'm sad that once again I missed the Boston qualifier (which hit me when most of my friends were talking about it this evening). I really don't want to do a marathon again, but I know I will. At some point, success will happen which will make these failures worth it.
Rough day all around for the crew, but shoutouts to Mark for leading us all in 2:37, Brendan for committing to a plan even if it did not live up to expectations, Henry being a good teammate (and still running decently), Evan for somehow running 2:52 on biking and 5Ks, Jake for a solid race, Jeremy for gutting out a 3:02 with all his stress, John for shooting his shot, and Andy for saying 'let's do it live.' And to Emma, Chloe, Kelsey and Declan for being out there and supporting the crew. And to Kipchoge for being the GOAT.
Splits - 5K - 19:40, 10K - 39:10 (19:30), 15K 58:56 (19:46), 20K - 1:19:46 (20:50), 1/2 (1:24:36), 30K - 2:10:45, 35K - 2:28:27, 40K - 3:08:19 -FInish
Follow-Up (11/4): Here's what went well: My build-up was great, my pre-race runs went well. Aside from the red sauce, I had a good meal the night before with my friends. I put myself in a position to succeed based off my training the first few miles. I re-directed my focus many times. I kept running even if it was at a shuffle.I ran past my hotel and didn't leave the race. I wasn't afraid to experiment. I was locked in more in the last two miles than the rest of the race. I had a strong kick. I pushed through the line. I was able to get myself up. I was positive for my friends.