After planning to run the Richmond Marathon next weekend for the past few months, I had to change my plan for work reasons. I signed up for the Outer Banks Marathon a few weeks ago and ran it this past Sunday.
The rest of my training went along really well, and I booked some solid distance runs at really good paces. This was shaping up to be my best marathon yet- aiming for 3:30.
Saturday, we drove down to the expo to pick up my race packet/number. We took the boys to the beach (it was mid 60's) and let them run around in the sand for a while before heading home.
That was the beginning of a bad race- I came down with a horrible cold, barely ate dinner and didn't sleep most of the night (still recovering from this cold today). Around 2 AM, I had decided to not run the marathon since I couldn't breathe, had a fever, and a horrible sore throat. By 4 I felt decent, downed some motrin, tylenol, and sudafed; grabbed a bagel and banana and hit the road.
The race started at 7:20, and I got off to a great start in perfect weather. I was hitting my mile splits just a touch quick, but I felt great and not at all like I was working. I ended up running with Dan from DC for about 16 miles. We kept up a steady pace and chatted off and on.
The race enters some trails around mile 9/10 and the terrain gets a little soft and undulating which I had not expected. By the time we left the woods at mile 13, I had dropped enough time that we were right on my 8 min pace. The next 6 miles cruised by easily- weaving in and out of neighborhoods while the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect.
Disaster struck just before mile 20. I hit the wall like never before, and I never recovered. I averaged 11 min pace for the rest of the race and finished in 3:52. At the time I was really disappointed, and I felt extremely sick at the finish line. In retrospect, my nausea, clammy skin, and lightheadedness probably pointed to some heat exhaustion which I was susceptible to in the cool weather because of the fever I was running and my lack of sleep.
I'm glad that I was able to feel good enough to run even part of this marathon how I wanted to, and I really believe that my training had me in place to run a great race if I hadn't gotten sick.
Now I just have to figure out where and when to race so that I can redeem this performance.