Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 St. Jude Marathon

I've run the St. Jude Half Marathon every year since 2007, but decided to go for the full (my second) this year. I didn't make the decision lightly, but felt ready to take on 26.2 again and thought there’s no better race to do it than St. Jude and certainly no greater cause.

Training, at least the first half of it, went very well. This was the first distance race I've trained for completely solo, which was a bit scary. But even with a hectic travel schedule, I still managed to get in all my long runs. I kept up a good weekday training schedule as well, though I didn't focus nearly enough on the speed and tempo workouts. All the runs up to 18 miles were fantastic. I felt good, nothing was hurting and truly enjoyed logging the miles. Then it went downhill. IT band pain combined with two falls thanks to having the grace of a toddler makes for a crappy last month of training.

Fast forward to the week of the marathon, and I was finally feeling better. The first 13.1 went great, and I even got to run it with my fabulous assistant, Kristin. Around mile 14, sh** got bad. My legs started cramping up and it never went away. I collapsed three times and pretty much had to walk the entire second half. I had pumped myself full of potassium, was well hydrated the entire week leading up to the race and even carried Powerade the day of, and didn't drink a sip of alcohol that week (that was probably my big mistake). Anyway, despite sobbing through the last five miles, I managed to run jog hobble across the finish line at 4:41. I wouldn't have been able to make it without the incredible support of my Dad, Brent, Autumn, Michael and Kristin. And the sweet people and even a few runners along the course who stopped to help me. Thank you all SO much!!

Whether it was an electrolyte issue, dehydration, the heat, pushing too hard the first half or just a bad day, I'll never know. What I do know is that I'll do another full. Can't go out like that. ;)

 Feeling good

 Kristin and me

Trying to keep pushing

And, I'm spent...