I’ve never wanted to drop out of a race more in my life than I did this past Sunday at the Twin Cities Marathon. Although the race was less than a month after my Ironman race, I felt confident and strong going into the weekend’s marathon. In fact, knowing that I ran my marathon PR (3:31) in Detroit just over a month out from my Ironman race in 2006, I felt like I had another great opportunity to benefit from my Ironman training and fitness and take a shot at a personal record
Unfortunately, a repeat PR just wasn’t in the cards for Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon. Far from it, actually. By 45 minutes to be exact. The race started out well. I felt great, and the weather was crisp and cool, with a very light sprinkle of rain. For the first eight miles, I held at or under an 8 minute pace. I felt great and confident that I’d be able to hold the pace and shoot for a personal record.
Shortly after the 8 mile mark, however, disaster struck. It started down pouring—like the I’m going to be washed away by the river kind of downpour. The combination of cool temps and very wet weather and clothing left me unable to feel my limbs or move my hands, and completely nauseous. I stiffened up, and within seconds, my quick and smooth stride turned into a barely forward moving shuffle. Feeling cold and miserable, and seriously contemplating whether I’d be able to get to the finish line in my current state, I considered dropping out of the race. But then I realized that I really had nowhere to go—except to the finish line.
And that’s how the last 18 miles played out. Shuffle. Walk. Shiver. Nausea. It was a sad state of affairs. Karen cruised past me at around mile 15. She looked great, and I was very happy to see her doing so well.
As I finally neared the finish line, I realized that I would be very close to a 4:15 marathon—which, I had learned the weekend before from my friend Seif, was music mogul P. Diddy’s (Sean Combs) time at the NYC marathon in 2003. Seif had told me over brunch that it was her goal at this year’s Chicago Marathon (her first) to beat Oprah’s time, and hopefully P. Diddy’s, too. At the time I just laughed, but now, as I saw the clock ticking away, I kicked it into high gear so that I, too, could beat P. Diddy.
I’m happy to report that my one success of the day was that I beat P. Diddy’s time by 33 seconds. Ever since Sunday I’ve been as sick as a dog, paying the seemingly never ending price of running 4+ hours in the cold rain. Don’t get me wrong, the Twin Cities Marathon was beautiful—a great course and amazing spectators. I’d definitely go back. But, sometimes, it’s just not your day. And I’m okay with that.