A quick little post for the morning - a follow up to my Boston Race Recap that can be found HERE.
When I wrote about my Boston experience on Monday I had no idea it would be such a popular post – many of you loved it – many of you hated it and let me know through email and other venues.
What I want to make clear about the Boston Recap and about my race is this:
I did NOT need medical attention.
I started throwing up after drinking something other than water. I have learned through 20 marathons what my body can and can not handle. I can not handle anything other than water during a race. When I was walk/running I thought – what the heck. Can’t get much slower than this – might as well enjoy what I am drinking. With in 10 minutes of drinking my non-water drink - I already could feel my stomach turning.
Heat exhaustion is a VERY real thing. One of the symptoms is vomiting. [If you want to read more about it here is a link to Web MD - http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-exhaustion]
Though I was sick – and though I was hot – I was not suffering from this very dangerous condition which can lead to heat stroke and death.
When I said to myself – that I do not quit – I was not implying that if you walked off the course that day you were in quitter. In fact quite the opposite. Listening to your body is one of the most important things you can do as a runner. I get asked almsot weekly HOW HAVE YOU NEVER GOTTEN INJURED? Listening to my body is how. When I need to rest – I rest – when I need to stop - I stop – when I need to walk – I walk – when I need to gain more weight – I gain more weight – when I need to change my shoes - I change my shoes – when I need to alter my diet – I alter my diet – I don’t run when I am sore – I don’t push through the type of pain that your body is using to tell you something. I push through moments of weakness.
Finishing the Boston Marathon and getting #20 finisher medal was NOT so important to me that I would endanger my life or put my children in a situation where they had no mother.
What I needed on Monday was an attitude adjustment at the end of the marathon. It’s a humbling thing to walk the last part of the Boston Marathon. It’s also humbling to run a 3:11 and then see the clock hit 3:11 when you are at mile 21. It sucks. It makes you want to cry. It makes you question yourself, your training, your attitude – you name it.
I knew my time was not going to be faster than a 3:11 but I still had the DREAM of placing in the top 500 women at Boston this year. At mile 18/19/20 when I knew that was not going to be a reality I started to get mad I was even running. I just wanted to be home with my kids and not getting burnt in the sun. I needed to FIND MY STRONG and remember that there is pride in the finish – that finishing in the slowest finish time I had seen in recent years was OK.
When I made the statement how can I tell others not to quit if I do? I did not mean that you should not quit if YOU NEED TO STOP. Stopping when you are in a medical situation is not called quitting. Stopping because you are pissed off about how slow your finish time is going to be - is quitting and that is what I was talking about.
I wanted to make the statement that I am NOT TOO GOOD for a slow finish time on a clock. That I know I can run a sub 3:10 but Monday was not that day. There was GLORY in just finishing.
Looking back on Monday and my post – I stand by my actions. I didn’t stop and I don’t think I should have. I cried on course because it’s never fun to walk during a marathon let alone the Boston Marathon. I cried because I wanted a fast time even though it was hot. I wanted to defy the odds – I wanted to be a super human that day and I wasn’t.
I saw many people on course – two of which ran with me for some of those last miles. If you ask them if I was in need of medical attention – they will tell you no. They will tell you that I was a grump and that I was complaining about this *silly heat* and just wanted to get to the finish. I cried briefly to others – and it was just all about the heat. I was mad. I didn’t want the end to a perfect weekend to be like this. I wanted to finish sub 3:30 and that was not going to happen.
I also want you to note that this was my 20th marathon. If you are running your first marathon and start to feel lightheaded, vomit, feel sick or may be in need of medical attention – please don’t think of me and push through because you don’t want to be a quitter. It takes a stronger runner to have the courage to walk off when you need to than push through just to say you finished.
I am out spoken about not running a marathon while pregnant. Out spoken about not returning too soon after pregnancy. I don’t believe that in your first year of running you should train for a marathon. I want everyone to fall in love with running – but to also understand that you need to keep your body healthy and safe and that there are ways to do that and ways not to do that.
Thank you to everyone who read my post and congratulated me! I hope you took it as intended.
To those of you who hated it and thought I was in need of medical attention – I hope you read this and understand that the pushing through that I was talking about was not the same that you may have been thinking about.