Hey friends! Well look at this, I’m writing a real life actual blog post.
Glenn and I ran the Beyond Monumental Marathon two weeks ago. That race was such a long time coming for me. Let me break this down.
2008-2001: Run 10 marathons but don’t really train seriously because I don’t even know what that means.
June 2012: First baby arrives. Hi Marshall!
November 2012-March 2013: Figure out how to run fast. Run three marathons in 9 months and run a marathon PR of 3:13.
July 2013: Do a Half Iron-man because I’m burnt out from running so much, finish in 5:56 or something like that.
October 2013: Have a prophylactic double mastectomy because I found out I had the BRCA 2 Gene Mutation
January 2014: Expanders removed, Breast implants installed
April 2014: Run the Boston Marathon for fun with a mild case of plantar fasciitis
May 2014: Find out I’m pregnant with Big Lou
January 2015: Big Lou arrives
August 2015: Training for the Monumental Marathon- dealing with some plantar fasciitis and end up tearing the whole damn thing. Dunzo for 3 months.
February 2016: Find out I’m pregnant with Russell (Somewhere in there I decided to launch my podcast)
October 2016: Baby boy number three arrives – Hi Russell!
November 2017: Monumental Marathon: 3:11:52
There is so much I could say about the training, the having three kids thing, running a new business, the marathon. All of it. But I’ll make it as basic as I can.
I wanted to make sure that I got to the starting line without injury. That was my first and most important goal for this marathon. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I’m gonna go ahead and go there- adding a third kid was just as much chaos as everyone said it would be. Babies are a lot of work and the most work perhaps in the first 6 months was making sure a certain brother didn’t hurt him. Louis was only 21 months when Russ was born, and I know people do these things much closer, but man I’ve had to watch him like a hawk. (And I still do) Just today Russ and Lou both tumbled down half the hardwood stairs. At two weeks old Russ was in his crib and while I was in the hallway for no less than 20 seconds, Louis had thrown a power ranger at him and got him directly in the face. War was on from day one. (Just look at this picture)
I tried really hard to have balance and not let training for a marathon rule our lives. Most importantly since I wanted to stay healthy so badly, I was super conservative with my miles- so that piece actually didn’t clog up TOO much of my time either.
On average for this training cycle – meaning for the 16 or so weeks leading up to the race, I would say I ran 45 miles a week, with 2-3 weeks that tipped over 50. This is less running than I did when I ran my 3:13 in 2013; I peaked out at 60 a couple of weeks then. Though there is a lot more going on now than there was then, it wasn’t just about that though, it was about not thinking I had to run crazy high mileage to do big things. There is no doubt I could have made time to run 60-70 miles a week, but that really wasn’t needed right now.
On Tuesday before the race, Louis and I were headed back out to the car to grab his sippy cup that he’d left out there and we fell down the stairs. I found myself laying on my back on the concert floor with him on top of me wondering what the heck I did to my ankle. (he was safe and his fall was broken by me) I hobbled up the stairs to get him to bed and laid down with a throbbing foot wondering if I’d be able to run on Saturday. I had just run 5 miles with 3 at marathon pace and was feeling pretty calm and confident. Damn.
My friend Brian who is a PT checked it out and taped my foot/ankle up the next day and we decided it was fine to run. It was really swollen but didn’t hurt when I tried to run. I didn’t get too hung up on it, but my worry was that I’d get 10 miles in and it wouldn’t want to do the work anymore.
Fast forward to the race- I didn’t think about the foot thing really at all. (Afterwards I realized how much it effected me. My body was stiff from the fall (hello 34, not 24!) and I overcompensated on my right side the entire race. I couldn’t bare weight on part of my right foot for 3 days after the marathon.
Let’s get to the race though. I was strangely calm race morning. I just didn’t want to be nervous honestly. At this point in my life, nerves really piss me off. Like, WHY. So I had been proactive and read “How Bad Do You Want It” with my podcast book club and also took a ton of solid advice from the one and only Deena Kastor. (LISTEN to that interview if you haven’t yet. It’s soooooo good!)
I knew what I was capable of going into the race. I truly thought on a great day I’d run around 3:08 and on a not so hot day I’d run around 3:15. I pretty much knew that was my range. So what happened was, I had an insanely strong mental day and a sort of crummy physical day. I kid you not, my legs felt pretty bad at mile 3. I knew it was going to be so much work. At mile 8 when the half and full marathon split, I almost felt like it was a joke that I was attempting to hold this pace for the remainder of the full marathon. 18 more miles. It wasn’t like in past marathons when at mile 8 you are getting into the groove and accidentally speed up for a few miles. It was, ok. Lindsey, this is going to be really hard and you are going to be really strong mentally. I don’t think I’ve ever had that hat on so solidly in my life. I was not giving up that day.
We crossed the half too fast. 1:33:30- or something around there. I knew it was fast, but I tried to stay tough. I was feeling really bad at the halfway. Like, really bad. My legs were dead. Miles 13-18 were real tough. I knew that once I got to 18, I would be rounding up the end of the race, but the fact that I felt so bad so soon made it hard to work through mentally.
At mile 23, the 3:10 pace group passed us. Which is funny because our friend Scott was the pacer. I did not wear a watch during the race, but I assumed they’d been creeping up on us for awhile. As he passed us and slowly gapped us, I tried to hang, but it wasn’t totally there. Even now looking back, I wonder if I could have hung on to him. You want to say you laid it all out there but now I think there could have been a way to push myself THAT much more. It’s a matter of willing yourself to want it that bad. The real question there is WHY didn’t I? I’m not one to give up and by no means do I think I gave up on that day, but COULD I have run it in with Scott’s group? I mean, it wouldn’t have killed me. I know that. And that’s how you finish races as strong as you possible can – you figure out that piece. I had “Define Yourself” (a phrase that came from Deena’s episode) written on my arm and looked down at it frequently throughout the race. I focused on that and it helped. I don’t think I’ve ever been as satisfied with my mental game in a race but at the same time know it can be even sharper. I’m excited for that.
I am incredibly grateful that Glenn has done many of my long runs and long run workouts with me for this race and he ran by my side the entire marathon. I never told him how crappy I really felt until much later into the race. I remember thinking how it was pointless and all it would do was breed negative thoughts if I brought it up. He has figured out a way to say the right words when I’m struggling to help me get my butt back in gear. On this day in particular he would say things like “You can work harder than that” “Shake it out and relax” and at mile 24 when hobby jogging it in like a boss sounded much better than trying to run as fast as I could, he reminded me that at the end of the day, it just me and my race and I’m the only one holding on to whether I gave it my best effort or hung it up. Ew, that stings when you really want to slow down.
At the end of the day, I’m so happy with the race. It was a 5 minute positive split, which wasn’t what I’d planned, but I never once let the feelings of defeat rule the race. And I’m much happier with that accomplishment than the time on the clock. (though I’m happy with that too!)
Thanks all for the cheers and support. It’s so fun to run a race in your hometown. Congratulations to everyone else who ran. I had so much fun meeting new friends and listeners of my podcast at the expo, on the course and at the finish line. AND Big thanks to the Beyond Monumental staff and volunteers for putting on a superb race. Put it on your list friends.