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What Now?

It’s been a little over 48 hours since Chicago. Sunday was supposed to be the culmination of months of dedication, miles, early mornings, long runs, sacrifice, etc, etc, etc resulting in a nice big fat PR.

Sunday was anything but that. In my eyes, it was pretty much an utter failure. People will say… and its fine, hey “I’d love to have X:XX:XX time” and “don’t be so hard on yourself”, “marathons are tough” etc… and I get all that and its fine but given the amount of time and energy I invested in Chicago, I wanted more…much more. Like I’ve talked to Lindsey about many times before, the time on the clock is a relative thing for everyone and given what transpired Sunday….I hate the one I saw. I was ready. It just didn’t happen and I don’t know why.

This is around mile 17 when I knew things were not going to get better.

It brings me to today where I am questioning everything. Did I over train? Did I taper wrong? Are my goals unrealistic? Should I have run without a watch? Was it just a bad day? Should I have used a coach? Should I give it another go this fall? Can it be saved? Am I crazy? The list of questions and “ifs” can go on and on.

Want me to answer those questions? In order: No. Don’t think so. Maybe. No. Probably. Probably. Not sure. If I want to. Probably.

I have my guesses and suspicions as to what went wrong in Chicago and I am going to continue to work through those but for now I am working on way forward. Do I race again and try to wash away this bad taste in my mouth or just shut it down and regroup for the spring?

In the immediate aftermath, Lindsey and I discussed racing the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. It is a local race, I have buddies running that are targeting my goals, I know the streets like the back of my hand. It would be a great race but the more I think about it, it’s too soon. IMM is 18 days from today. While I pretty much jogged the last 10 miles on Sunday, I still gave race effort for 16-18 miles and ran for 3 hours …I just don’t think I’d be ready to race again so soon.  What are my other options? Philly? Rocket City? Rehoboth Beach? All of these races give me more time…5-8 weeks.  So depending on which one, if I pick one, I could fully recover from Chicago, get some workouts in, and then properly taper.

If I am honest with myself, I want another shot. I know deep down inside of me, I am capable of so much more then what transpired on Sunday. So if that is the case, do I go after the same goal? Do I adjust my goal? This entire training cycle was been focused on 2:45. It is a big PR jump for me but my half time, my evolution since running a 2:56 and the training told me I could handle it. Using that 2:45 as my guide, I didn’t miss workouts, cut things short, need extra days to recover so everything told me I could handle that 6:18 pace.

Last Sunday, was a different story. I never felt comfortable. Felt tired from the start…like I was running into a headwind the whole time. I knew pretty early it was going to be a bad day. I spent the first half trying to work through it but it never clicked and things unglued finally around 16 or so. I gave in. Was the goal pace too much? I have never thought so…until now.  If I run again, do I back the goal down slightly and take a smaller chunk and then take the spring to work on the 2:45? Maybe that is the approach to take.

My mind is all over the place about what to do next and what happened in Chicago. In the meantime, I’m going to give myself a week or so to decide do I want to run another marathon in late November or early December.

At least I had some legit support in the crowd:

Lindsey, my sister Erica & Marshman. Biggest day for Lindsey post surgery- walked around 5 miles.

Let’s do some crowd sourcing about what to do next:

Have you had a bad race in your “A” race? 
What did you do to recover and move on? 
Should I race another marathon this fall? 

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