Houston marathon 2015!

20 Jan

I have not blogged in awhile I know sad. But I have so many thoughts and feelings in my head about this past weekend and the Houston marathon that I wanted to unload them and I’m a vocal open person and this is how I process things.

  1. I’m a competitor I don’t like failure (all though small doses of it are good and makes us better)
  2. I have loads of passion and desire and dedication. I set goals and I work hard chasing them.
  3. I race with heart and guts.. I race aggressive and I never back down. I will always pour 200% of me onto the course and will endure huge amounts of pain chasing that finish line, chasing that goal. I don’t go out conservative as I’m always swinging for the fence going for it!
  4. Because of how I race it typically leaves me with two options. 1. I reach my goal and have a glorious day 2. I suffer in pain and limp my way in to a respectful finish but not my goal. (#2 often times is looked as crash and burn not even slight success but more ugh!)
  5. I believe a lot of people out there like to see me fail and “crash and Burn” I feel the negative vibes from all those doubters and I actually welcome it, the more they dislike me and want me to fail the more it fuels me and fires me up to succeed and get faster and stronger.  So bring it!

Now that you have a small understanding of me.. here is my thoughts of Houston marathon 2015 a very successful and glorious day  for me even without running the fast PR time for the marathon I wanted. And why I smile today and feel proud.

Houston was an exciting destination race trip for me with two very close friends. Once my training with my good friend for NYC marathon had ended my focus shifted over to running hundreds of miles with my boys going to Houston with me. (NYC I ran with my friend not my race and trained for that thing at her paces) We had some amazing training runs, and so much fun and brotherhood together as we bonded over those weeks running our workouts preparing for this day. So I had the miles in my legs.. just not enough miles at the paces I race at; Which is OK because I loved every step with those boys and I loved that as a coach I was able to guide these two dudes to PR times, BQ times and perfectly run races!

Back to Houston, I really like this race, love the course (which had changes in it this year from the past) and I would run this race again for sure! However it’s all concrete and that sure takes it toll on your legs.  We arrived in Houston Saturday morning day before the race which typically is not how I travel I always like to arrive two days prior so I can adjust to the local climate and wake up the day before the race and shake out my legs a little with a run. but again the way I traveled is no excuse on how my race went or any kind of major factor in things. The boys and I had a wonderful dinner after the expo and then it was time for bed. Now the three of us shared a suite which means, 1 got the nice bed, 1 got a pull out couch and 1 got a roll a way bed. I got the pull out couch bed. This bed sucked!! Springs poking me in the back it was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever slept on and thus my worst night’s sleep ever. (Again no excuse for my performance)  Race morning up getting myself fired up, hydrating light breakfast and off to the corral. I was so excited and pumped to race! 7am the gun goes off and away I go.. now my body felt relaxed and I was trying to hold back my pace goal was to run the first 6 miles between 6:05-6:10 pace. I failed at this as I never saw a 6:10 mile until my 10th or 11th mile until that point everything was between 5:53 and 6:03 being pretty consistent at 5:58-6:02  which again felt good. I did have some dizziness and odd light headed feelings during these times I’m guessing because I had been sick all week and was still battling some lingering cold affects. (Again not an excuse) after mile 10 I started to settle down and was now running those 6:10 miles I wanted to earlier in the race but at this time my legs were starting to feel heavy and sore. I question if my hydration was enough? I take cups of water at aid stations but never know if I swallow enough because it’s really hard to get that in from a little Dixie cup running my paces. So at the half marathon mark I hit my goal 1:19 right where I wanted to be but I knew about mile 14 something was not right and it was going to take some guts to rally.

I told myself to back off take a few miles easy and then try and pick it up at mile 20. So miles 14-20 started as 6:10 pace after 6:10 pace but then slowly started becoming 6:25-6:30 by mile 20.

Around mile 17/18 my legs were screaming! They wanted to quit so bad. I had never had this sort of leg pain mostly quads this early in the marathon. But my mind said go, my heart said go and I pushed on. My breathing felt great I could talk I was comfortable that way I just did not have the legs they kept getting more sore and more trashed every mile.  I told myself over and over Do Not walk!! Relentless forward motion!! You have to keep running no matter the pace. And so that’s what I did!! I ran and I fought and I pushed myself to my absolute limits that day.

The pain was really intense at times in my legs they felt like heavy bags of concrete but I was not giving up! and I was not walking! My slowest mile was a 7:45 that day so I did lose my pace a lot at the end. I crossed the finish line and collapsed into the medical staff’s arms and they carried me to medical room. I could not lift my legs, I felt like puking at times all though I never did. When they laid me on the bed in the medic tent my quads went into crazy convulsions it felt like someone was stabbing needles into them and I screamed in pain. They drew blood on me found me dry shirt to put on and covered me in blankets as my body temp dropped and I shivered. A PT massage lady rubbed my legs for hours trying to work out all the cramps, soreness and tightness. I drank fluids and broth and whatever they could get into me to rehydrate me. They said you have to pass the pee test before we will let you leave. The pee test means I had to drink enough so I could pee and then walk myself to the bathroom pee and get back.  well this took a long time to happen but it did. So as we got ready to discharge me my calves went out on me so back to the massage table and another 40 minutes or so of them working on my legs so I could even stand up and do the Frankenstein walk.  I finally made it back to my hotel room and was able to see my friends who had amazing days on the race course!  At first I was sad and disappointed with my time a 2:50 is sure a great time most people would kill for that but for me I am capable of more.. I wanted more and for this I was crushed for about 5-10 minutes and then it hit me I’m not crushed I’m proud I finished, I never gave up! no matter how much pain I was in I fought on and crossed that finish line. I took joy in that but what made me even more excited and proud is that my friends Todd and Andrew had amazing races!! I coach these two guys and they train and work hard and it all paid off this day in Houston Todd had over a 6 minute PR in the marathon Andrew got his BQ with a perfectly run race exactly to plan how we talked about. and this made me happy as I shifted things to not be about me but about those two guys. In the end it’s helping others reach their goals, it’s seeing other achieve great success and so I would rather those two boys have the fast race and glory than myself. I would sacrifice myself any day of the week to support and help others and that is what made Houston 2015 so successful and rewarding! Sure I would have love to run my race faster and better but it was this small failure in my race that I will learn from and use to fuel me for the next race and for weeks, months and years of being a competitor and coach.

So Houston marathon 2015 many might look at me and say he failed, he ran a lousy race and he is not that fast and strong he needs to get realistic. And others will look at me and say great job coach you did your job as coach and you ran a hard fought battle of a race never quit and lived the words you preach. However you see me I sit here proud and happy! I have zero regrets and I would not change a thing about how that day went. My boys did me proud and ran great races and I can honestly say I gave everything and then some my body had on that day. For that I’m proud and happy.  The next race will come and I will go after it the same way.. I will go big and I won’t back down. Nothing about me is conservative I’m either going to have my race or crash and burn as to me I run like my inspiration of Steve Prefontaine. He could have got a medal in Munich had he run differently but he ran to win and because of that he finished 4th that’s how I race and always will I run to win, and I might win or I might be 4th or 50th regardless no limits, no excuses, and relentless forward motion!


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