A few weeks ago, I shared that I was running the Birdtown Half marathon—one of my favorite races. I had run 10 miles at my goal pace in March, and my training went really well, so I was optimistic about reaching my time goal for the race.
And then I came down with the flu the week of the race…
It was the most sick I have been in years and I didn’t get out of bed for 3 days! I was hopeful that by resting the entire week that my body would be ready to run the race by that weekend. By race day, I felt okay. Not great, but I have run before while not feeling great and I really wanted to reach my goal.
As I started running at my goal pace, I knew right away that my body did not have it in it to complete the race. I felt exhausted by mile 2 and it took a lot to even keep moving forward. I tried to hold the pace and keep going, because sometimes your body starts to feel better once you get into a groove. It did not. At mile 5, I tried to back off the pace but it wasn’t enough. My body had no energy to keep going so I started walking. I wasn’t sure how to quit the race, so I kept running a block / walking a block until I saw my parents at mile 8.5. I really wanted to make it to the end but the thought of doing that for 4 more miles seemed impossible, so I decided to quit the race.
It’s the first time I’ve ever quit a race, and I was devastated, but I knew it was the right thing to do for my body. At home in bed, I signed up for another half marathon 2 weeks later called Lola’s half. It was around a lake in a city 40 minutes outside of Minneapolis, and I thought it looked like a good course. After resting a few days, I was back to training the next week. My body still didn’t feel 100%, but I wanted to rebuild the fitness I had before I got sick. I had an okay 10 mile run the weekend before the race, but it felt really hard, so I continued to rest.
I felt good on race day and was so excited to try again at my goal time. I started again at my goal pace and felt okay the first few miles, but at around mile 5, I started to hit the wall again. I again tried to back off pace, but was devastated that my body still didn’t feel right. I wasn’t going to quit this time, so I started walking for a bit, and then running as long as I could. The course was also very hilly, which made it even less fun. It was a very long 13.1 miles and it was hard to keep going than either of the full marathons I have run! I finished in 1:48, which isn’t a terrible time, but nowhere near my personal record of 1:41.
After talking to a few running friends, I think my body still wasn’t recovered from being sick, or from the effort from the Birdtown race. I also got bloodwork done just to be sure I wasn’t deficient on iron or other electrolytes. I have another half coming up in July, but I’m taking it easy for a few weeks just to give my body a break. Its frustrating to have had such good training and not see the results, but I have learned the hard way to let that go and do what’s best for your body!
I start training for my next marathon in a few weeks, so I’m excited to have a new goal to be working towards!