I remember when I crossed the finish line of the Houston marathon in 2008, my first, thinking that I was so incredibly happy and grateful to have completed the run and almost instantly following that thought with a resounding I am NEVER doing this again! Fast forward to summer 2009 and I start to get the itch to do it again. I signed up for the Dallas White Rock Marathon with ambitious goals and after a training plan sidelined by injuries I completed the race in 4:24 which was roughly 25 minutes faster than Houston the previous year.
White Rock was a great race. I ran it with my friend, Kate. I am usually a solo, ipod wearing, blocking out the rest of the world kind of runner but after having a stellar 20 miler together, Kate and I decided to run the Rock together. It was a cold and foggy morning but we settled in and the first 13ish miles were great. Around that time I just wasn't feeling well. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly was wrong but I felt off. Kate was working to break a 4 hour marathon and I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep that pace so we split up right around the halfway point. (Kate went on to finish in 3:56. She is a flippin' rockstar!) I walked for a bit at that point because I was feeling pretty light headed and gross. I got sick a couple of times, which had never happened to me before, but knew I was going to see John at mile 15 so I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I must have looked terrible when I did see John and Megan because my always encouraging and no-excuses husband told me I looked God-awful and asked if I needed to stop. As much as I wanted to, I had been running my mouth about this race so much at work (and took 2 vacation days) that I knew I just had to suck it up. I started feeling better around mile 18 and was glad I ended up finishing the race. My final time was 4:24 including stopping twice to throw up and once to pee (that port-o-potty line was at least 4 minutes long!).
All things considered I was really happy with my time. It was under 4:30 which was quite an improvement from my first marathon of 4:49. But within the first few days after the race the little niggling doubt started creeping in that really, if I wouldn't have gotten sick or had to pee, that I could have done better. And that's not a feeling anyone wants to be left with.
So in order to try and dispel those doubts and hopefully have a better, faster race, I went ahead and signed up for the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth in February. Apparently, marathons are my crack.
Part of me thinks I am crazy for running two marathons within 10 weeks of one another but another part of me thinks well dang, I'm already in shape for it so shouldn't it be easier? I've done some internet research and there are lots of bloggers who have successfully run multiple marathons in a short amount of time, like this girl, and Hal Higdon even has training plans especially designed for multiple marathons in even as little as two weeks apart.
Maybe I'm crazy. Or overly competitive with myself. Or a masochist. I'm not sure. But I am excited for the Cowtown and looking forward to further improving my marathon experience. But after this one I am definitely taking a break. Maybe :o)