Monday, February 11, 2013

New Year's Day: The Marathon that Wasn't

In the blogging world, everyone is quick to post about their successes, struggles, triumphs and utter disasters so we rarely hear about those moments when things just didn’t work out. I had one of those lately and it has taken me almost 6 weeks to finally blog about it, but I still think the tale is worth telling.

Ready to start. The man on the left was headed back to sit in his car, LOL
For 2012, I was riding a real crest, marathoning at the drop of a hat and having a blast. Unfortunately, I got a little burned out when it started getting cold and the only races were on the same old bike path along the Han River is Seoul, South Korea. When I cut back on my mileage, my sinuses acted up, which turned into my lungs crudding up, and then I got the stomach flu that was wiping out the military community where I live (seriously, one afternoon at the child care center 17 kids started puking at the same time, ACK!)

Needless to say, when the New Year’s Day marathon rolled around I was not in peak condition. It was bitter cold, the sky was slate grey, and my head was barely in the game. Then, they changed the course. Instead of 13.1 out and 13.1 back, the marathoners would turn around with the half marathoners and do it twice. Granted, it is the same distance either way, but somehow that was the final blow that took the wind out of my sails. Then it started snowing, UGH! From the start, each step we slipped back half a step so it was battle royal just to keep moving forward. I was toast 8 miles in and decided there was no way my body was going to take this one gracefully, even if I slowed down. I sent my buddies ahead secretly hoping they would decide to quit at the half way point when they had to go back out into the wind. Of course, they didn’t and they handed me the key to the van so I could wait for them to finish.

I kept myself busy. A friend was running the half so I got to see her finish, hobbling because the Yack Trax she was wearing messed with her gait. Then I got the frozen wiper fluid going again so our drive home wouldn’t be as scary as the one there with all the muck splashing up from the road and obscuring the driver’s vision (we also saw a van spin out on the ice and slam into a guard rail, facing traffic by the time it was done.)
One good thing was the fantastic, traditional New Year's Soup being served

All in all, it was a miserable race. Diane, who has run marathons in thick mud and on the beach, said the slushy snow was the worst. So, I walked away without a finisher’s medal for the first time. Fortunately, I didn’t have much invested in the race so I didn’t really care all that much, other than it threw off my marathon-a-month plan. February was a bust too, both available races fall on days that I am already committed to something else, but I have my sights set on the Seoul International in March. I got in a good 20 miler a couple of weeks ago and plan another this week so I’ll keep moving forward!
My buddies enjoying hot soup after their successful finish

Everyone has a bad day once in a while and knowing that something is not the best thing for your body and listening to that inner voice is an achievement of its own. I don’t regret my decision, and I still got in a nice 13 miler.