This content may contain referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

St. George Marathon 2011 Race Report: Mourning a Marathon

Before the race, I met up with Julia, Frances and Rachelle. We rode the bus up together and then hung out until the start. Julia, Frances and I started together and ran together quite a bit in the first half of the race. It was great to have someone to talk to when I needed a distraction and we all had a sub-4:15 goal.

My hip was sore but bearable and actually felt the best on the uphills. I carried my handheld with Powerade and finished it off about the mid-point. I refilled it with water, but it became obvious later that I should have sucked it up and downed some of the lemon-lime Gatorade along the course.

The first 20 miles I maintained a pretty steady pace and felt pretty good, in spite of the rising temps and my hip.

Then came the five stages of grief.

Denial - This started about mile 20 of the race. I didn't want to believe I was getting dehydrated. I tried to find other things to blame, but the truth was my body was shutting down. My mind couldn't overcome my body. When I saw my husband with about 1/2 mile to go, I broke down in tears and told him, "Everything hurts." But I kept going and crossed the finish at 4:49:27. Not my 4:15:00 goal, but I finished. There were so many times I wanted to stop, but I just couldn't. Quitting was not an option.

Anger - I was mad at myself for getting dehydrated again. And I was so angry at everyone who ever said the course is downhill because an elevation loss is not the same as a downhill course. Top of Utah, with the first half straight down a canyon, is downhill. St. George has plenty of uphills and so much of the downhill is very gradual. I was also angry at myself for believing there was no way it could be hot and miserable two years in a row. I was so wrong! And of course, the anger also came with a lot of disappointment.

Bargaining - Just get to mile 22 and then you can walk. Just get around this corner and you will see your family. Just finish and you never have to do this again.

Depression - This started as I crossed the finish. It didn't help that I felt like I couldn't walk in a straight line or think very clearly. All I wanted to do was sit down. So as soon as I found my family, that is exactly what I did. Then I stood up just long enough to puke my guts and a lot of water out. The hubs wanted me to go to the first aid tent, so we headed that way, but the effort of even getting there just seemed like too much, so I told him I would be OK. I saw Rachelle, but don't remember much about our conversation. And then I laid on the grass while my girls ransacked my race bag and the hubs went to get the car. I was texting Jen, who thought the first aid tent and an IV would be a good idea, but I couldn't peel myself off the ground. It took several hours and some food in my stomach before I could drink more than tiny sips of water or stand for very long. So the IV probably would have been a very good idea. Once my body overcame its depressed state, my mind swore off marathons and I spent the next few days pretty down about the race.



With my amazing family/support crew, just moments before the puking


Acceptance - This is where I am now. Finally. I am accepting that I can only learn from the race and look forward. It is ironic because those words - keep moving forward - went through my head hundreds of times over those 26.2 miles. I never planned on that being my mantra, but it worked and will continue to be my mantra as I continue on my running journey.


Keep moving forward…
-Walt Disney

34 comments:

  1. oh man! That sounds awful! I'm so sorry. Way to keep going and finish, but what a horrible day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Candice!!! I'm sorry it played out this way!!! I know you have that sub-4:15 in you girl!!! Big hugs girl!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for confirming my beliefs about the non-downhilledness of this course!! I struggled with the heat as well, walked the last 5 and finished in 5:37. It was a tough race, and I have have now sworn off full marathons. I think I'll stick with halves... :)

    Sorry you were so sick after the race, I hope your next race is a much better experience.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yuck. Your poor thing! I ran Vegas and puked and puked and puked for two days after...it is completely miserable. I hope you're feeling so much better now. You still had a solid finishing time despite not making your original goal! And remember - most people slow in those conditions. You are awesome and I'm so proud of you for pressing on despite not feeling great! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh man, those hills are a mental an dphysical killer. Everytime I hear someone say that it is all down hill, I want to scream that they are wrong. St. George can be fast because of the hills, but Top of Utah is definitely more reasonable. Glad you finished. It's amazing how much better things start to look when you are well hydrated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the new mantra. I might have to borrow it.

    So sorry for the disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Candice!!! It sounds like we had such similar races. I'm not sure if you've read my report yet but I finished dehydrated as well. When you saw me I was laying on the groud and could not stand without blurred vision and dizziness. I can 100% relate to your race and felt so many of the same emotions as you. I know it is hard to perform outside of what we KNOW we are capable of. But this race taught you that you can fight through anything and you are strong. Love the mantra.

    Since I have cramped and finished dehydrated in 2/3 races I have come to the conclusion that I do not handle the heat well. Maybe you fall into the same category?

    I really hope you are still planning on running Vegas because you absolutely deserve that revenge. I am going to come down and would be glad to pace you if you are interested.

    Love you so so much! Sorry for writing you a book but I just want you to know that although this stings so bad right now it is okay. It is okay to be sad, to be dissapointed, but most importantly it is okay to move on. To KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh friend. i hate this. i hate that you felt that way. i hate that we ever had to part ways in that race. i am so amazed by you though. to keep moving forward through everything...the pain, the heat, the dehydration. you are SO strong to get to that finish line through all that. and that is inspiring to me. you are such an inspiration to me whether you know it or not and it terrified me when you told me to just go. when you started with us i thought you were crazy at first...i thought you should be further up ahead...i just think you are an amazing runner. and those miles that i had with you prove nothing less. you know yourself and your body so well. you knew when we could push it and when we couldnt. i have to agree about the course as well. i would say MAYBE 14-16 was some "downhill relief" but other than that...the miles were HARD. and once we said that on veyo "just keep moving forward" i channeled that the rest of the race as well.

    ahhh. i wish i knew what to say friend. i really do. i hope that you will heal. and come back for more. i hope more than anything you run vegas. you are an amazing and strong individual. and i know this one race hurts but it does not define you or determine future races. or even really determine anything about you. to me you are great. strong. amazing. caring. wise. intelligent. just plain awesome. keep your head up sweet friend. you pushed through a tough race all the way to the finish line...and that is something to be proud of!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Insessant Forward Motion... Good Job!!! I know the feeling though I have been a little depressed ever since my 1/2 marathon on Sat. but the good news is you will overcome it and you will probably want to race again sooner than you think :-) Dehydration is not fun and it can mess with your body so bad, one time it took me 2 weeks to regain the 4lbs of water weight I had lost from a race. That is still a strong finish to be proud of!

    ReplyDelete
  10. p.s. you look gorgeous and hard core in your race photo. okay. i feel like i want to say more but i will stop hogging your comment section. LOVE YOU SWEET FRIEND!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did anyone not puke during/after this marathon? yikes! I think that this one will not be on my list of to-dos! ROUGH! I don't do well in heat anyway.

    However, you totally rocked it!! WELL DONE! Don't be down on yourself--you ran a marathon, with a hurt hip, in high heat conditions.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Terrible. Awful! St. George was such a brutal race. I've only run one marathon, so I can't say much, but I have a hard time believing that St. George is the fastest course in Utah. One race isn't everything! I'm sure you are capable of that sub 4:15- so move forward, as you say.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bummer on not having a good race :( I say keep with the mantra, you will have better races and learn what you can to take to the next race.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aaaahhh man. Sorry you had a disappointing race. Believe me, I know all about those. I'm still trying to get over my races... And you're right about SGM, it's not as downhill as they advertise!!! Stay strong, we'll come up with a plan B. Congrats on finishing another marathon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sorry to hear that the race didn't go as planned, sounds like you really survived a tough one near the end. It's too bad you couldn't get to first aid at the end of the race, I bet that would have really helped you.

    Congrats on finishing despite tough conditions!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sorry to hear your race didn't go as planned. Next time!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sorry that things didn't turn out as well as you hoped (but I'm glad you made it to the 'acceptance' point, and can look ahead).

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow...that is scary and one of my biggest fears. I threw up in my May marathon but managed to finish without being in medical distress. Still a scary feeling.
    Hope you recover well!

    ReplyDelete
  19. That is a great motto: Keep moving forward...
    I'm so sorry you didn't have the race you expected. Dehydration is the worst!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, Candice! I'm thinking of you and what you accomplished - a very difficult race that YOU FINISHED! You are an inspiration to me no matter what because you do, keep moving forward. I am sorry to hear this race did not go as hoped, but I am proud of you for doing it and giving it your all - you are an amazing person and talented runner, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Candice, I'm so glad you finished! Despite your disapointment, that is a HUGE accomplishment! Also, I hear you about "Keep moving forward!" I heard that first on Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" and it became my life mantra. There's no instigation on how much you have to move forward, so it works every time! I'm so proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Always smiling. Love that.
    Love the support group circle. Yay team ihaverun!
    You
    Rock!!
    AZ in January and or feb!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That sounds painful, but I'm proud that you didn't give up!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know you are disappointed, but you should also feel so proud of this accomplishment. I heard it was 88 or some ungodly temperature by the end of this race! Not good weather for a marathon, in my book. Oh, and my goal for my marathon in December is sub-5 hours, so I am very jealous of your time right now. :)

    Keep Moving Forward...love that!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Candice, I have heard that St. George was awful. A friend of mine sat down at 24.8 to massage a cramp and passed out with dehydration and heat stroke. He's still in the hospital. Come run Top of Utah next year with me. I like that course much better.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You gave it your all (probably a little more).
    You didn't puke on your shoes.

    Success.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Candice, It was so fun to see you at the start. I am sorry you had a rough race. I don't know anyone who ran it that didn't have a hard time. It was one of the hardest times I have had running it. I had good luck with not getting too dehydrated this time. I used Nuun as an electrolyte drink in place of Gatorade and I took Endurolyte capsules every 1 1/2 hours. I also had a lot of Gu's and i drank water at every station. I didn't get any cramping this time and I didn't have the usual stomach issues after the race. Every race is a learning experience for the next one. You will figure out what will work for you. It took me all summer training in Arizona to figure out what worked best for me. I just ran out of energy and had to take one minute walk breads every 4 minutes for the last 6 miles in order to finish. If you are ever down here again I know a great doctor for your hip issue. Great job on finishing another marathon.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ahh man, I am sorry you didn't get the time you wanted. These kinds of races can be so frustrating, not to mention a HUGE disappointment.

    You didn't give up though, you finished and you should be proud of that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have wanted to run this race since I saw their promotional video...it looks so pretty. Now I'm not so sure. Those are crazy conditions! I hope you feel better soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. The heat makes running tough. So sorry you had a rough race. Next time has got to be better!

    ReplyDelete
  31. So sorry to hear it was a rough race. You are awesome, you finish even when you didnt think it was possible. You Rocked Girl. You should be so proud of yourself. You kept moving forward.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have always said people lie when they say that race is downhill. There's plenty of uphills as well. And you can see them so far in the distance. I began dreading them before they were even close. And I've gone through the same steps as you in grieving over a race.
    Just a side note: When I was pregnant I was dehydrated and got an IV. I just remember how I instantly felt better after finally giving in and getting that stupid IV. I could have kicked myself for feeling so poorly in times past and being too stubborn to get an IV. It was almost like a light switch, it was that drastic. I'm glad you recovered well and hopefully you havent' totally sworn off marathons because I haven't gotten to run one with you yet!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sorry you were sick, I hope you get well soon.
    As you wrote the most important thing is "to finish". Now you have another marathon under your belt.
    Be proud of you. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You amaze me... even on your bad days! I am so proud of you for going through that. My heart goes out to you. :)

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments! They make my day, so be sure to let me know you stopped by. And I always try to respond to your comments, so let me know if you have any questions for me or if there is anything you want to see on here!

You Might Also Like...

DISCLOSURE:

I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links, I may earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I am often able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me continue to offer you free stuff. Thank you, in advance for your support!