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And I didn’t even get a cute baby out of it.


When I was in labor with Sean, the anesthesiologist was so busy talking smack about the Jets (I guess it’s not often he gets a patient from NY) that he missed putting in my epidural THREE TIMES. When he finally stopped singing the Eagles fight song (“Fly, Eagles, fly!”) the fourth time was the charm. My labor pains immediately subsided, he muttered something about “a bad headache,” and quickly wheeled his cart out of my room. During the THREE TIMES he missed, cerebrospinal fluid leaked into my epidural space. This “wet tap” causes an extremely bad headache which slammed me the second I was rolled into recovery. At first the nurses had me lie flat and fed me Coke after Coke (caffeine is supposed to help). I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit up to feed Sean and the nurse would put me on my side so I could nurse him. The next day the headache was even worse and I couldn’t move my neck or arms. I truly thought I having a stroke (Brian still laughs at me grabbing his sleeve as they loaded me into a wheelchair and begging “Please don’t let me die!”). They took me upstairs for an Epidural Blood Patch–blood was taken from my hand and injected into my epidural space to help clot the leaking CSF. I soon felt relief but it really took about 3 days to feel better again (outside of the just-squeezed-out-a-human discomfort). Why am I telling this story? BECAUSE IT’S EXACTLY HOW I FELT AFTER RUNNING 18 MILES TODAY. And I didn’t even get a cute baby out of it.

I was going give a detailed recap of my run, but right now I can’t see past wanting to quit this marathon s.h. altogether. I just don’t know how I could ever run 8 more miles than what I ran today. The first 11 miles were fine, right on pace, and I was feeling pretty ok. But once I hit mile 12, I really started to slow down. At mile 14 I had to stop and stretch and basically force myself back onto the path. At mile 17 I wanted to stop and walk–I just didn’t want to run anymore–and it was a real struggle, both mentally and physically, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If my dad wasn’t waiting for me at mile 18, I might have laid on the ground and cried. It was just hard and it hurt.

I truly feel torn about continuing on with marathon training. I love running, it is a true passion of mine, but I also feel that I am starting to resent running. I want to feel exhilarated when I finish a run, not sick for 3, 4, 5 hours after. (The only good thing about today’s outing was that I did not suffer from the GI issues that usually plague me after anything over 10 miles.) But as my long runs get longer and longer, running is becoming less and less fun. I know I will be disappointed if I drop down to the half marathon, but I am afraid if I continue marathon training it will ruin running for me. I hate how I feel following my long runs and I can’t imagine what kind of pain I will be in during and after 26.2.

I know endurance sports are supposed to test the mind and body, but maybe I just don’t have the mental toughness. Or maybe today was just a bad run that I am having an extremely tough time putting behind me. I don’t know. My mom and running bestie Sue both pointed out that I drove for almost 8 hours yesterday and that can take a lot out of a person, but is that just an excuse to keep me from quitting? Even Brian, who I was counting on to talk me out of this mess, was encouraging me to stick with it. He said I needed to stop being so hard on myself. But it’s difficult not to when my marathon goal went from Boston Qualify to sub-4:00 to just finish the goddamn thing. And I am really doubting if I can finish. As of right now, I am unsure if I am even going to make it to the starting line on October 9th.

Because I was running at the Massapequa Preserve, I was able to keep track of my splits (it is marked every quarter-mile). There was still some Hurricane Irene debris lining the path and I missed a couple of mile markers so I just split the difference. Here are the salt-in-the-wounds statistics:
Mile 1 9:53
Mile 2 9:41
Mile 3 9:42 (19:23 for miles 2 + 3)
Mile 4 9:48
Mile 5 9:48 (19:36 for miles 4 + 5)
Mile 6 9:59
Mile 7 9:59 (19:58 for miles 6 + 7)
Mile 8 10:04
Mile 9 10:00
Mile 10 10:09
Mile 11 9:50
Mile 12 10:21
Mile 13 10:20
Mile 14 10:53
Mile 15 11:13
Mile 16 11:16
Mile 17 11:30
Mile 18 10:48
I finished in 3:05:03, 5 minutes slower than I wanted. But it wasn’t the 10:16 pace that has me so defeated. It is how I felt during those last 6 miles and for almost 7 hours after I was done that has me questioning the decision to run a full marathon. I am leaning towards attempting my 20-miler next weekend and if I feel this way again (or worse) than it may be time to concede. Got me some soul-searching to do.

Today’s Workout:
Ran 18 miles/3:05:03

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/05/2011 11:28 AM

    Suzanne, I have to chime in here. First of all, congratulations for sticking with your plan. It takes a lot of mental strength to push through a tough run. Which, let’s face it, is what you had. It was not your day. It’s nothing about your ability or inability. There was something you did or didn’t do leading up to your long run that made it suck so badly. There was something you did or didn’t do after your run that made the recovery less than pleasant. Keep working on figuring it out. Don’t give up on the marathon, because I can’t wait to read the race report!

    • Suzanne permalink*
      09/05/2011 6:02 PM

      Thank you, Katie! It means a lot that you took time out to offer words of encouragement especially since you’ve become a running hero of mine (I was following your Leadville updates that whole weekend!!). I knew training for a full would be hard, but it’s really hard. But I guess I am going to keep at it because I was planning my 20-miler for next weekend.

  2. 09/05/2011 7:56 PM

    All hail Katie Oglesby! Amen, sister!
    And like you always tell me, “The crappy runs make the good ones that much sweeter”.
    On another note, this was a super-awesome blog post. Not because your run sucked and not because I was given props yet again, but because it was so damn honest. For that you rock!

    • Suzanne permalink*
      09/05/2011 9:01 PM

      Running is always ups and downs and I wouldn’t be fooling anyone if I pretended every time I laced up it was an awesome outing. Luckily, the good times outnumber the bad. But also “talking” through yesterday helped me feel better –even though Brian said only 3 people read my blog. ;)

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