I don't know if I can do this!

Today was my make or break 16 mile attempt. I was focusing too much on the triathlon training and the longest runs that I have finished for marathon training (in 4 weeks) - 13 miles. I was doing 11-12 milers on the treadmill and my first outside long run was the Rock n' Roll Philly. I am so behind and my heart was never really in it, but I really want to do it. I signed up, I'm running with my sister and I've never done this race. Here is how my long run went :

 I'll start with the hours of midnight on. My kids are great sleepers and have slept through the night since 8-10 weeks old. Here and there when they are sick, teething, they are up in the night, but not often. It was around 1:30 when Kara started crying. I went in and rocked her, put her down and she seemed ok. 5 minutes later she was crying again. We took turns until probably 3am when I gave her tylenol, milk and a mini clif bar and finally she cried a little bit but cried herself to sleep by 3:30. Maybe she was hungry? thirsty? teething? I never know what to do in the middle of the night, especially when it lasts more than 15 minutes so I was trying to cover all bases. Back to sleep. 4:30 Nick is crying. I go in there and he had fallen out of his bed. Are you kidding? He went right back to sleep easily. I got up at 6:15 to do this run and had a bad attitude about it. I didn't feel like doing it! I ate a 1/2 of one of the butternut squash doughnuts that I made, and had a scoop of peanut butter and sips of tea. Headed out the door to meet up with the Fast Tracks group at Valley Forge at 7am.

Even though I've been running with them on and off since last October, I still don't know that many people, and I was hoping to meet some moms but I feel like no one there is my age or in my situation, so usually I feel kind of out of place : ( I recognized a guy that I had run with back in the late winter while training for the Caesar Rodney and we started running together - then I remembered I was running 8:30s for the long runs back then. He was gone quickly but I linked up with another girl, Michelle, who was doing 16 and we stuck together for the most part for the 16 miles. For the first couple of miles, I thought we were definitely running 8:30-8:45 and I look at my watch to see 9:15. Crap! I told Michelle that I didn't know if I was going to make it. She was training for Denver and just wanted to finish the miles so we stuck together. Around 5 miles, another guy joined us and I was lagging behind this guy and my new friend. I felt like I was doing ok though, and had a positive attitude. We were heading out for 8 miles and then heading back. We were on parts of the trail out to Collegeville that I'd never been on before, so this helped with my attitude towards the run and finishing.

There were water stops from the running group at 3 miles, 5 miles and around 6 and 8 miles. Around 7 miles, I was running alone and a new member to the group was running behind me and joined me. He is training for his first marathon - NYC - for his 30th birthday. He was entertaining me and then Michelle turned around at 8 miles, and we both did also so the 3 of us were running together but once again, I lagged behind. My legs were tired by 9 miles. 7 miles to go, ah. The gels & shot blocks have been messing with my stomach lately so I waited until I felt like I needed one to have a gel - mile 10 - probably a mistake. I had that thing on and off for about 10 minutes.

Heading to the final stretch - the last 3.5 miles on the river trail, I tried so hard to keep up with my running buddies and other group members who were just ahead and just could not keep up! I was so frustrated. I wanted to cry. The last 2 miles I was running and then walking on and off. I was going so slow, I felt light-headed and my legs were just heavy and I wanted to give up. I couldn't wait to just be done. I was proud of myself for finishing, but all that I could think was - there's no WAY I can do another 10 miles. Absolutely no way! I walked the last half mile to the table with the food and drinks and felt totally disoriented. I ran into a guy that I used to work with and just felt messed up! I needed food in my system. I screwed up on the nutrition. It's been so long since I ran longer than a half, I guess I just did not prepare - and I am not in condition for this right now! See my splits:
Next week I was planning to attempt 20. I think that I still will, but I don't know what to do. Obviously I am not trained properly - the long bike rides and all the cross training were not beneficial to me? and my endurance is not there.

Although I feel better about this run hours later, that I finished it, it was so slow, I feel like I have no business running a marathon in 4 weeks, and I don't know what to do :( Looks like I can handle a 10 miler and that's about it.  Do I bag it? Try the 20 and see how it goes? I know that if I do this marathon, it will be my last marathon for a LONG time. Maybe for my 40th birthday I will do another.


  1. Don't discount the lack of sleep and funky nutrition - it really may have been just a bad morning followed by a crummy night. Good luck with next weekend's 20!

  2. Hang in there! I'm sure the nutrition played a big part in things being so difficult today. I don't think you are crazy just believe in yourself and train smart. You might try taste testing different gels during your midweek shorter runs to find something that works with your stomach. I've recently switched to the Honey Stinger brand and love it!

  3. When adelaide wakes up at night and wont go back to bed after nursing, I usually take her downstairs, feed her a yogurt and then let her play until she shows signs of being tired. It seems to do the trick since she goes right back to sleep.
    Maybe you should leave the garmin home for your long runs? You could make this marathon be about your love for running and not about your pace.

  4. I would see how you are on your next long run. Lack of sleep is brutal - there's a reason why it is a form of torture - I did my last long bike on no sleep and yes, squidgy tyres did not help, but I was broken before I even started. Positive mental attitude can be such a help too, if you believe your xt has helped your fitness you may find it has, but you just need to sharpen up your running. xt has def helped me in the past when injured. remember some runs are just bad - if you'd been out regularly and had that run, you'd shrug your shoulder and say - bad day, but because you feel like you've not done enough - it confirmed your beliefs. Good idea to take the pressure off - if you do it, do it because you can and your body lets you. If you feel awful after your next run - make your decision from there. You do a great job, yummy mummy!

  5. Lack of sleep definitely played a role. And,have you tried running at a slower pace? Maybe you are trying to run too fast for the longer distances?

  6. Of COURSE you can do it. "They" say that you can't do your long runs too slow, and I think with some sleep and gradual carbo-loading, you'll do fine. I had a rough long run this weekend, too... I blamed the heat. ;)