And now, a brief summary of this weekend’s events:
The Reston Marathon was cold, wet, and miserable, and I DNF’d at the half due to IT band troubles.
Should you wish to hear further trials and tribulations of Sunday’s not so great race, please read on.
It took me awhile to get pumped for this race. In fact, it wasn’t until Friday night that I endured euphoria over Sunday’s marathon.
My goal was 3:50:00, a 15 minute PR that I deemed attainable, given my training and nailing my race nutrition. And for the first time ever, I planned on pacing myself for a marathon, and hoped for negative splits upon the second loop of the two loop course.
Look! A weird loop with an even more weird out and back thingy!
Fueled and hydrated, I went to sleep at 10 p.m., and arose to Pharrell’s “Happy” to get myself motivated.
I walked downstairs to get coffee and heard the sound of rain hitting the back deck.
I’m still debating on whether or not it’s “better than heat,” Robert.
Last year was a battle of epic proportions between myself and Mother Nature, so I didn’t let the raindrops get to me. I fueled on oatmeal, coffee, more water, then grabbed my trash bag and change of clothes and we were out the door.
Lucky for us, we were a mere 5 minute drive from the start. We had just enough time to get into the high school (weird back flashes ensued, even though it was not my place of education) before we were corralled to the start line.
It was cold. Like really cold. And the puddles were deep. His lordship and I stood next to each other, making obvious comments about the weather.
Then sleet started hitting my trash bag poncho. Goody.
When the race started, His Lordship took off like a bolt of lightning (typical), and I settled into pace. The first mile ticked off at 8:34—a hair faster than I intended—so I tried slowing down. I started running behind a woman wearing a winter rain jacket, as she was keeping a similar pace.
For the first 2 miles, the weather wasn’t so bad. In fact, the rain started to let up and there was hardly any wind.
Shortly after the 5k mark, I saw our cheer squad. This gave me a boost, as I was headed into the hill-filled trails.
I’m sure that on a beautiful sunny day, the trails would have been beautiful. However, the clouds were dumping buckets and the trails were filled with puddles and spots of mud. The “beautiful scenery” looked like swamp land.
Around mile 6, I felt a twinge in my right IT band. I thought perhaps it was just in my head, so I ignored it and pressed on.
A Gu shortly after mile 7, and I ran over more rolling hills and trails, and there was more rain, and the occasional wind gust. (I apologize for this boring part.)
Then, at mile 10, I felt a sharp pang in my IT band. I thought about pulling over to stretch it, but opted not to, as I didn’t want to get cold (did I mention it was raining?).
I smiled knowing I would never see the photographer again. Sigh.
The pain came at every incline. At mile 12, i weighed my options: bail at the half, and save myself from a serious injury with several weeks of PT, or finish, and likely walk the hills of the second half.
I pulled out at the half.
I asked a volunteer where the massage therapists were.
Upon asking said therapist to massage out my IT band, I was told it was $20 for 15 minutes.
First of all, I’m most certainly sopping wet—does it look like I have cash on me? And second of all, …what? That’s absurd.
After pacing through the high school hallways for several minutes, I finally sat down and tried to get warm while waiting for my family.
Then I looked down at my legs. I was breaking out into a severe rash. This has happened to me during the winter months before, but I normally have a warm shower to jump into to ease the pain. Unless I wanted to wash myself in the toilets, I was out of luck.
I was now severely uncomfortable.
I walked into the warm cafeteria and sat at a table. By this time, the first pack of half marathoners started pouring in (HA! Pouring! So punny.); it was only a matter of time before I saw the cheer squad and Ryan, perhaps 15 minutes.
Mother of God, those were the longest minutes I have endured in quite some time.
A kind fireman walked up to me.
“Are you alright?? You sure are shivering quite a bit.”
I told him I was okay, and that I was waiting for my family, who had towels and a change of clothes for me.
I then spotted Christine, who was quite concerned (for obvious reasons) and quickly left to procure me means of warmth. Back I sat.
The fireman returned.
“I swear, I just saw my family. They’re getting me things.”
Between my chattering teeth and bright red calves, I don’t think he believed me.
Christine returned with a towel, and Maggie, who graciously gave me her coat.
Soon, Ryan finished (his first half marathon!), followed by His Lordship, who has a more miraculous tale to tell, as he placed 2nd overall.
Was I upset? Absolutely. Could I have done anything different? I don’t think so. I’ve never had problems with my IT band—how was I supposed to know it would act up during my race?
Would I do this race again? Maybe. It’s a small race, and only in its second year. I’m sure it will grow, and who knows? More racers might make a change of course.
My splits. You know, for shits and what have you.
I’m curious to know: have you gone through a random IT band issue? How did you prevent it? How did you recover? Also, do you get hives jumping from extreme temperatures? Am I just a weirdo? AM I?!