Bring On The Offseason

HUGE congrats to everyone who raced this weekend. From what I saw on twitter, there were a ton of PRs and amazing races!!

So, in case you didn’t see on Instagram, I gave the marathon another shot this past weekend – I participated in the Rehoboth Beach Marathon. I alluded to the fact that I was going to do a “redemption” race a few times but decided to not openly blog or talk about the race on social media. I’ve learned that I put entirely too much pressure on myself and wanted to see if it would be less stressful if things weren’t so public. (Side note: I didn’t enjoy hiding what I was doing – I felt kind of sneaky not talking about things.)

I was excited to head down to Rehoboth because I finally got to meet and hang out with Jess and Elizabeth! We went to dinner Friday night and hung out pre-race in their hotel room (trying to stay warm because it was cold and windy). They BOTH ran amazing half marathons – Jess set a huge PR and Elizabeth ran a strong first race back after not running for months!

jess elizabeth

Santa is totally photo bombing our picture =)

My little guys were sick for the better part of last week. I started feeling under the weather Thursday and by Friday night, had a bad headache and chills. The night before the race (Fri), I slept in full sweats under the hotel room covers with the room set to 77 degrees. I knew I wasn’t 100% but was hoping that it was just a cold. I slept horribly (was up from 1-3:30) but woke up feeling a bit better so decided to give it a shot.

My race plan was considerably different this time around. I decided to pull back my goal time a bit and run more conservatively. I knew that between tapering and recovery for/from Philly and then tapering for this race, I really hadn’t run hard in five weeks nor run consistently the previous three weeks. I also had this nagging feeling that I may have bonked hard at Philly from having a bit too fast a goal time. So my revised race plan was to start around 7:40-7:45 and gradually pick up the pace to 7:25-7:35 for remainder of the race. I really was just going to run it like I do all my long runs which have worked amazingly well for me this training cycle.

By mile 2, I knew things were off. I was running according to my race plan but felt tired from the get go. The pace just didn’t feel as easy as it should. I had fleeting thoughts of turning around and just doing the half (the turnaround was at mile 8, I think) because my head was pounding, but I decided to keep going – if I maintained my current pace, I could still run around 3:17-3:19.

Miles 1-12: 7:44, 7:36, 7:31, 7:28, 7:36, 7:28, 7:33, 7:34, 7:36, 7:30, 7:28, 7:32

Around mile 10, I started feeling nauseous. At mile 12, I didn’t take my my gel because I couldn’t stomach the thought of eating anything. And then the race ended just before mile 13 when I started vomiting. A few runners slowed down to check on me and see if I needed help. Thankfully, there was a water point just up ahead so I walked there and got some assistance from the volunteers. They immediately called an ambulance for me (despite my insisting I was fine) because my lips were blue and was shaking. After being checked out and cleared by the medics, I spent an hour in one of the volunteer’s cars staying warm and then was driven back to the start/finish area. I felt better after the race, immediately drove home, spent the rest of the day/night on the couch (I had a 101.8 fever) and have since slept 11 and 10 hours the last two nights (slept past 7am both mornings which never happens).

The race is what it is. I gave it one more shot and it just wasn’t the day for me. It could have been a combination of the weather, being sick, worn out, etc.  Who knows?

Of course I’m disappointed with how things went, but am happy/relieved/excited to go into the offseason. I am looking forward to some unstructured running over the next few weeks. Maybe find a local 5k or 10k to race…or to run for fun.  But mostly excited for less running. And more sleep. And most especially, less stress and pressure about race times and performance. My husband and close friends can attest to the fact that I was on edge with nerves before Philly and even Rehoboth.

I know I train well. I just need to turn that training into solid, steady racing. My speed, endurance, and physical strength are there. My mental strength is there during training but then it disappears on race day at the slightest sight of trouble. Or maybe nerves make it disappear before the race even starts. I have some things to work out before my next goal race – whether I decide to completely cut myself off from social media in the days leading up to the race or that I do some reading/learning about mental strength or that I find an outlet so that my life isn’t consumed with running, miles, numbers like it is now. Maybe a little of all of those. But something definitely needs to change.

No more complaining about failed races. No more obsessing over what “could have been” this year. They are in the past and I will only use them to get stronger for the next one.  I am {mostly} happy with how 2013 went and I’m excited for some off time before I ease back into training in 2014.

Have you ever been sick during a race? Did you race anyway?

Did you race this weekend?? =) 


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    37 thoughts on “Bring On The Offseason

    1. Pingback: 2015 NYC Trail Festival 25k |

    2. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this. I would have been scared to give it another go, but you are a champ! Keep on going! You’ve totally motivated me to start training for a full. Hopefully, my first will be in the spring or early summer!! Enjoy the time off!
      Tara@PNWRunner recently posted..Jinxed!My Profile

    3. Having small children can definitely affect those bigger goals. I am so sorry that you got sick with that awful illness that your kids had had. I am sure the experience was not much fun at all. Even though your season did not end as you had hoped I am sure you will be heading towards some amazing goals in the spring. I hope that you and everyone else feel all better!!!
      Sandra Laflamme recently posted..#Sponsored Favorite Friday Five!My Profile

    4. It sounds like you had whatever bug had gone through your family. It’s hard when our races catch us at a bad health moment. I think you have a great attitude and outlook on your year. You had a HUGE racing year. How many of us can say we did an Ironman?!! You are the only one I know!! And you still managed to squeeze in some racing PR’s.

      My marathon didn’t happen either. (ST. Jude Memphis Marathon was cancelled the day before due to bad weather.) So I now have another one two weeks from Saturday. I am a little envious of your “off season.” This is like the marathon training cycle that will never end!
      Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..What to do when your marathon is CANCELLEDMy Profile

    5. I totally figured you were going to give it another go, just didn’t know when. I’m sorry it wasn’t your day, but I don’t blame you for trying…you are a goal getter- and a very strong person. You train incredibly strong and one of these days, something is going to click- and just like that it will happen. You are an incredible inspiration and I admire your strength and perseverance.

      Embrace some time off, enjoy the holiday’s and time with your family. You’ve earned some down time- it’s been a heck of a year for you Mrs. Ironwoman. You have a lot to be proud of! :)
      Laura @losingrace recently posted..West Coast ShenanaginsMy Profile

    6. Sorry to hear things didn’t go well this weekend. I feel very much in the same boat. Had a DNF for my goal marathon, ran NYCM while sick with a 100 degree fever (awesome bc its NYCM brutal bc I wanted to die around mile 18 when I stopped at the med tent for tylenol), and then dropped from marathon to half this past weekend and even then got killed by some stomach issues and had to walk a lot to just get through (had it not been out and back and gorgeous Palm Beach I would probably have walked off).
      As I think of next year, I need to learn how to put less pressure on performance – I hit so many workouts and don’t skip yet race day all this year have just failed. Ready for off season for sure!
      Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted..Palm Beaches Half MarathonMy Profile

    7. I’m so sorry things didn’t go as you had hoped last weekend, but what great perspective you have on everything. Getting back to running for fun sounds like just want you need. Congrats on a consistent and strong first 12 miles and for listening to your body when it was time to call it. Your race goal is waiting for you and your time will come. You are an incredible runner! Thanks for inspiring all of us! xo
      Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Race Recap: 2013 Atlanta Beltline Eastside 10KMy Profile

    8. I’m sorry Michele that you weren’t feeling well. I do think that it’s been a rough couple of weeks with lots of bugs going around this area. I too think that you had an amazing year in so many ways and I’m glad that you have the off season to relax a bit. Maybe some yoga?? 😉
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

    9. I am sorry you were sick. I hope you are feeling better now! I loved your renewed perspective. I am starting to feel the same way honestly and questioning myself big time for trying Disney. Anyway, lets get together and just for fun soon :)
      Stephanie recently posted..Leap of Faith – The BIG MOVEMy Profile

    10. You poor thing – I can’t imagine how miserable you must have felt. I’m glad that you are OK and hopefully on the recovered side again!!!
      Even though this race didn’t go the way you were hoping it would, I still think that you are a total rock star!!!
      Km recently posted..MONDAY, MONDAY, MONDAYMy Profile

    11. Oh my goodness I’m so sorry! That sounds awful!! Hope you’re feeling better! I’ve never been sick during a race, but I had really bad back pain around mile 6 (in a half marathon). I have a bulged disc so I always know this could happen. It just sucked that it was during a race. I didn’t quit though, because I’m too stubborn, and then I couldn’t walk the next day haha.
      Amy @ recently posted..5K Ugly Sweater DashMy Profile

    12. I saw you in Rehoboth!! You passed me at mile 3 and I did a double take….once I realized it was you I was hoping you would have the race you’ve been chasing. But that’s just it, the marathon….you never know what your gonna get….prepared or not. Great things to come your way in 2014!

    13. i think we were all sick these past weeks. No redeeming ourselves, just accepting! So sorry yours had to end that way but mentally, you are stronger! 2014 will be good for you. xxoo

    14. I thnk that, sometimes, it takes something as extreme as this to make those of us who are SO goal-directed to slow down and listen. I hate that you got sick on the course, but am so happy you are feeling better emotionally as a result of it all. I saw you early in the race (after the first turn-around) and cheered (like the big geek that I am) for you.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us and for being so honest about it all. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who let’s my head get the best of me.
      Enjoy your rest/recovery and have fun with your sweet family!

    15. I’m bummed that this was how it ended for you, but still think you had an absolutely amazing year! You are such an incredible athlete and you’ve accomplished sooo much. I know 2014 is going to be a stellar year for you.
      misszippy1 recently posted..How was your year of running?My Profile

    16. I am so bummed I didn’t see you in Rehoboth!! I feel so bad that you were sick and didn’t get to enjoy the race. This past year I have done the same thing with my races… My training runs and times are great then race day I mentally fall apart either before the race or at mile 21.5-22! I will also be working on mental training and believing in myself this off season! You are amazing and I look forward to meeting you in the future!

    17. I’ve been having trouble with running races like I do in training. I’m certain I mentally mess myself up. It’s very frustrating.

      I hope you feel better and enjoy your off-season!
      Judith recently posted..Woot!My Profile

    18. You will always inspire regardless of any race outcome because you are as solid a person as there is. Enjoy your off season my Queen!

    19. Hope you are okay! Fever is no bueno.

      But way to move past and look forward to a fresh start next year. I think sometimes things keep moving forward and we steadily get better, thus we have an expectation that it will always be that way. There are peaks and valleys and plateaus on the journey, but as long as it makes you hope, keep with it, and there will be more peaks!
      Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..Turkey Day, Food, and the Baby’s First Road Trip!My Profile

    20. Being sick during a race is the absolute worst. I tried to run a marathon with bronchitis after spending 4 days on the couch unable to move — terrible idea. It’s always a bummer when the stars don’t align, but here’s to hunkering down and enjoying some hard earned rest over the holidays!
      Kristin recently posted..LONG WALK: REMEMBERING NELSON MANDELAMy Profile

    21. I’m so sorry! I have never been sick during a race, but I think the only times I have come close I decided not to race. You gave it a shot and you weren’t well enough to do it! That’s okay! Enjoy the off season I think not having as much pressure may be a great thing for your right now! :)
      Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Motivation Monday Part 2My Profile

    22. That stinks about being sick, it never fails the kiddo germs get you when mama doesn’t need to be sick. Hopefully the “off season” gives you some time to regroup and 2014 brings on a year of crushing pr’s and races all over the place!

      Take care of yourself!
      Jess recently posted..When they cancel the race…My Profile

    23. Well it looks like you finally “purged” those race day demons. You are going to conquer 2014! Enjoy the off season and unstructured schedule. Really, enjoy it.
      My friends and I are doing our annual holiday windows/lights run on 12/21. We start at Columbus circle at 6:30am and run past all the gorgeous dept store windows and then thru rock center to see the tree and thru Times Square too. Then we gather back at Columbus circle and have breakfast at whole foods :) it’s such a great time. Maybe you and your hubby could take the kids in running strollers and do something similar. Make it a run about family rather than personal time goals. Have a very merry holiday season.

      Oh and sick? Well when I was in Wyoming running a half on a ranch on a 90 degree day I had the worst girl cramps imaginable combined with some (lets say this delicately) runners trots issues. I broke down in tears somewhere in the middle. Walked most of it and finished in 2:48 (my normal half time is bet 2:07 and 2:20).
      Sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..Sweat Out the Scrooge 10KMy Profile

    24. I hate that you were sick when you tried to do your “redemption race.” Nice way to reflect on the year and look forward. You did an awesome job on your Ironman.

      I didn’t get my marathon PR I was training for since the Dallas Marathon iced us in, but I’m looking forward to my first big race of 2014 in Houston. It did take me a few days to move through the disappointment though.
      Eileen recently posted..Race Week – Dallas MarathonMy Profile

    25. Sorry that you had another crappy marathon experience! Kid germs are the worst. I swear I always feel like I have a touch of a cold from all the stuff my older one brings home from school.

      You picked a great time of year for an off season! :)
      Kara recently posted..5K PR and Crafty StockingsMy Profile