bowing out of pacing at the Santa Rosa Marathon

bowing out of pacing at the Santa Rosa Marathon

I have a very messy post that I’m drafting right now about my postpartum running, now that we’ve rounded the one year mark, but since it’ll take a while for me to better formulate my thoughts on the subject, I thought I’d compose a more succinct post that’d update all my (three) readers, who are surely chomping at the bit, about my running right now and what’s coming up next.

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California says hai (Rancho San Antonio)

Remember how I was supposed to run TSFM a couple weeks ago but decided not to, thanks to a horrendous bout of stomach flu (or something thereabouts) 48 hours pre-race? Yeah. That sucked. As I wrote about in my unnecessarily-elegiac post, I was really looking forward to running SF, knowing that I wouldn’t PR it but could still put in a satisfying race and enjoy a fun weekend, and I was bummed that things worked out the way they did. I knew that trying to run, much less race, so close post-stomach catastrophe would be unwise. I mean, I could, but … why? That’d just be dumb. I’m (usually) not dumb.

I didn’t mention it in my SF post, but while I was bummed about missing SF, I figured that my fitness wasn’t for naught because I’d be returning to pace at the Santa Rosa Marathon at the end of August – what would have been almost exactly one month post-SF – like I did in 2014. Back then, I co-paced the 3:35 group; this year, I’d be co-pacing the 3:33 group. That’s typically a huge group of runners, since 3:35 is the BQ standard for females 18-34, and I had a really good experience pacing at SRM in ’14 and was looking forward to doing it again this year. I took the days around SF off or really easy, given that whole flu recovery thing, and sure enough, just last week, after running only a handful of days the week prior, the little one got sick with a nasty cold, which meant that I, too, got sick with a nasty cold, and on top of it, my GI system just let me know what was up. With all of this nonsense, my body has continued to wave the white flag, and after a couple weeks post-pre-SF debacle, I’ve had to begrudgingly bow out of another race/pacing experience out of an (over)-abundance of caution.

The good news is that I’m not injured, in the running definition of the word. The as-yet-to-be-understood news, though, is that a nearly 45-minute long doc appointment with a gastrointerologist has me now waiting to get some testing done to figure out WTF is up. The past two weekends, I’ve done a couple long runs for SRM pacing practice (a 3:33 = 8:07, a time that I can typically hit pushing the baby in the stroller), with the first being 10 miles (with nearly all of it at SRM pace) and last weekend 15 with 13 at SRM pace. On paper, both runs were fine — faster than I needed it to be — but in actuality, “flat” or “taxing” or “why does this feel harder than it should” are more accurate descriptors. I was working far harder for that pace than I should have been, and on Sunday’s 15 miler, I had just under two hours to internally debate the merits and demerits of trying to churn out 26 miles at that pace – leading others at that pace, no less – and begrudgingly decided that I wouldn’t be doing myself or my body any favors by staying the course. Yet again, I chose to, or had to, bail. It sucked. I was pissed.

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giving your eyes a break here. same sunrise, different view from Saturday’s run at RSA. (I haven’t been taking many pics on my runs lately). [PC: Nina, I think]
The internet and the ludicrous fitspo porn out there would have you believe that you’re cowardly if you quit – especially if you quit before you begin, whatever that means – and my “fuck that bullshit” reaction to that sentiment seems to be growing exponentially by the day. Don’t get me wrong here. I hate the idea of quitting (even though I know it’s sometimes the smart decision); I hate the idea of letting down my lovely pace group coordinator friend who was counting on me (and another guy) to lead the 3:33 runners; I’m irked I’ll be missing out on another fun weekend of running long (and more importantly, the super-satisfying and fuzzy-feeling, heartwarming opportunity of helping others reach their goals); but I also really, really dislike the idea of me showing up to a race not being able to execute on something I should otherwise be able to do handily because I haven’t been responsible and taken care of it/gotten it figured out. This isn’t so much of a whiny pity-party as it is me acknowledging, albeit begrudgingly, that something is up that is affecting my running (and my day-to-day, ugh), and I’m choosing to right ship sooner rather than later, even though that means missing out on really good stuff in the immediate future. Rationally, I know there will be other races and other opportunities to pace, but it still stings. It’s still disappointing.

I’m hoping that some testing here in the near future will elucidate the ongoing mystery of WTF is up and that I’ll be asymptomatic again soon. My next target marathon is the Two Cities Marathon (not to be confused with Twin Cities), down in the Fresno and Clovis area in early November. We’re about twelve-ish weeks out now, so I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll get some answers, rectify the issue(s), and move on. Like pretty much any marathoner out there, I have romanticized and idealized visions of how I want my autumnal training to look – resulting in a strong race and a pretty PR – but none of that can happen until things are all good in the (body) ‘hood first. It will be. I just have to a) find out what’s going on and b) take care of it. I think (hope) it’ll be that simple.

To good health and good times – and go team USA! and best of luck to the SRM racers!

12 thoughts on “bowing out of pacing at the Santa Rosa Marathon

  1. Hey Er – this definitely stinks but you are being wise beyond your years. You’ve had such a strong career so far and your body will be with you for many, many years to come. Better to nip this in the bud and finish out the year strong than to push yourself and prolong whatever it is. Here’s to figuring out what’s up really fast and curing it – and to many, many years of healthy running ahead.

  2. Ugh, this totally sucks. I’m so happy to hear that you’re getting this checked out with a GI though. From past experience, stomach stuff can sometimes take a long time to diagnose because lots of things have the same/similar symptoms (or vague symptoms that you don’t even realize are connected – the body is so complicated!), so it’s definitely better to see a doc sooner rather than later so you can figure out what’s going on. I hope you can nip this in the bud and be back to running soon!

    1. thanks, gal. It’s super annoying, and yeah, I agree, this stuff can be really tricky because it’s hard to know what’s connected and what’s just coincidental. boo.

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