“Heat is required to forge anything. Every great accomplishment is a story of a flaming heart.”– Mary Lou Retton
The marathon weekend finally arrived. It felt like I first started marathon training back in July. This training cycle has felt good with starting off breaking 20 minutes in the 5k and some stronger long runs and speed work. Do not get me wrong I still have my fair share of tough long runs and fatigue to push through. It was a warm humid summer which you would hope and think would pay off for this unseasonably warm race. This is the hottest marathon Twin Cities has ever had and it is considered an EAS Red Flag race to use caution while running it. That definitely puts a damper on my A goal but working with my coach we modified the goal and will see what we can do.
My mom joined me for this race so we headed out EARLY Friday morning to catch a flight from Detroit to Minneapolis. There ended up being storms in Minneapolis so we were grounded in Detroit for an hour before taking off. I at least finished a book I’ve been trying to read: Layla by Colleen Hoover. I really enjoyed it!
We grabbed the rental car (which I am very surprised by what was given because I’m pretty sure I rented a mid-sized Sedan). It was quite a joy to drive though once I figured out all the controls. It was thunder storming out when we went to drive the course. I will be honest, I did not prepare for rain since all I saw was very warm weather for the weekend which normally I would love and be perfect! For this race not so much. We did a pretty good job maneuvering around the course and figuring out the one ways. It seemed like it would be a beautiful course with all the trees and running around the lakes but my concern was how long the course felt just driving it. It took us about 2 hours to drive the 26.2 miles (course we did drive from the airport then to the hotel after but still). I really needed a bathroom stop so tested out the porta potties that were already set up on the course…eek.
We finally made it back to the hotel to recover a bit before heading to the Expo. I fit in a 40 minute easy run as well and was able to explore. Sadly I found mud due to trying to cut through construction areas, but everywhere else was paved. It made me a bit concerned how hard the easy run felt but it was also 2pm after being up early to travel and different time zones and different eating times.
Then we headed off for the expo. It was a pretty close walk from our hotel which was nice. I was able to meet up with a fellow teammate from Elevate your Running. The expo wasn’t too bad but felt the brands were very pushy for you to buy or try things there. Just let me grab my bib and continue on our way!
She found a nice Italian place for us to eat dinner near the Expo. It was so great to get to know each other. I love hearing people’s running journeys. This will be her 3rd marathon. Hopefully she can find a redemption marathon after this hot one. Just a nice warm long run!
Then it was a quiet evening and I started another book. I had trouble sleeping, maybe because of travel or stress of the race but all week I’ve been struggling with sleep. I started thinking about the changes with additional carbs and additional electrolytes. Then I though my electrolytes have sugar in them and I usually only drink water during the day or have electrolytes right after my long run or workout in the morning so I would be fine by bedtime. I have been pounding the electrolytes all day and pretty sure I had 3 packets of them. Luckily I brought some LMNT for Saturday drinking so hoping the extra sodium and no sugar helps. Not that I am against sugar, I still enjoy my Liquid IV but I think having it all day is messing with my sleep and I do not have time for that. I was even extra fatigued I think from the sugar crashes, I wasn’t burning as much energy during the day to utilize the added sugar.
I woke up to start with a bagel but quickly realized my cute jar of peanut butter was very stale, so plain bagels it is this weekend. I did my 20 minute shake out run in a different area of the city, this was way nicer. It was such a struggle in the humidity. I started a bit after 8am which is when the race starts. I am really dreading the humidity. I really am not used to sunlight running. I would not have been able to train any differently even if I knew this would be a warm race. Then I got to meet up with an athlete from Running Explained for some more carbs! It was so fun to chat with her and also hear her running journey. She is about to rock her 2nd marathon and shared some route information from racing it last year.
I spent some more time with my mom. We headed to the History Museum because they had a Charles Schulz Peanuts Exhibit. My Grandma and inherently my mom are big Peanuts fans. It was a cute exhibit and they have fun statues in the parks near by the hotel we had noticed first.
We had a relaxing afternoon in the hotel. Can’t say I get to just sit very often…while eating more bagels and taking in electrolytes. I definitely am preparing the best I can but can feel the heat being outside. Just going to try and think positive thoughts. We went out for dinner at Wrestaurant at the Palace and my pre-race food of choice is always pizza! I want to also note I felt better during the day drinking LMNT than earlier this week (at least from a fatigue stand point, my nerves were still pretty high and my heart rate has been higher this week)! So I’ll take that win.
I got to have a nice call with the kids before bed. My daughter was talking about how my son kept saying “I hate soccer” when he had his soccer game Saturday in the heat. She told me I cannot say “I hate running” during my race. Great tips because I’m sure that thought will cross my mind but will turn it into something positive. Then it was time to get ready for the Sunday Race! 5:30 wake up to start eating a bagel and drinking more electrolytes and switched over to Skratch. I cannot say I am consistent with brands. I will eat or drink whatever I can get that do not upset my stomach.
I was waking up at 4am (which was 5am my time) but was able to lightly sleep until 5:15am. I was starting to get ready and checked my email and say they had stated they would let us know at 5:30am if they would cancel the Twin Cities Marathon. Wait what? I was still braiding my hair for the race when the email came in…Races cancelled.
All my thoughts were of what a waste everything was: all the training through the summer and 3:30am long runs, waste of money spent being there this weekend, waste of all the carbs ingested and not able to burn off, waste of time. Definitely a first world problem and maybe selfish that unless I am traveling to Disney World or a wedding, I’ll really only travel for a race (in most cases to visit friends) which did not end up happening. I am happy for the new running friends I made and know I have a place to stay at least for next time which is greatly appreciated. My mom and I decided to just pack up and head to the airport to try and get on an earlier flight which we did get lucky for that at least. While we waited I was searching other States with marathons in the next two months. There is one in Iowa in two weeks but honestly our October is so busy and full of weekends away already, other commitments, weeks away for work…I just can’t do it. I have a free weekend in November where I found three states: KS, AR, and OK with marathons but I do not want to train for another month and a half. I’m hurt to have nothing to show for this weekend. I arrived home to see my husband outside doing yard work all sweaty and the first thing I said is “I wanted to be all sweaty and gross.” Yes I should have come home sore and new black toe nails and exhausted and hungry and yes gross! Why do we do this to ourselves?! I was able to unpack, ever so slowly. I had a nice chat with my Coach who had me more motivated to run. My friend was up for running 5 miles with me which was so appreciated. I needed to vent. I needed an outlet but honestly it felt hard. I was able to get up to 6.5 miles but I fully expected at least doing 10 miles with speed! Nope. I finally had the opportunity alone with my husband to just cry. I had been holding it all in all day and trying to feel neutral about it all. I respect the decisions but the weather didn’t change from earlier that week, could have canceled way earlier and I could have juggled something. I mean there was a marathon 30 minutes from my house the same day I could have jumped in instead if I really wanted to just race a marathon! It comes down to I was very much looking forward to a break, I needed a break. I wanted to last hoorah before I’m away from my home more than in it this October. I wanted something for me before I have to give myself to everything this month. I do not have time for heavy training. This race had timed out perfectly and was taken away. I was so ready and finally had a cycle without any injuries. Yes I’ve decided to call a fall marathon a wash. My husband says I will race again which of course I will, always have a marathon in sight and he tried to find races for me. I feel I had an awesome training cycle and now I can build upon that without the need for recovery right now. Maybe I can actually race my 10k at the end of the month. I finally can do some heavy lifting again, I lost so much muscle that I am not okay with. Thank you for listening to my woes. I know I will feel better. I’m still happy for others that got to race other places and for the next weekends of fall marathons for my friends and athletes. I wish I had battle stories from the marathon to share with everyone but another day. Maybe 2024 will be my year.
I will lift my head up again after a good night sleep in my bed…I must say the running community is the best. So many people offered race options to include me in on and their support. I deeply appreciate that! Thank you!
Have you ever had a race cancelled?
Would you find another race to do?