So, I’ve been training since August for the Dallas Marathon. I have made some great accomplishments personally with this training cycle. For the first time ever, I had fifty mile weeks over six days of running, every long run was below the 10:00 pace (my marathon PR is exactly at the 10:00 pace), and I didn’t even gain weight this time around. The taper had me a little anxious – but I think that’s perfectly normal, and I was ready for race day.
When I wrote my last post, the forecast was looking pretty good. Maybe a little cold for some, but I was feeling good about it.
Then it went south. Or north. With an arctic force storm.
On Wednesday, our temperatures were in the 70s, but they were forecast a wintry mix, ice, sleet, etc. So I filled my car up and was at the grocery store along with everyone else in town. I was mostly stocking up on my carbs: bananas, chocolate milk, pretzels…
On Thursday, the schools let out early when it started to sleet. By Thursday night, I was beginning to worry about the race. How would I be able to get my packet on Saturday? Would my husband make it home to drive us to the expo, or the race?
Friday morning was worse. Everything was solid ice. I couldn’t get out of my driveway if I wanted to.
The opening of the expo was delayed until 2:00, then sometime after noon the announcement was made that the race was canceled. Even though I had a gut feeling since Thursday night, I still felt the punch and had my cry. I broke goal #2. Over the next few days, I went through the seven stages of grief. Denial and anger – aimed not at the marathon but the weather – arrived pretty quickly. Then I started the bargaining stage in the form of scrambling for another race somewhere in the next few weeks. Something, anything – a 10k, half marathon. There was a New Year’s double race that sold out with a wait list in no time because others were doing the same thing. My motivation was fading fast. I even burned out 26.2 miles on the stationary bike. Yes, it all makes sense in my head.
Saturday I fed my depression with the batch of Snickerdoodle cookies I made and another hour on the bike.
Sunday we moved above freezing and I decided I was going to run up and down the alley. The roads were still terrible and I didn’t want to chance a fall too far from home. Highways were shut down in Sherman on Saturday because of the ice and the roads were terrible. I went out after I saw the icicles on the house dripping water, but it was still too slick. I waited a few hours and went out again. I started with the plan to run 3 miles if I could. That 3 became 6.2 which turned into shooting for double digits, which in turn became run a half marathon. Yes, I ran up and down my alley the entire time. Yes, my neighbors probably think I’m crazy and no, I don’t care. I was desperate to burn off some energy after a three week taper and not being able to run since Thursday morning. It was slow going, but when I finished my mood was 100 times better. Today my hips are a little sore from the turning and trail-like running, and my toes hurt. On a positive note, my new gloves are great at blocking the cold wind.
Plan B is now in force. I have six weeks until the Houston Marathon. I’m no longer searching for a race, I have accepted my situation. I will repeat the last six weeks of my Dallas training with a few variations. My motivation may suffer, but I’ll go for broke trying to get a sub 4:00:00 in Houston on January 19th.
A few other notes:
Cars and trucks were stranded on highways for hours in the surrounding metroplex and the storm was an anomaly for our area. In no way could any of this be helped. I am content with how the Dallas Marathon handled the communication and making the decision when they did. They will be mailing out participant shirts and later will communicate a special deal for runners for next year’s registration along with double medals when you finish your race in 2014 if you were registered for 2013. That’s more than I would have expected and I appreciate what they are doing.
Thankfully the sun is shining today, and even though the kids are out of school again I might be able to get out. Good thing, because supplies are getting low.
How would you cope with a race cancellation?