Cowtown Marathon 2018 Race Recap

I thought I had everything back together.  I thought I had beaten the stomach flu with no repercussions.  I thought I had gathered my competitive drive, my focus, and my will, but I was wrong.  I felt good enough to go through the motions to get to the start line.  I just didn’t have the stomach to push myself for the whole marathon.  Maybe I tried to get back on pace with training too fast after being sick.  Maybe my body hadn’t recovered from the high mileage and the 15k.  Maybe I had too much going on the week before marathon day.  I can’t say what happened for sure, but I do know that 26.2 miles seems impossibly long on a horribly timed off day.

Sitting down and writing this recap has not been high on my list of things to do this week.  Thinking of how to explain how wiped out I felt both mentally and physically after 8 weeks of solid training and a few sick days made me feel sick all over again.  So after a few days of rest, processing, and feeling the many emotions that stemmed from this marathon, I am ready to write.

I woke up with a cough and a scratchy throat Sunday morning.  Nothing major.  The cough seemed like more of an annoyance than anything else.  I went through my normal routine.  Coffee.  Cereal.  Stare at my phone.  Get dressed and go.  During my warmup, everything felt off.  It was like the shock absorption in my legs was gone.  This has happened before after miles and miles in minimalist shoes, but the feeling usually goes away after warming up.  This time it didn’t go away.

The Race

7 a.m. start.  Mile 1.  6:42.  Mile 2.  6:56.  Mile 3.  6:59.  After Mile 3, I just wasn’t feeling it.  Running should not feel this hard this early in the race.  I backed off on my pace, but  even holding back felt hard.  I almost stopped.  At Mile 4, I thought about pulling out of the race.  I have been trying to train and race like the best of the best, and maybe the smartest move would have been to drop out, regroup, and chose another race, but I couldn’t.  So from Mile 4 to Mile 26, I just kept going.

What Got Me Through

I kept going for my husband, who was waiting for me at Mile 10 with water bottle #2.  I kept going for my kids.  I wanted them to know it’s good to finish what you’ve started even if it isn’t turning out just right.  I kept going for everyone who reads my blog and is a part of my journey as a runner.  I kept going for my mom who cheered me on from Dallas and for my dad who has been my biggest fan since summer track days. I couldn’t stop. It wasn’t an option.

Back to the Grind

My pace really dropped off at Mile 8.  I swapped water bottles with my husband at Mile 10, right before some major hills.   I hit Mile 13 at 1:34:30.  The last half took everything I had left, maybe more.  Around mile 24, I caught myself falling apart.  That “I can’t go any longer” feeling crept in, and I didn’t think my lungs could physically handle any more running.  So, I prayed. Maybe this was due to a lack of oxygen to my brain, or maybe I did what I subconsciously knew would get me across the finish line.  And believe it or not, it helped.  I made it across the finish line in 3:26:50.  Not what I had trained for but still a PR by 8 minutes.  19th Overall Female.  26.2 miles.  750 ft climb.  Marathon #2 Complete.

Thank you for reading my blog and following my journey as a runner!

Race Photos



  1. Reading this was like reading about my own recent marathon experiences. I’m sorry. You did an AMAZING job of gutting it out though, especially when you knew so early that you didn’t have it, and a PR is a PR. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Way to push through girl. Rest those legs–get em back to feeling how you like em’ to feel! Also, don’t underestimate being sick/under the weather. You’re asking your body to do some MAJOR shit, it’s under quite a bit of stress. The fact that your body performed the way it did under the circumstances is really amazing. Proud of you! Take care yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks girl! Resting up this week and onto the next! I hope running is going well for you. There are probably a few posts I missed this past week. This weekend will be a Rest/Read/Study/Recover kinda weekend! : ) (Midterms next week😬)

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  3. I’m feeling your pain here Amanda. The PR was pretty cool, but I know exactly how you feel about the race. Happened to me back in 2015, just nothing there. You train so hard, it’s inspiring. I’m upping my volume this season, and one of the reasons behind that decision was seeing how you train. We all get bad days. It sucks when it’s race day, but shit happens. You’ll bounce back. You’ll keep on turning up, keep on smashing it. Hats off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, after a few days of recovery I am in a much better place. I feel like I can build off of this training block and marathon and get to the result I am aiming for.
      I think I needed life to slow down in the last two weeks of training to ‘protect the investment.’
      I hope training is going well for you! I am getting ready to join you in the speed training/speed endurance block. : )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Always nice to take a break. Too hard and too long for the training and racing cycle won’t help. Re-group yourself and you will have your moments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I agree. I almost entered a 15k this weekend to ‘get past’ this feeling ASAP, but long term that would do no good. Resting up, then back to training and some shorter races for the spring. : )


  5. Solid progress for your second event over that distance! So many variables to account for over 26.2, pushing through and finishing despite it being an off-day is something you can draw on in the future. Right now my two “it’s not that bad, keep going!” triggers are a half marathon last year where I blew up on the last mile and a XC event that was the worst conditions I’ve run in to date – I’ll be putting them in my metaphorical back pocket for London 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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