I really felt prepared for this race. I wasn't very nervous and just knew that I had done enough work to get a favorable result. I wasn't sure if I'd hit my A goal of 2:17:59, but I was certain I could give it a run for its money, and if not I would still wind up with a PR. But the marathon has a mind of its own and had other ideas in store for me.
I met Ken, Janae, Emily, Jasmine, and Kathryn (the Utah representation) at the corner of Michigan and Wacker and we headed down to the race. It was probably 3/4 of mile and we jogged about a half mile of it. We got through the gates and checked into the American Development Tent. They told us that they were taking us out at 7:00 to the start line (15 minutes before what we were told before the race via email traffic). This was a bit frustrating; as we had to rush to use the bathrooms and warmup, plus we had to strip down our warm clothing and be in our racing attire for a half hour. Luckily it wasn't too cold and staying warm wasn't as big of a problem as I thought. But they didn't take us to the start line, instead they lined us up and we just waiting until two minutes before the race started to get to the starting line. So there was never any point to making us leave the tent a half hour early and stand on our feet in a line for 28 minutes.
I forced my way up to the front and started just behind 1-2 guys. The race was off and a lot of guys went out pretty fast. I stay controlled and by mile 3 found a guy that looked like I could use to draft off of. Another guy joined us and they were running side by side and I filled in behind. It was quite windy out there and I was going to draft as much as possible. Within a few miles we had a pack of four and then it grew to about six. We briefly discussed and everyone was shooting for an OTQ, so this was the group.
The guy leading was going a bit fast though in the early miles, but I decided a few seconds per mile too fast was better than running alone. Plus with the drafting off him the effort was likely going to be similar either way. This pack stayed together with 1-2 guys dropping back around 10 miles. We slowly picked guys off and kept moving up. Going South had the strongest winds and I just tried to stay behind someone the whole time. I really didn't do my fair share of leading with this pack, but no one seemed to mind so I just kept back.
A little before the half I had a mucous buildup that I started gagging on and I concentrated really hard to hack it up without starting my gag reflex. I managed it successfully and felt good again. By the half the pack was stringing out and mile 13 was slow, so I moved up with one of the leaders in the pack and we got back on pace, but it was only four of us left. We came through the half in 1:08:49, right on pace and I felt I could manage another sub 1:09.
I took a gel for the first time right after the half. I felt decent for the next few miles, then I started to get nauseous and I also had another mucous buildup (not a good combo). I pulled over and threw up during mile 19. I lost the two guys remaining that I was working with and I couldn't catch back up. This was a bad time to run solo as we were headed South again and the wind was quite strong and temps had risen into the 60s. I ran another two miles or so at a decent pace and then threw up again. A PR was theoretically still possible with just 6:00-flat miles, but I just couldn't do it. I had lost too much fluid and my legs just wouldn't go. I was quite miserable.
I finished the race in 2:26:25 (1:17:36 second half). When I finished I got really light-headed and my face and arms were tingling. I got dizzy and started wobbling pretty badly. A volunteer grabbed me and held me up/helped me walk about a quarter of a mile down to the medical tent. There they kept me for over an hour. I kept trying to get discharged, but I was shaking from being cold and I couldn't walk at all. So they wouldn't let me leave. They finally laid me down and covered me with 5-6 blankets. After almost an hour and a half they finally let me leave the medical tent and I went to get my gear. I also saw Janae in the medical tent, they had brought her in on a wheelchair. I saw Emily and Jasmine at the American Development Tent after and they hadn't raced the way they had hoped either and we just kind of shook our heads and wondered why everyone of us had a pretty bad day. I found Amy shortly after that and we walked back to our hotel.
So, it was a frustrating day. I felt pretty dang good minus the stomach issues, which are really big issues. I had problems in the past with runner's trots in marathon, but I seem to have that solved and traded it in for this even worse problem. I threw up after both Morgan and Top of Utah marathons in similar fashion and I threw up during one of my 25 mile long runs in training. I don't know what it is. I didn't take gel in Top of Utah, only water and still threw up right after I finished. I need to go see some kind of specialist that can help me figure out what's going on. Any suggestions?
Splits (these are based on mile markers and are about 5-6 seconds per mile slower than what gps would've given):
1st Half: 5:12, 5:14, 5:08, 5:09, 5:14, 5:11, 5:17, 5:13, 5:15, 5:19, 5:16, 5:18, 5:23
2nd Half: 5:15, 5:14, 5:14, 5:20, 5:22, 5:41, 5:36, 5:54, 13:35 (missed split this is 2 miles), 6:31, 6:33, 6:29, 1:22