I've been training for months for the half marathon championships. It took me some time to get my head wrapped around the idea of running 13.1 miles for a race. It seems so far for my brain to have to stay focused. But my training was going so well and I gained excitment after each great workout and high mileage week (high for me is 70-80).
I flew into Houston for the USA Half Marathon Championships on Thursday. Dinner was wonderful, the hotel was fancy, the volunteers were super sweet, and I was ready. Friday went perfect, until after dinner. My stomach was killing me and woke me up all night wanting to throw up (sorry for the disgusting-ness). Not really the feeling I wanted right before the race. I warmed up, but my stomach felt horrible, until I threw up 30 minutes before the start.
I did feel wonderful for the start and was back to being excited. I made miles 1 and 2 perfect, mile 3 right on pace but I felt weak, very weak. Over the next mile I took a GU to help replenish...stomach did not like that. So unfortunately I had to do something I didn't want to do, step of the course and DNF. I had a mile for my walk-of-shame with tears gushing from my eyes. An angel in pink walked with me and made me realize that I was super lucky to be a runner and to have the chance to be in this elite race. She helped me calm down and be realistic about the situation. Thank you Amy!
As hard as the decision was to not finish, it was given me a reminder that bad days are blessings in disguise. You have to have them to appreciate the good days. It took me a few days to get back to running, but I have a great week of training, physically and especially mentally. I've about convinced myself to look into another half marathon. I know I can hit the qualifying time and I have an added motivation of unfinished business.