Ojai2Ocean Marathon (the BQ that wasn’t)

After the race Sunday I said I was going to go home and write my recap RIGHT AWAY so I could just move on and be over it.

And then I sat down, and just stared at the screen. I couldn’t even summon the courage to upload Garmin data – UGH I did NOT want to see those splits. So I sat there, and every time I started to recount the race, I shuddered a little. I really didn’t want to relive it.

Brian called to ask how it went, texts/emails came in, all responded to with a word or two. I went internet AWOL all day and pretty much avoided any run talk like the plague.

slightly dramatic. should have clarified “INTERNET world” or “RUNNING world”. not life-world.

Rebecca bribed me with Yogurtland as a sorrow drowner when I got home.  As I cracked and slowly started opening up about the race, she said something kind of NO DUH that I think I knew, but needed to hear from someone else…

“The more races you do, you’re bound to have some bad ones. Let it fuel your next one!”

Yes I realized my days of continuous PRs would eventually come to an end.  Boohoo I missed my goal.  Get over it.  I also realize a year ago I would have been freaking over the moon thrilled with a 3:50 marathon, and that it’s not a “bad” time by any means.

But we’re not talking about Long Beach Sarah anymore.  We’re talking about BQ Sarah.

What really rubs the wound raw is HOW PREPARED I felt going into Ojai, and the seemingly simple fact that Eugene’s 3:37 on tired post-Ragnar legs should EASILY equate to a Sub3:35 on tapered legs.

So what happened?  Did I not execute a smart race?  Were my legs just physically not able to handle the downhills?  Was it my own dumb head that got in the way?

I’m finally ready, so let’s try and talk through it…

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ojai3

enthusiastic, confident, & SUPER EARLY alarm? check

ojai4

all the required shit littering Danica’s spare room? check

ojai5

flash, breakfast & crotch mirror shot? you’re welcome. ps those are shorts. hopefully that makes it less barf-worthy

O2O is a small race – capped at 1000 runners for each the half and full.  Everything from aid stations, to bag drop, to race communication was handled very well which I was impressed by.  This was its second year, and all races have sold out both years I believe.    It’s a favorable, very scenic course and a great time of year for racing, so if you’re itching to run make sure to sign up early.

We got to the Ventura Fairgrounds around 4:30 for our 5:00 shuttle – there was some back up getting in to park but the busses were running efficiently and timely.  There weren’t any bathrooms at the fairgrounds, which hopefully they’ll change next year, but the 20 minute ride to Ojai deposited us in front of a nice batch of them so it wasn’t a huge deal.

ojaistart

hi Danica! congrats on your first marathon. you’re super cute in the porta potty line

I heeded Molly’s advice and discontinued beverage consumption 1hr before gun time.  Hit the pee box a few times, and lined up ready to go.

Time to BQ.

As soon as I crossed the mat, I realized I forgot to tuck my necklace (that I’ve worn EVERYDAY for the last 6 years) into my sports bra.  I reached up and twisted it around like I have a million times, and hear a “CLINK CLINK CLINK”.  Oh god.  Look behind me, and sure enough my NWM charm was laying on the ground.  Even though we were only about 100ft into the race I didn’t want to stop and risk getting trampled by the pack, so I threw the broken chain into the back of my bra, hoped the other charms were safely secured under the strap, and kept going.

from some other sad day before sad broken-necklace-failed-race day

 “Well, that sucks. Now you’re just going to have to MAKE SURE you BQ, or else this is going to be an extra super shitty day, Sar…”

(you already know how that ends)

The plan for the first 5 miles was to run on effort, and try to keep the average for that chunk near MGP (8:10).  It was half downhill and half up, and being the flatlander I am I knew those would NOT be even splits.  So I avoided the pace groups and quit hawking my watch and just tried to run.

38 seconds behind pace, but totally easy to pick up on the downhill coming up.

The first 8.5 miles were a residential loop we ran 1.5 times.  It was funny to see the same groups of people cheering at multiple points on the loop – they’d pull their cars off the side of the road, hop out to cheer, and then drive a few more miles and do it again.  Same group of people, over and over.  Including some dude yelling in Spanish to someone that must have been right behind me the whole time.

farmland! open pastures! is this really California?

Once we hit the trail I settled into my low-8 pace I was hoping for, and passed the 3:35 group around mile 9.  The decline was gradual but noticeable, and I definitely caught myself flying a bit faster than I should have been at times.

Damn gravity.

Somewhere around here I picked up a friend.  We ran side-by-side, matching stride, fuel, and passes for nearly 8 miles and didn’t say a word.  I never felt like I was setting the pace or trying to keep up, we kind of just fell into perfect stride together.  It was strangely comforting company, having someone there but not having to talk or engage at all.  Just run.

Even though we were still descending, it became harder and harder to “easily” hold that low-8 pace I wanted (as apparent by the splits).  I would check my watch, pick up the pace, and get frustrated with how hard it felt.  So I’d back off again, fearing burnout and remembering my goal to get the the level-off point at 21 still feeling strong.

“This is still downhill, Sar. If 8:15 feels hard here it’s going to be damn near impossible to pick it up once you hit flat ground. You’re fucked.”

(Hindsight : it felt hard because RUNNING DOWNHILL IS HARD ON YOUR LEGS. Breaking news.)

I lost my shadow and turned on my ipod to try and drown out the noise my brain was making. When that didn’t work I went through some of the mantras I’d put together (thanks to some of you!)  in an attempt to keep reality checked and my shit together.

“You put in all that work for NOW. THIS race. There isn’t a tomorrow or a next time. Are you going to throw away all of those weeks of training? When you think back on your race, will you be pissed you gave up right now? This will be the moment you keep saying ‘if only I could have…’. Don’t let it go.”

At the end of mile 19 I finally gave in.  I was exhausting myself trying to force my mind back into the race, and my legs were starting to give out.  Every muscle group took a turn cramping/spasming, so I slowed to a walk and tried to shake them out.

My watch joined the “let’s stop working!” party, and while I dicked around trying to get it to switch back to the data screen, the 3:35 group passed me.

(remember what this did at Long Beach and Eugene?)

I heard someone yell out, “Sarah! Noooo!” and looked up to see Madison – in the heat of the pack, looking over her shoulder at me.  I yelled to her “I’ll be right there!” because at the time I really thought I had a chance to pick it back up and catch them.

When I gave up on my watch and started running again, they had probably 200 yards on me.

“Totally doable. You can catch them. Cmon let’s run! Faster!”

After a few minutes of what felt like a sprint and not getting any closer, I realized I had more than 10K left to make it up the ground.

So I walked again.

(brilliant logic)

Running slow and steady made me want to jab my eyes out, so I spent about a mile fartleking.  That’s what I’m calling it anyway, because “run/walking” makes it sound like I totally gave up.

(that didn’t for at least two more miles)

look at all those walk breaks! and sea level! and huge numbers!

With 5 miles to go, I did the math and realized I need to run 8min/miles to squeek in under 3:35.  So I sped up to that pace (garmin started working again), realized it was completely unsustainable, and quit.

QUIT!  I QUIT.

thank you, reader Crystal, for memorializing the run/walking FARTLEKING. you guys in your funny hats and cheers were really great. also, I realize that skirt is grossly short. sorry

The next few miles were an internal debate on whether or not I sucked because I gave up, or I sucked because I thought running downhill would be so easy and wouldn’t affect my legs.  I knew a lot of my struggle was physical, but it’s painfully obvious my mental game still needs SO MUCH WORK.

I took my good ol time getting through those last miles.  Not once did “at least make it a respectable time!” tempt me, and the sweet girl who tried to pull me along to “finish strong together!” got a good 20 steps out of me before I told her to go on by herself.

Finally at half a mile to go I decided to put myself out of my misery and run to the finish.  For accuracy and to put you more in touch with the moment, I edited my official finish line photo for you…

Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon, 6.3.12   -   3:50.05

I’m still struggling to accept the fact that despite going in with every fighting chance on my side, I was able to completely wall like that.  Again, I know a lot of it has to do with being unprepared for the hills and underestimating their effects on my legs, but again I let my mental game throw me.

I’ll work on it.  Somehow.  Later.  Boston 2013 won’t be happening, but I’ll get my BQ soon.  CIM is on tap as my next full, but 26.2 is OFFICIALLY out of my mind until training re-commences in September.

This summer is for running fast.

artist-cut bottle opener medals. very nice touch, and handy for post-race celebrating/sorrow drowning! source

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Post-script notes

This course is DEFINITELY one built for PRs, as long as your body can stand up to a little beating.  Any amount of hill training (or not living at sea level where your long runs have a net elevation change of 60 ft) would totally prepare you to DOMINATE this race.  It was well-managed, had a great local vibe, and there was free beer at the finish (local IPA, no light fizzy shit).  Add it to your “To Race” list.

After the race Annette (the shadow) found me and said she made her goal time.  She thanked me and said the part we ran together helped and meant so much to her.  We took a picture together, and she left.  It was so bizarre to have such a connection with someone over literally NOTHING but our steps.  As far as I know she has know idea who I am, but Annette, if you’re reading this, thanks – it meant a lot to me, too.

67 thoughts on “Ojai2Ocean Marathon (the BQ that wasn’t)

  1. Ok, so all the crap aside, here are a few things you should be proud of: 1.) You still run faster than a 10 minute mile. Faster than a 9, sometimes faster than an 8. Its totally badass. 2.) That skirt is not to short. You actually look really good and strong. So, photogenic = total plus. 3.) Your photo editing capabilities are top notch and you could probably get a side job just doing that. Want to guest post for me? 4) You run-friendship with your shadow is almost as inspirational as a BQ. Solid race, my friend. Sounds like a good one to me.

  2. dude i know you don’t want to hear it, but you still rock. evidence? that skirt is not too short, it looks awesome and you look STRONG! i am pretty sure i’m forever doomed to run in capris. plus 1 to you! second, YOU HAVE IMPROVED BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS already this year!! you will get that BQ!!

  3. So I am sure this post was really hard to write but I am glad you did. First because I love, love, love how you have the ability to put a sarcastic/funny/self-deprecating spin on even the toughest things you are going through. But also because you will get to look back at this before (and after) CIM and remind yourself how you felt and how AWESOME it is that you finally got your BQ. Because you WILL get it. In the meantime, cheers to recovery and running for fun! Can’t wait to meet you in August!

  4. If you ran a 20 min PB at Eugene, does that mean this is your second fastest marathon so far? It’s all good experience too.

    I love short races, and I think you’ll have fun over summer! No stinky tapers, or real recovery time to worry about either, so it’s easy to get over a bad race!

  5. Honestly shit happens sometimes and some races totally suck. I think the downhills probably shredded your legs, and it wasn’t your day. CIM is full of rolling hills (no crazy steep downhills that wreck your legs though) and I think you will have a hell of a race there! It was my first marathon last year and I can’t wait to try to sub 3:35 this year. Then we can BOTH celebrate our BQs post-race together!!

  6. I think people overestimate the benefit that downhill marathons will give them, especially when they haven’t specifically trained for them. It is also extremely hard to PR in a rebound marathon when you perform close to potential in the first. There just is not enough time to properly recover and you are losing fitness because you aren’t training for quite some time. It is just continuous taper with no quality workouts for almost two months. Not that this knowledge has stopped me from trying either. I did the same last year and this year. I actually had very similar results to you last year with a 13 minute PR in my first marathon with a time of 3:39. I wanted more and doubled back with another marathon which was a huge downhill race. I was sure that I could PR. I ran a 3:46. Yea…

    You will get the BQ! You have become such a strong runner these past months!!! :) You really just need a real training cycle. CIM is supposed to be a great race..I have had thoughts of doing that one too!

  7. CIM is awesome! I have run the first leg of the relay for the last three years and we are in a valley so no hills! (ok, little rolling ones but nothing big) Hope I see you there!

  8. Okay, everyone has a bad race, but no one can make it as simultaneously-hilarious-and-touching as you can. I am supes excited to meet you at totally trials, and maybe have a nuunarita or two!

  9. Hey, you know, marathons are hard. Sometimes when I get nervous before a race I tell myself this: “look, pro runners go run their speciality races week in and out on the track – some weeks the run a great one and the next week they totally stink it up (or vice versa — eg: Lauren turning it around from Stockholm to London last year) – and one week of training can’t make that much of a difference. so, what it really comes down to is what you have on the day and sometimes you have it that day and sometimes you don’t. it doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of xx:xx in this race in the current shape you are in. it may happen today or maybe your day is really next week (except with the marathon you have to wait longer than a week – which is why I’m all into the 5K).” basically, I tell myself that I have that time in me – it is there. It just really comes down to the day and if the stars are aligning or not. You had it in you and you still have a 3:35 in you. For sure. If we were all super human like skinnyrunner and could do marathons week after week, I’d put my money on you next week…

    But, dang, running with that musket must have been hard…

  10. I totally get it. I was more than ready for a great race in April, but the heat really got to me. You just never know how your body will respond… You did great, despite the course and how your legs felt. That BQ is right around the corner! :)

  11. Firstly, well done for being brave and writing this post. Reliving it must have sucked. I’m not sure my race recap wouldn’t have been something along the lines of “Downhills suck. Ojai sucks. End of story”. So, nice job! Not every race is good, and we don’t always perform how we’re able to or would like to. Otherwise, races would be won by the same people, all the time. So, don’t beat yourself up about it. Spend the summer putting those long legs to running short and fast. And keep rocking that skirt. It looks awesome.

  12. It would be hideous to say I loved this. But I did. Mostly because your mental setbacks sound so much like my brain (perhaps our inner cheerleaders are in cohorts). My PR marathon is this stupidly blissful zen marathon during which I think I actually had someone else’s brain plugged in cause I have not found that place again… And around the end of recent races its “are you effing kidding me?!. Where are your balls!?” And then I walk. Can we figure this shit out together cause i’m scared to race until my head is screwed on. Also, CIM is my plan to BQ next so… Lets get it done!!!! I still think you are totally badass. I definitely feel your pain.

  13. Congrats! I think you had fun, secretly, somewhere in there – you were running, after all! Love the running skirt, also. I bought one, now I need to buy the body glide to go with. xo

  14. Sucky sucky sucky. So sorry Sarah. You WILL get that BQ though, I have no doubt of that. And if it makes you feel better, which I’m sure it doesn’t, your time dominates my PR. Marathons are HARD.

  15. Oh Sarah, what a bummer. Your BQ is out there for sure,and it will be epic. And having a bad race here and there is what makes the good ones so great. xoxo

  16. So I hate that you didnt reach your goal, however Im so happy to read your recap because it could have been mine. I THOUGHT I WAS ALONE! Everyone keeps telling me ‘Ohh that was the easy downhill marathon’ and Im like ‘ Tell that to my quads, broad”. I hurt at the same dang place you started to hurt. Mile 16 started it and by the flats in ventura I just contimplated my death. It was like when I ran NWM- my quads got thrashed to heck. So lesson learned- I (and you) suck at downhill marathons. So there. So flat marathon, Im aiming for you. I figure if I can eliminate a lot of the suckage from the 26.2 miles I can work on the rest. It was a beautiful course and I liked the whole thing but the downhills killed me. I ran it in 3:56 so we were neighbors at the end. Anyhow it was STILL a good race, just not THE race. It wasnt your time. Now you just get to run some more and beef up your awesomness! Go take some ibu and foam roll–you got some plannin’ to do!

  17. I’m so sorry you had such a bad race! I’m still so impressed with anyone who runs 26.2 miles, it’s an amazing achievement. You looked fantastic, if that helps!!! That pink top is really sweet!!

  18. I’m sorry that the race didn’t go well. It sucks when a race doesn’t go as planned. But I try to remind myself that I have learned something from every failed-PR-attempt.

    Marathons are tough! So much can happen during 26mi. Don’t beat yourself up too much. There’s always another race. You’ve just been getting faster. Your BQ is still out there!

  19. Ugghhh, that BLOWS!! I am just as guilty of letting my mental game beat me up!! Grrrrrrrr!! You’ll BQ in no time at all!! I often laugh that I pay lots of money to go out and do this to myself….intentionally ;) On a happy note, CONGRATS on Totally Trials!!

  20. Your race didn’t go the way I thought based on the way you were tweeting. You obviously hit the wall and had a drop in effort at that point, which led to those time-killing miles, but I thought I was going to see different splits. I think you did a good job keeping were you needed to before the wheels came off. I need to re-read this to see about your in-race nutrition … I still think you’re a good runner. U just had a bad day a few weeks ago and ran 30 minutes off my PR. Run enough races and you’re gonna have some stinkers.

  21. That sucks that you lost your charm – that would have messed with my head a bit.

    Not every race is going to be good. You only had 5 weeks of time between Eugene and Ojai and I think that Eugene you raced your ass off. It’s possible that 5 weeks was not enough time in between races.

    And the downhill, while it felt ok, clearly tore up one’s legs. I am still sore today and I just ran it at like what, 50% effort? And on the 3rd day I can finally walk down the stairs. Maybe, for your, fontana/st george/downhill courses are not your legs’ favorite.

    You still have until September to qualify. Unless you have already decided that Long Beach is the next attempt.

  22. Oh and thank you for noting the bottle opener in the medal – I didn’t even see it or recognize it. What kind of beer drinker am I. Apparently an oblivious-to-openers one.

  23. As someone who is prone to giving into the voice in my head that says “what are you thinking you idiot, you can’t do this,” it is comforting to know that it happens to other people as well. Not that I WANT it to happen to others…but it makes me feel less crazy and wussy.

    At least you have a killer gun picture and beer opener as souvenirs of this race…two things that go very well together when you need to feel sorry for yourself?

    Good luck next time Sarah! It is really only a matter of time before you get that BQ.

  24. as i was reading your blog post i was going to recommend CIM! my husband and i are going to be running it. we’ve got the same goal… a 3:35 BQ. however i feel like the word “BQ” makes the goal that much more scary. so i decided to just make my goal a 3:30. somehow that seems like less pressure???

    anyways, sorry to hear about the race. like your friend said, just another one to fuel the fire. excited to see you “get fastER” this summer. <—you know, because you ARE a speedy one already!

    results aside, congrats on another finish! you are one tough chica!

  25. This post cracked me up, specifically you finish photo… you definitely captured how I have felt numerous times. Love your attitude.
    That race metal is spectacular, I want to do this race based on this multi-functional metal!

    Enjoy this summer and not marathon training. Long runs ruin weekend plans :) Cheers to getting speedy at shorter distances!

  26. Dude, marathons are hard.

    At the end of the day (I hate this saying but I’m using it), it really sucks that you missed your goal, but you most likely learned a lot from this Marathon.

    ALSO, look how freaking far you’ve come!! Remember when you were desperate for a Sub-4 marathon!!!?!?! Now you are on a whole other level of runner status. BALLER.

  27. ah girl I’m sorry to hear that, I can’t imagine how bummed out you are. BUT you should feel accomplished you were able to run 26.2 miles and finish! and from those of us who are injured, just be happy that you can run :)

  28. 3:50 is still a pretty respectable time!
    Downhills are hard, harder than you would think!
    Great job getting it done!
    Love the last pic!

  29. I know you are bummed about the race but from an outsider I still look at your times and think “Damn, she’s fast”. I remember reading out your burning desire to smash a 4 hour marathon. You’ve made some amazing progress in a short period of time. Don’t beat yourself up too much over this, you will get that BQ, I know it!

  30. I had a very similar experience at Vancouver. I thought “I’m a great hill runner! this will be great!” and then I didn’t train on hills. I trained on treadmills and flat paths. and then my ITBS showed up to the party because I was so damn careless on the downhill. And now I sit here thinking what a dumb ass I was for thinking that BQing would be in the bag. So I feel you girl. You did what you could out there and downhills are deceptive. I keep getting told anything under 4 is great, I know there’s not a ton of solace to be found in that, but there are other races. Boston 2014? #5krevolution in the meantime?

  31. I’m sorry the race didn’t go how you had hoped. That’s frustrating and disappointing! But like the other commenters said, you WILL get your BQ someday. And it will be that much more sweet for all of the setbacks you had to go through to get there. Just like your SUB4ORDIE attempts and eventual WIN. I also think it’s a good idea to take some time off of the marathon distance so that mentally, you’re ready come fall to tackle it again.

  32. ok that last picture is going to get me fired or something cause I laughed so loud in my office. Boss: what are you laughing at? ME: oh nothing this spreadsheet is hilarious!
    sorry you lost your NWM charm and that you’re legs hated you but (you’ll hate this part) there are MANY more races to BQ at and I know you’ll DO IT!

  33. Hi Sarah,

    Sorry that you didn’t hit your goal at O2O. Your friend is spot on–as you continue to run more of these beasts, you’ll have one or two that don’t pan out. I can definitely relate, and so can probably anyone else who races regularly. Kudos to you on this race, because it takes so much more mental fortitude to find the finish line when things aren’t going your way. And you found it. The next one’s yours for sure.

    P.S. the gun picture…actual LOL.

  34. I have to say, that was a great race review! I enjoyed your honesty and thoughtful insight to a tough race. Your friend is right, we all have bad runs and it totally sucks that your bad run is on race day. Same thing happened to me at the Long Beach 1/2 and I actually cried when I saw my husband after the race. He had just ran his first 1/2 marathon and did amazing, but I came up to him all “boohoo me”. Real winner I was.

    Hope you’re feeling better now!

  35. Thank you for sharing both the good and not so good on your blog. I was supposed to run O2O Sunday and go for my first BQ, but my son was admitted to the hospital Saturday morning for an emergency appendectomy. Good news is he is doing fine, the bad news is I REALLY wanted to go for the BQ. But reading your review, maybe I would not have gotten it anyway.
    Now I am trying to decide if I look for a race in the next month to get the pent up race anxiety out on, or do I take it easy a while and train for my next marathon NYC. (the downside is I hear that NYC is not an easy course to BQ on). :(

    • OMG I’m glad your son is ok! The course was great, I’m sure you would’ve done much better than I did. Good luck whether you decide to try soon or go for it at NYC!

  36. Even when you do everything right, sometimes it goes wrong. However, I can tell you one thing for sure that I know for a fact: you have gained wisdom about downhills that will serve you well when you get to Boston (and you WILL get to Boston). Everyone always talks about the Newton Hills, but it is what you do on the downhills that determines your fate.

    I enjoy reading your stuff and following your tweets. Chin up and run strong. And remember the words of Frank Shorter: “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”

  37. Ah, I was thinking about you on Sunday AM knowing you were running hard. race day is so tough to predict, but marathon #7?! What a HUGE accomplishment. I’m only on 2 and summoning the courage to do another. You are so brave for putting it all out there publicly! BQ is in your future. No doubt.

  38. Hollllllla to the shout out! Did that work for you? Or did you still have to stop and drop trou and pee mid-race?…I also totally feel your pain in terms of not catching your BQ just yet. It took me 7 attempts over the course of 6 years, including a horrible race where I crossed the finish line 17 SECONDS too late. Talk about wanting to hurl yourself into oncoming traffic! I know it sucks. I know you are frustrated and you want to break shit and are probably sick of people shitting rainbows of encouragement your way, but just trust in your training and keep working hard and your BQ will happen when it is meant to be. I think an Ohio race is a perfectly acceptable race to BQ – cough, CO-LUM-BUS, cough…

  39. BQ or not, you are still a huge inspiration to me! Can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you instead. :)

  40. Can I just tell you how inspiring this post is to me? I’m not that much of a distance runner…hell, I only started running 3 years ago and have a love/hate relationship with it and my creaky knees. But, something keeps calling me back to it. I know every runner has that same sense. I’m still trying to work up the nerve to kill the negative speak within and stop run/walking my 5ks. Last year, I signed up and trained for a half marathon…not really expecting much, but hoping to finish. I did, in fact, finish with a fire I can’t quite put into words. Needless to say, I’m doing the 1/2 again this year and researching marathons for 2013. What?!?! Something I said I could never do. Your take on the race, as I’m sure you’ve run many is helpful to me. I’m looking at a choice between a marathon that is fairly flat on rail trail land or one that starts with a killer 1st 6 miles of climb/downhill and finishing fairly flat. Parts of me want to choose the killer 6 just to challenge myself. The other part wants to go the easy route because that voice tells me I can’t finish the 26. :)

    • Your first should definitely be about the experience, so if one is in a neighborhood or area or path that is super interesting or means something to you, I’d pick that one. My first was in Cleveland (I’m from Ohio) 2 months after we moved to Cali. It meant a lot to go back and run my first on my “home turf”. Congrats on catching the bug and good luck on your second half!

  41. Great race recap, but I’m so sorry it didn’t happen like you wanted it to. My last one didn’t either, but I wasn’t as strong as you – I never posted my race recap and would really rather pretend like it didn’t happen. All we can do is learn from each race and hope for better in the next one. I’ll be excited to see how CIM works out for you. Good luck!

  42. all I have to tell you my friend is…”don’t give up!!” you WILL get that BQ. we all have our good & bad days. the races that don’t go our way are the ones that make our good races GREAT. You know?! running 26.2 under 4 hrs. is still awesome!! luv ya!! :) :) :)

  43. We all have those races. Sucks to realize, especially after being on such a kick ass streak! I was pumped because I was shopping at the flea market, looked up and saw you walking past. I had a fan girl moment! So you made my day, even if yours sucked balls.

  44. I’m sorry you didn’t get your BQ! Like you said, you WILL get it! When it’s time. On the bright side? I find you incredibly inspiring and motivating! Hoping to do my first half marathon sometime in 2013! Thanks for inspiring ME!

  45. Oh Sarah! You are so close to getting your BQ, Looking at those splits, you got this. SO it wasn’t your day, it happens to us all.
    I know you think your skirt is short but I think its fine (or maybe I am just saying that because mine is short) but it you have the legs flaunt it.

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  48. Love your blog Sarah. This post was informative and funny. You captured that day.I love the course, but I failed a tad short of my goal too. It stings a little still. I gave up too easily: need to work on my mental toughness. next year I’m coming back and am committed to work harder on my training. 3:50 is nothing to sneeze at! You’re awesome. The skirt is cute. Not short at all.

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  53. Hey Sarah,
    Fellow running-obsessed Ohio ex-pat (but I’m on the East Coast!) I remember reading this race report way back when and feeling bad for you, because it sounded like such a frustrating race and it seemed like you were so well-prepared! Welp, I basically had the SAME experience at my most recent marathon, which was also a BQ attempt that I prepared well for and fell apart mentally in. Just wanted to commiserate (not that you probably want to be reminded of this particular race!) and say rah-rah both of us! We will clinch that BQ! Enjoy the sunny SoCal weather. It’s snowing in NYC…

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