Sunday, February 26, 2012

Feel Free to Skip This Post

No, really. Nothing to see here. Come back tomorrow and I will post a picture of some yummy food, or have a motivating life lesson or something. Promise. Today? I've got misery. And misery loves company, so be prepared.

Yesterday morning I woke up SO READY for my half marathon. Honestly, I wish I could tell you I was exhausted, or sick or something - I wasn't. I felt positive and excited. Ate breakfast. Got dressed. No internal bleeding. Just a good day, you know?

Drove up to Chattanooga - more good vibes. Packet pick up was great, thought everything was awesome and sparkly and fun. Goofy pictures were taken to commemorate what was sure to be an awesome race.


I'm not even kidding about how giddy I was. You'd think I was running this race with Santa Claus or something. Apparently even the chip timer on my shoe was exciting enough to take a picture of:


The first two miles of the race were pretty much on target - 8:53 at first and then a 9:10 because I told myself to slow down a little. Mile 3? Vomiting episode #1.

I wish I could blame what turned out to be a poor race on the several occasions where I was able to fertilize the plants on the side of the road, or the IT band that left me hobbling by the end of race, but I can't. At mile 3, I gave up. Not physically, because I kept running, albeit slower. But mentally? I was gone.

I have no doubt that I could have kept going, vomiting as I kept up the pace. The IT band was nothing a few aspirin couldn't fix. I just gave up - the worst possible thing you can do in a race. 

There were tears.
There was walking.
There was an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, who kept suggesting I find the nearest place to get off the course and find a payphone to call Tim for a pick-up.

I shut the little red guy up but only one thing motivated me for 13.1 miles - the realization that when it was over, I could stop running. About 7 times during the race I swore off running forever. I'm still leaning toward that, at least until I can head to the doctor to figure out what is causing all the intestinal distress.

The final time for my half marathon was 2:17:53 - a full 18 minutes longer than I was aiming for. I hate to say there is anything wrong with that pace, because there's not. But it was the same as my full marathon pace, so obviously not indicative of my training or ability for the distance. Maybe in a few days I'll be able to put a positive spin on this experience, but not today. Today I feel sad, disappointed and angry. Disappointed that I can't run a race without vomiting, sad that I wasted great race conditions on a dud run and angry at myself for not digging deeper.

I don't know what you guys do when something is really disappointing, but I like to hide. I have avoided the computer at all costs since the race, preferring to retreat into a different world. On Friday night I started reading the first Hunger Games book. On Saturday afternoon I bought the second, and this morning the third.



I'm done all three and already bummed I have no excuses anymore - time to get back to reality again. I've eaten my weight in licorice jelly beans, avoided anything that looks or tastes remotely healthy and wallowed in pity. I know blogs are supposed to encourage you to just write "You're Beautiful" on a post-it note and change your mood instantly, but I'm giving myself the rest of the day to be miserable. Tomorrow I'll do my best to get back to normal.

Ugh. Just reading this for spelling mistakes is depressing. Not to mention self-centered. I forgot to mention that yesterday Tim ran a 5k while I did the half, and he was amazing and set a new PR of 25:28. Must have forgotten to mention that while I was trying to drum up sympathy for myself. My bad.

Have you read the Hunger Games?
I assume I'm the last person on the planet to jump on this bandwagon, but if for some reason I'm not - go read them.

Are you an inherently peppy person or do you allow yourself some time to wallow?
It's funny, because on the blog I guess I'm pretty upbeat, but in real life - I love me some wallowing. Preferably with a large container of candy and a good book or sad movie.

75 comments:

  1. I am sorry to hear about your disappointing race experience. I wish I had something magical to say to make it better, but sometimes we just have to wallow. (I've been there!)

    I haven't read Hunger Games, but everyone I know has - guess I need to find them!

    I try to be a peppy person, but I will admit that I spend more than my fair share wallowing... trying to work on that!

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  2. Sweet sweet friend. I know how hard it is to write a post like this and how hard it is to feel defeated. You got a 2:17 which is a heck of a lot better than a DNF. I'm wicked proud of you for pushing through the pain and mental stress. Good for you taking time off and for yourself. Get it girl!

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  3. Oh friend! I am sorry the race did not go the way you hoped. I am thinking of you. Eat up that candy. Tomorrow is a new day. I love me some wallowing as well. I hope you can get everything figured out as well as far as the intestinal stuff goes. But to me you are so strong. I am not sure I could have finished with half as respectable of a time as you did. I know it's so frustrating to race under what we believe we are capable but don't give up. There are some incredibly strong races in your future...I am sure of it! Love ya friend! Let me know if there is anything I can do :)

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  4. A good self pity secession is sometimes necessary, I've had one this afternoon into this evening but then I'm going to try slap myself out of it because wallowing is not going to make my foot better!
    Hope you can find out what the vomming thing was all about.

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  5. Sorry to hear about your race - I know when things don't go well for me I usually have to take a day to process everything and work to move on. I usually eat a lot of candy in that time and then feel sick to my stomach. I know that this race doesn't show your true running ability and you will have that perfect race! Don't give up!

    I have read the hunger games - finished the second and third book on our cruise vacation a few weeks ago.

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  6. Sorry about the craply race :( everyone needs a day of self pity. It's kind of like a reset button.

    Love the Hunger Games. Can't wait for the movie.

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  7. I think you might need at least 3 post it notes to fix this issue.

    Throwing up is the worst. I'm seriously proud of you for not giving up and finishing the race. That speaks volumes to your character. I know you felt like you gave up mentally, but you still made relentless forward progress and that's what matters.

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  8. Someone tagged me in a quote on Fb the other day.... It summed up my long run that day. I'll post it on you fb page.

    But I think you deserve a day of wallowing.... :)

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  9. I'm so sorry, but at the same time, I'm so impressed with you for finishing the race!!!! I have had some serious battles with GI issues and feel your pain. Running is so funny and can be so fickle, training is obviously important, but it's not the end all, be all. You can go into a race undertrained and perform well and vice versa. You can't control all the factors that go into making a race a good one or a bad one and, after the bad ones, you just have to always remember that there are really good ones waiting for you!!!!

    I can't believe you read each of those books in less than a day! You must be the speediest reader I know…although I can believe that you had a really hard time putting them down because they are so good :)

    I love me a good pitty session every now and then!

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  10. That's a great post, not because you're bummed or wallowing but because it was deeply honest. I like to hide, but I'm not very good about sharing my wallowing experiences with anyone but my husband, and only because he's seeing it. Funny you showed a pic of Hunger Games, because I just posted a pic of that today. I'm not even sure what it's about, but I've had it for a month from the library and not read it. Today it's costing me .25 to read, so I'm reading it. I really wish you luck in figuring out your v-fest and courage to not give up on running (I'm not a runner). xo

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  11. For what it's worth, I think you are amazing for finishing. That is a very stubborn Angel you have there ;) xo

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    1. PS: most runners would kill for that pace :D

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  12. Dude, you're allowed to mentally give up after you vomit. Vomiting is an indication of something, yo. Don't be an asshole to yourself. If any of your friend vomited during a race, and still ran 11 miles after vomiting you would be so proud of them. Extend yourself the same courtesy. And start planning your next half. Maybe in San Diego? In May?

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  13. Sorry about the bad race. We all have them. Last year I flew all the way to Charlotte for a total crap marathon and basically wasted that weekend as I added 11 minutes to my marathon time. Boo.
    So, about the vomiting - I used to throw up every single time I raced. In fact, I would throw up every time I ran if I didn't stop when I felt nauseated. Hot weather and distance made it worse. For about a year of jogging I couldn't stop this. Finally I realized that it was caused by a combination of factors: mainly, it was motion sickness! The up and down movement caused me to be sick, and it was compounded by looking down when I ran. Contributing factors were time (didn't happen for a shorter run), poor surface, heat, dehydration, and food in my stomach.
    To get over it, I made myself look up while running. This meant more time in the park and less time on our disastrous, pot-holed roads. I also started watching hydration, especially in the summer, and avoided eating beforehand. I finally got a handle on it, but if I run a hilly course or do a long, hot run mostly on uneven sidewalks, it still plagues me. The reason it was worse in races is just that I tended not to stop during a race, but didn't mind stopping when out by myself - stopping ameliorated the nausea.
    I don't know if this could be part of the problem for you, but maybe it is, so I hope this helps you a little.
    You'll get that PR next time!

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  14. This may be a long shot, but potentially worth looking into: have you taken a look at certain foods you're eating day before or morning of race ?" I've had too vomitting / diarrhea episodes during races- Luna bars and cliff bars (most flavors) have sugar alcohols which get absorbed different and can cause those symptoms. not for everyone, but it did it for me... Both times- gah. I hope whatever it is, its an easy solution.
    The important part is you finished. Despite feeling like crap, you at least stuck it out enough to get her done.

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  15. I'm sorry about your bad race, but jealous that a bad race for you still equals a 2:17 half! That is a great time period, not to mention especially great for dealing with puking, etc. We have all been there, take your time to wallow! And still be proud, you ran 13.1 miles. When I get sick, I lay on the bathroom floor all day. I couldn't imagine sticking it out and running for 2 hours. So you are a hero in my book.

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  16. Um, you ran a marathon, so its proven your a bad-ass. Bad things happen and it just sucks when it's race day. Bodies are so unpredictable...

    Hunger Games are amazing. I have a kindle and had instant gratification when I finished the first two and could just download the next book.

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  17. I'm sorry you had a bad race. I was thinking about you yesterday and was sure it was your day. You just can't predict things like vomiting. Or it issues. Unfortunately no training plan says anything about that stuff. The main thing is, you finished! Most people in that situation would've dnf. So you should be proud.

    Obviously your more than capable to sub 2... Maybe your putting too much pressure on yourself and the nerves are causing the tummy issues. You know they always say you are your own biggest enemy.

    *hugs*

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  18. I've never thrown up at a race but I can imagine it is nothing but horrible. I am so sad that this didn't go as you planned and I know that no words will change the way you feel. You just have to give it some time and then TRY TRY AGAIN. I know you will get that sub 2 hours soon and you've just gotta be patient with yourself. Running a half marathon is an accomplishment in itself and I think you are amazing no matter what. Enjoy your time to yourself and eat as much candy as you can. Hugs from Canada :)

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  19. Maybe you're pregnant :) Just kidding.

    I have read the Hunger Games and blogged the crap out of them- good YA lit, but didn't change my life.

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  20. I'm sorry, girl! :( Give yourself props for sticking it out though! Many people would have given up completely and you didn't! I know it's not the time you wanted but be kind to yourself based on the circumstances!
    I loved the Hunger Games series. I can't wait until the movie comes out.
    I definitely wallow and have been known to throw a pity party for one. ;)

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  21. Oh sugar, I am SOOO sorry you had such a horrible race experience! I know that you were really looking forward to this race but goodness, even if you weren't, barfing is NEVER fun in a race. (or, you know, ever actually)
    I think hibernating for a bit sounds like a great plan. *hugs* from Texas!

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  22. oooo Vanessa! I am SO sorry you had such a crappy race. I can totally empathize with you and you even brought a tear to my eye! You are capable and you will do better next one.

    You are NOT the last one to read them. I have for months said I need to (and in fact my daughter owns them) I need to HURRY before the movie comes out ACK the tickets are already on sale! You have inspired me to start today!

    Many hugs for you!!!! XOXOXOXO

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  23. Vanessa, I'm sorry that you went through such a rough time in your race yesterday. But you finished another half marathon, just log it on the books and move on girl!
    I love The Hunger Games, I read those books so fast! I can't wait for the movie to come out!

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  24. I'm sorry you had a bad race. Everyone gets them sometimes, we all know that you just had a bad day. It happens. Odds are that you'll have those once in awhile. Wallow in it if you want to, but at least you finished. :)

    PS- We are shoe twins.

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  25. Well in leu of a post it note - "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!"

    I'm sorry the race sucked - it happens. It's not the end of the world . . . even if it feels like it. Every run and race is a learning experience. Think how much you grew mentally by continuing to finish all 13.1 barf filled miles? That's a huge test to your mental power and your ability to overcome - that . . . that alone is worth celebrating . . . even with licorice jelly beans :)

    Tomorrow is another run or race (or the next day or even in a week from now) - and know that you gained so much from this race experience that you are a better person, blogger, and runner for it!!!!

    I'm REALLY sorry you got sick and had a bad run. If I were there I would give you a hug and tell you that you are the woman!

    Hope you feel better - mentally and physically!

    Hugs bloggy friend!

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  26. It is shitty when you don't hit your plan, but pat yourself on the back for continuing on the final 10 miles after vomit #1...that took something impressive to do!! Get back on it tomorrow, and leave this one in the dust and just concentrate on the Georgia marathon.

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  27. I'm sorry your day didn't go as planned. :( What is UP with the puking??? You don't do that during training, do you? So weird... I hope you get it figured out ASAP. Puking sucks. ESPECIALLY inexplicable race day puking.

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  28. Hi Vanessa,
    I don't even know you, but I read your blog and I appreciate your honesty! We all have bad days. Hang in there and know that you rock! I've never even run a half marathon, but you inspire me to try it this year! Even if you had a bad race, be encouraged by the fact that you are an inspiration to others.
    Kathryn S.

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  30. Bummer on a bad race :( those kind of days/races suck. Hope you get the gut thing figured and go set a new PR!

    Loved the Hunger Games series! So freaking good! So hard to put down and I was so disappointed by the way it ended..the wrong guy got the girl in my opinion.

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  31. I am so sorry about the bad race! A applaud you for getting through, I don't know that I would after puking, I'm a baby!! I do tend to take a good wallow when I'm having a bad day, then I try to get peppy again and get on with things. I hope you are feeling much better about things tomorrow.

    I have read The Hunger Games and ADORED them!! I am anticipating the movie and reading the first book with my oldest daughter as prep.

    Way to go on the PR, Tim!

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  32. Sucks. And there's nothing wrong with sitting with that and being pissed.

    Sorry that it didn't turn out well.

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  33. Girl, you completely deserve to take a day, or three, to sulk and be miserable! Bad races happen to us all and you'll feel better and be able to put it in perspective soon, but sometimes you just need a good day of being bummed as part of the healing process, lol. I KNOW I DO!!!! Hope you can figure out all the stomach stress soon!! and blogs are a great place to vent so don't feel bad!

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  34. So sorry about your race :( HUGE props for not giving up! I think if I was struggling that much at mile 3, I would have for sure quit. In my eyes, you are a rockstar.

    I am a firm believer that wallow time is important, as long as I put a limit on it for myself. For example, I found out last Friday that I was losing my job for next school year. I spent the weekend drinking Shamrock Shakes, shopping, watching Felicity and Twilight, and drinking wine with friends. And definitely feeling sorry for myself. Classic wallow. By this weekend, I am forcing myself to move on and take control of what I can--the future.

    Oh, and I am OBSESSED with Hunger Games. Planning on rereading them soon to get ready for the movie!

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  35. the quirky gf runnerFebruary 26, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Pooh. I am sorry your body wasn't cooperating with you!
    Did you change up foods in the last few days? Do anything different?
    You knocked out 13.1 when you felt like carp...that's something to be proud of!

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  36. I'm so so sorry Vanessa. I give you so much credit for finishing rather than throwing in the towel. I know you feel crappy about it, but I hope you know how strong you are both mentally and physically. You never give up and I love that about you! Sending you lots of hugs. Feel better.

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  37. Sorry about your race, but I admire you not giving up.

    I loved Hunger Games and miss them, if that makes sense. I can't wait for the movie.

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  38. So sorry it was a crappy race but you didn't give up. You DID finish! And that is the important thing!!

    I have all three but haven't read them yet. I guess I should that soon since the movie is coming out....

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  39. That freaking BLOWS! However, the fact that you threw up at mile three and then KEPT GOING, is pretty incredible. Even if your body was the worst, mentally, you're awesome.

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  40. I am so darn sorry...we've all been there, and I empathize deeply. Every run I've had in the last week or so, BLEW, and I can't just seem to pick myself up. Good on you for not quitting!

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  41. I'm sorry.
    I've been there.
    It sucks.
    But remember: This one race does not say anything about your overall fitness or dedication as a runner.

    If you don't believe me, believe Jamoosh (who might or might not have been running longer than we've been alive): http://lastmilelounge.blogspot.com/2012/01/comparison-is-futile.html

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  42. Seriously, I love you for writing this. So many people would have glossed over it; acted like it didn't bother them. But you are so honest. And I adore it.

    I'm sorry this race was a bust for you. And believe me...I had a shitty weekend too so I am right there with you at the jelly bean bowl. ;-) Rest up, eat up, nourish and repair that amazing body of yours and feel better soon :)

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  43. Sorry about your race. It's ok to wallow. I wallow and waddle all the time.

    By the way, Good Job Tim! :)

    Now, go eat more candy and sleep early. Tomorrow will be a better day.

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  44. oh Hun.you are not alone with a very challenging race. I have had vomit and potty issues for 13.1miles too. But like most of the others have said it was not a DNF and you got yourself through it with still a good time. Your training and hard work is still with you even for one bad day. You will have a good race we all believe in you!!

    I also just finished all three hunger games. I just could not put them down!!

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  45. I'm so sorry it didn't go as you had hoped it would. I had a similar race where I mentally checked out early in the game. The first GU I took got stuck on the little bar that holds my front teeth together and broke it! I spent the entire race thinking I was going to have a gap in my teeth at the finish line. Start looking forward to your next race! And way to go Tim!

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  46. i'm so sorry you had such a crappy experience. eat your candy and enjoy the hunger games! tomorrow's a new day!

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  47. So sorry about the race mishaps :( Sometimes it takes a bad race to make the next race that much better, you know?

    It is interesting that you only get sick during races. Do you think maybe it is just all of the excitement and anxiety? My mother used to throw up during major events (job interviews, speaking engagements, etc.) because of anxiety, so even if you aren't feeling extremely anxious, maybe it is just the anxiety manifesting itself in a physical symptom.

    I hope you feel better!

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  48. oh no...you better see a doctor and get things straightened out...you poor thing! you'll kick butt at the next race!

    important thing, you KEPT GOING! eat jellybeans and rest!

    i must be the last, i've never read or heard anything about the hunger games....whew, am i the last one on the planet?

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  49. Awe.... im so sorry to hear. But hey, you finished. :) and i loveeeee black liquorice jelly beans..... great taste! Hope you feel better soon!

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  50. I'm sorry that it wasn't the race you wanted but it is a great race. Any race is a good one. We can always learn from race experiences. So I say congrats!

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  51. Ah so sorry! Maybe I won't eat sushi before my half!

    Hunger Games? Nope, not for me - haven't heard anything that appeals to me. But glad you are enjoying it all.

    Feel better soon, Vanessa!

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  52. Friend. It's totally fine to be disappointed. It was important to you!!! I wish I had advice about the stomach issues, but I struggle myself. Need a good book to pick up? Read Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand. And, seriously, you've got at least a week to wallow. So sorry for you! Next race is ALL YOURS.

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  53. well this is not the post I wanted to read.
    it sucks
    you have every reasons to be dissapointed and feeling crappy
    I have been there, it is no fun
    The puking I know too much about..I have GI problems almost every race, does not matter the distance, if it is at the very end it is easier but when it comes in the first 5 miles it is a disaster.
    you will come back from this.
    I did really bad at Surf City and 2 weeks later I got a PR in Pasadena.
    see? and I am an old dinosaur.
    you will get that PR you will see.

    I have not read those books or the Twilight books..I dont even know what the H Games are about!

    hang in there...don't give up on running...that would be a mistake I think

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  54. I love your honesty. Lady, this race isn't the end of the road for you, and know you did the best you could possibly do on that particular day at that time. I really admire your tenacity to continue on after things went bad so early on- I doubt I would have gutted it out. You are so strong and I hope you figure out what causes the issues in races, but not in training runs.

    Hugs

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  55. I'm pretty sure you didn't give up even though you felt like that...vomiting during a race would be just awful and very difficult to keep going. Hope you can get that figured out. Only time I ever had that issue was when I tried gels - those don't work for me. I allow myself to wallow for a day and then try to forget about whatever put me in the funk.

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  56. I've never puked in a race, but the times I have puked I could barely stumble to the sink to rinse my mouth, so I cannot imagine running 11 miles after that. The fact that you finished is a huge accomplishment, and I am truly impressed by it. Not making your time goal sucks, and being pissed at yourself for giving up sucks. However, you made my day with your HTP dig. That was totally awesome. I hope you can figure out what the issue is that's causing your stomach to rebel!

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  57. Oh Vanessa. I am so, so sorry that this race sucked. What is up with this puking business? What a bummer. I think you'll feel better in a couple of days and be ready to come up with a game plan to address your stomach situation. Hugs and beers sent from WI.

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    1. Hahah I love the "Hugs and Beers"


      On another note, you still did amazingly considering you were puking! That's beast like!

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  58. oh no! I've never had a race where I got sick like that but I can imagine it being terrible. I think I'm an inherently upbeat person. I do give myself the chance to wallow sometimes and I think it's normal and healthy even!

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  59. Oh hugs---it happens to everyone, just hoping your are feeling better and I couldn't think of a better cure than the Hunger Games trilogy. SO FREAKING GOOD!

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  60. A little wallow time is good. I hope you're feeling better.
    I haven't read Hunger Games yet but I heard it's really good.

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  61. Nope. You wallow. You eat all the candy you want. That totally sucks, and you should grieve. You worked hard and it didn't work out. If it were me, I'd cry and throw a fit.

    (And I just read all three books like a week ago, so pretty much I'm behind everyone too.)

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  62. Umm...you kicked my ass in your half marathon time, and I wasn't having stomach issues. Be proud you kept going!

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  63. Lady, you have every reason to feel bummed. When we have high expectations for ourselves, it's even more difficult when we don't meet them. I struggled through a marathon last week and felt like SUCH a loser because I felt so awful the entire 26 miles. I'm only now starting to realize that it's the races that suck, the ones where you have to fight NOT to give up that really define you as a runner. You're greatness isn't always determined by a number on a clock, but how hard you worked for the finish. You are a GREAT runner, be proud!!!

    Now- get yourself to feeling better =)

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  64. I'm so sorry about your bad race! I've had a lot of those before. It's very disappointing to know that you are capable of running much better, but it doesn't happen on race day. :( I am one chapter away from finishing the first Hunger Games book. They're very entertaining. I think you're amazing for not quitting that race!

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  65. So disappointed for you. I can't imagine feeling like that when I run, I don't think I would keep going. Good for you for finishing and with a good time too. There's has to be an explanation for this.
    Loved the Hunger Games (book 1 the most) Can't wait to see the movie.

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  66. i am so sorry you had a not so great run but that happens! hang in there and the next one will be better i bet! i have read the first book of the hunger games and on the waiting list at the library for the second one. after races i always think i could have done better and i always want to hide and get away from everyone that comes to cheer me on! always remember that you are fantabulous

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  67. Vanessa, you just did the MOST DIFFICULT thing ever, which was to push through the half marathon after giving up.

    During my first marathon, I literally called Tappan and had him meet me to pick me up...I had totally given up.

    But pushing through and just finishing that darn thing was way more difficult than giving up. So I know what it's like and I totally admire your determination to finish-- and with a respectable time at that!

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  68. I love a good wallow ... if you want some company I will bring the movies, candy and tim tams. Since you have finished the Hunger games I suggest a discovery of witches.

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  69. Oh, honey, I'm sorry to read about the stomach issues. Definitely get that checked out, as it could be a sign of something else going on.

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  70. Girl I am so sorry but the truth is we all have bad races. I promise I have had my fare share that have left me feeling empty depleted and pissed off. We all know how strong you are and that you had no control over what happened. Shake it off and move on because that is all you can really do. I am sending positive vibes your way and hope you can get things figured out before the full. Let me know if you need anything at all and I am definitely here for you.

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  71. Big hugs. I'm so sorry that you had a bad race. You are amazing for finishing. Seriously. Total determination to pull that off. And yes, I seriously wallow when things get off track, and I'm a pretty happy person typically. Let yourself do it, then dust yourself off & set a new goal.

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  72. Vanessa I'm sorry that your race turned out to be awful, and that you're having such intestinal distress. I've had those races before, the ones that you regret toeing the line to and question why the heck you run anyways. But that feeling passes, I promise. It's a tough pill to swallow when races don't pan out anywhere near our expectations, but goals are funny things and if they were easy they wouldn't be worth it. I was almost 20 minutes off of my goal marathon time last fall, but hell I finished and so did you.

    Chin up girl, you'll get it, pinky swear!

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  73. A friend had puking problems in races and it turned out it was the sugar in her breakfast, gels and drinks. Maybe that's part of the problem??

    ❀Barbara❀
    My Running Shortz

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