Shit man, that was close. I almost nailed that sucker…Almost! The goal was always to run qualifying pace as long as I friggen could, and I did that, was on pace to qualify until 37km, then I blew the hell up! I blew up so friggen hard! As it was happening it was absolutely agonizing and heartbreaking, but looking back on it now it was hilarious and I’m quite proud of myself. I did what I do man, huge FFTF that had me reduced to the physical state of a of drunk 16yr old girl combined with a freshly dead human succumbing to the effects of rigor mortis. If ya check out the splits you will see that I may have been a bit ambitious to start, but there is a reason for that. Let me explain, keep reading I’ll give ya’ll a race recap.
Okay, race report. Initially coming into the race I was just looking to run 3:06 per km for as long as possible, just even and chill. I wasn’t concerned about what the other folks were doing, this was my plan and I was happy to do it. Then Mother Nature decided to be a whore. The forcast was calling for a windy one on race day. Windy enough that the prospect of dealing with it on my own would have been just stupid (sure a 64:40 1st half may have been equally stupid…shut up). So the day before the race I decided that I had to go with a group as to have people to work with and bodies to block the wind.
There were only two groups to choose from. There was the world record group going out in 61:30. Let me just take a quick second to repeat myself here. Yeah, the lead group was planning on going through the half in 61:30…that is effed. Then there was the group that was put together for the Dutch guy who had to run sub 2:10 to qualify for the Olympics (and we thought our standard was hard!) Luckily they wanted to break 2:10 as evenly as possible, so 65:00 was the half split. That was my group, good ole’ group 2.
As race day came I was excited and relaxed. It is a great feeling heading into a race knowing that you are ready and prepared. I knew that I had prepared as well as I could have. The night before the race I ate about two pounds of ugali to top up the ole’ glycogen and then there was nothing left to do but give it a go.
So on to the race, first thing is that the start line at Rotterdam is nuts. You’d think that for such a big race they’d have a wider start than a two lane road. But they don’t, the start was a mosh pit, the cannon went off and I was throwing bows and sprinting outta that gate like a sonofabitch. Luckily I got off the line unscathed, sadly the same can not be said for my man Dylan W. About 500m into the race Dylan rolled up on my shoulder; “That’s f***ing awesome man, I went down!” As he said this he gapped me, as a result of the fall Dylan easily threw in a 65sec 400 to start the race. Money in the bank!
So we settled in and got to rolling, 1st km was a 3:07, perfect. Next km was a 3:04, okay I guess. Then a 3:03… Oh well, this was my group. I would need them later on.
We came to the 1st bottle station at 5km, the bottle tables were just a cluster fudge of miscellaneous bottles, I just ran by, didn’t even see mine, oops. Dylan was kind enough to share his bottle with me, that was super nice of him. We kept on rolling, the 5km between 5-10km was covered in 15:10, shit was on! We came to bottle station #2, I saw my bottle this time and grabbed it, success!..or not, it was not my bottle. I had accidentley grabbed some random bottle. I felt bad and tried to put it back, and in the process of doing so knocked down about 10 other bottles, it was a horrible failure, and I was bottle less again. Once again Dylan hooked me up, I was starting to feel like a damn fool.
We kept rolling, next 5km covered in 15:20. As we approached bottle station #3 I was getting a little concerned about my lack of fluid and carbs intake. We got to the tables, I slowed way the hell down, spotted my bottle and grabbed that sucker. I then made sure to drink every damn drop of that bottle! It was good, but during this process I got gapped hard! I covered the km between 15-16km in 3:15 and lost 10sec on the group. I was a little annoyed as the whole reason to roll with this group in the first place was to have people there to fight the wind with as it was gonna hammer us between 20-30km. I increased my pace in an effort to catch the group. At about 18km a dude on a motorbike came up on my shoulder and informed me in a very charming Dutch accent “You must catch them by 20km or you will be all alone in the wind!” He was genuinely concerned. I just gave him a thumbs up and said “working on it dude!” I dropped a 9:00min 3km split between 16-19km and got back on the group a little after 19km. That was certainly not ideal, I’m not very smart sometimes.
The wind hit us a 20km and I was very happy to be in our group, it was pretty annoying. We covered the 10km between 20-30km in 31:25, and it felt like we were pushing hard! This was probably also due to the fact that we rolled a 64:40 1st half and fatigue was settling. I was cautiously optimistic at this point. I was hurting, but it didn’t seem to horrible…yet. Fast forward 2km…by 32km I was suffering. Wow, that happened fast!
So coming into the last 10km things were starting to get ugly. I had been dropped by the group and was starting to suffer. I came through 35km and even though I was hurting greatly I was still moving alright and was still on pace. But by 37km it was over man, my legs basically shut off and life was sad. I ran a 3:35km between 37-38km. I tried to remain positive, I told myself that I’d be fine, I could still do it, I just had to dig! Man, the next 2min of my life was just pathetic. I put my head down, let out a mighty grunt and attempted to rally. But all that happened was that I kinda just swung my arms back and forth very aggressively and almost fell over. Survival mode last 4km for a finishing time of 2:13:37.
What happened at the finish line was very embarrassing, yet pretty funny. So I crossed the finish line and immediately fell on my face. A bunch of people ran over and started saying shit in Dutch, I just kinda groaned. I got thrown on a stretcher, it was glorious, I fell asleep. As I was getting carted away I woke up and immediately threw up all over a random dutch man. He was not happy. I was taken into the medical area and they put me beside a bed…I threw up all over the bed, we went to a different bed. It was better.
At that moment I had never been more uncomfortable in my entire life. My guts were effed, I was cramping like a surly bastard, I had gone hypothermic and I was sad I didn’t get standard. It was rough man. But then I got a whole bunch of sweet drugs through an IV, a massage and a whole bunch of blankets. I was useless and pathetic. I really gotta learn better pacing skills.
The finish line medic crew at the Rotterdam Marathon was top notch. I kept joking with them that I wanted a beer, later I happened to run into all the medics at the post race banquet. They were happy that I had gotten my hands on a beer and they informed me that I looked much better than the last time they had seen me. One of the medics had even taken pictures of me during my time in medical, he was supposed to e-mail to me but never did, I wish I had these to share with you folks, they are pathetic.
So anyways that was my race. I’m sad that I did not get the time I was looking for, but I’m ok with it. You can’t complain about a 3min PB, that would be an asshole move, I’m not an asshole. I am proud of my effort and I know that I can do better. Better pacing, better fueling execution and better weather will all help make the next one faster. Coming into this race I had given myself an ultimatum. If I didn’t go sub 2:15 I was going to retire from competitive running. I love this sport to the very core, but to justify doing it at this level I wanted to actually be good at it.
I am very encouraged with this result. I was starting to wonder if maybe I just wasn’t built to be a marathoner. I’m 6’3, 150ish lbs with a size 12foot, definitely not an ideal build for the marathon. But now I know that physically I’ll be okay. It’s my stupid friggen head I gotta control now. 2:13 is a good starting point as I transition into the next phase of my running career. I’m excited man. Onward to Rio!
Quick shout out to the Canadian Ladies Krista and Lanni on absolutely killing it out there in Rotterdam! 2:32 and 2:31, unbelievable! Great girls, so happy for them.
Also Dylan Wykes, yeah man. He did it, he was brilliant out there. Little known fact, at about 28km I could see that Dylan was suffering, and I remembered how fired up and adrenalized he was after falling earlier in the race. So I ran over and pushed him down, needless to say he bounced back up got a second wind and ended up with his 2:10:47, you’re welcome dude. How amazing is it that Canada will have 3 dudes in London? That is just rad.
Thanks again for all the support both before and after the race. You guys continue to humble me. Thanks to all my friends who continue to support me through everything. Jane (I swear we’re just friends!) you continue to rock, thanks for being rad.
I really can’t articulate how much love I have for my family. Thanks so much to brothers Mike, Scott and Erik, and sister Kristen, I love you all! Aunt Jill (1984 Olympic Heptathlete) Thanks for always being there with your love. Coach/ Brother Pete; dude has always been so important to me in my running, now he has played a massive part in getting me back on my feet and running fast. I love that guy. And obviously Mom and Dad are simply the best fucking people in the world.
Okay, over and out.