Debriefing My Garmin Post-Marathon

If you don’t learn from your mistakes you are destined to repeat them. Isn’t that how the saying goes? I didn’t want to look at my time breakdown from the marathon because my time was so awful, not at all what I was capable of or envisioned. Why look at it now? But then I started rereading my training log with all those runs I had showing me that I was running fast for an 8 miler, running at race pace for a 13 miler, running my faster training paces for even those 18 mile night runs I had to do. SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?!!

I keep saying this and my better half keeps reminding me that I was injured. I forget that I was injured going into the race because I feel fine now (note: I’m not running right now). And as time goes on, I keep rewriting more and more race history. I have now convinced myself that I ran a horrible, slow race because I wasn’t fit and didn’t have enough training under my belt. Again, my better half is refuting this and keeps telling me that the proof is in the stats… you know, those numbers that I have refused to look at. But I guess now it’s time.

fitness monitoring

“ha ha ha! Look, my heart just skipped 5 beats! Isn’t this fun!!”








Let’s see…. what invasive tracking should I study first? I never really examine my Garmin stats. I use my Garmin to see if I’m on pace in the moment and that’s it. I think I look at it once or twice a year, always after a marathon. And I’ve never used the Garmin app before that I can recall. Wow… Garmin tracks EVERYTHING. Time, calories and pacing are so 2010! The Garmin 220 app tracks your moving time vs elapsed time (thanks, I had successfully blocked that out but ok), your average run cadence vs your maximum run cadence (great, now I have to look up whether mine is good or bad), your average stride length (that’s a thing?!), elevation gain and loss, pace per mile, overall time, and then provides you with elaborate graphs of all that data so you can really see your failure in full color high definition.

This is what I found out about Marine Corps:

Up until mil 9 I was doing my “run conservative” thing. Then I started getting antsy because I felt so good. So for the next 2 miles I started going faster. Then I realized that it was crazy to start trying for a negative split this early so I forced myself back down for what I thought would be me waiting to crank it out at mile 18. Instead, what happened is that I slowed down by a full minute at mile 17. Miles 21 & 22 were my worst. That much I knew, but interesting to see proof. Those miles were on that horrible incline to Crystal City. Once I got there I regained my mile 17 pace, which wasn’t great but faster than those 2 bad miles.

So why don’t I feel better now? I know my foot was hurting really bad on those hills and that all of the ups and downs ended up taking a toll by the time the last part of the race was unfolding. But I can’t shake the idea that it wasn’t my foot at all… that it was just me. If I had been a stronger runner I could have dealt with the plantar fasciitis in a way that wouldn’t have cost me so much time. If I had done more hills, I wouldn’t have been yet again destroyed by hills during a race.

Florida elevation chart

I don’t live or train anywhere in the green; WDW Marathon is in the green

But I was at my racing weight! I had done the training and the intervals at speed for my plan! Did I just run inside too much? Yes, I did a lot of treadmill running, but every time I did an outside run I was doing it FAST! I didn’t do many of my long runs over 15 miles outside because I didn’t have a choice (weather and spouse’s schedule). But was that the real reason I had problems?

Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. My Garmin stats did not make me feel better. And I’m in danger of doing something really rash – like signing up for either A1A Marathon in Fort Lauderdale (FLAT!) or signing up for Tallahassee Marathon (FLAT? & COLD). I’m telling you, I get one good double digit run under my belt here soon, where my foot doesn’t hurt, and I think I’m going to do it. Why didn’t I start with these in the first place?! Fort Laud is by the sea just like where I train! Racing in an area completely opposite of how you train is stupid! (Ergo I am stupid)

5 responses to “Debriefing My Garmin Post-Marathon

  1. Awwww- I want to just give you a big hug and bop you in the head (tough love-lol!).

    You trained so well, you did what you were capable of doing and your body and your will got you through 26.2 miles.

    You were injured and you fought through that and ran 26.2 miles!! Hello! You go girl!

    Those hills were brutal (so I hear. ). I heard many people struggled miles 21 and 22 -you were not alone there.

    I can feel your trigger finger itching right now. One of those races will see you.

    Is all of your pain gone?


    • Thanks for all the positivity! Most of my pain is gone. I’ve only run once since the marathon and it felt fine. But my pf aches a teeny tiny bit. I know people spend years bettering their marathon time. I could live with that little-by-little progression. But this year I went backward! And that’s hard to just sit with, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • yup-totally get it! That was me at RnR DC-I had trained perfectly…though -10 degrees and all!!! Then race day came, it rained, it was cold and windy, my knee was not having it!!!!
        But I did make up for it in my next half and feel pretty good about that 🙂


  2. Don’t be so hard on yourself! No matter how well you trained, once you’re injured it becomes a huge challenge to meet your expectations. The most important is you started and finished the race and took part in the MCM experience. I looked at my Garmin stats as well and those miles going into Crystal City were the most difficult because of the incline. I understand how hard it is to train for hills when you live at sea level without varying terrains. When you feel better and back to running, you can do some hill intervals on the treadmill as an option. Rest well and recover!


    • Thanks. Yes, I tried do do hill intervals on the treadmill but I was always so scared of injuring myself that I would usually stop early or skip it. I love my treadmill but it feels so unnatural to me to do hill training on there. I’m going to have to figure this out if I ever do another hilly race (not any time soon!). I know a lot of people live in flat areas and still figure out these races. I’m completely just being whiny here! It’s me not the hills! xoxo Virginia hills!


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