Monday, October 10, 2011

So Here's The Problem: I Never Puke!

The last mile and a half of the Denver Rock n Roll Half Marathon is downhill - and if there's one thing I'm not totally sucky at, it's running downhill. I've got plenty in the tank, and so I turn it on - my last mile is about 7:10 (overall pace was 7:50), and I'm feeling fine. At the very end I'm in a pack of four or five women. The crowd yells "come on ladies!" I'm not really racing them (they all look to be in their 20s), my goal is a NYC qualifier (1:44 for my age, and I came in at 1:42:49). But as usually we all duke-it-out to the wire. One young woman catches me in the last second, crosses the timing mats, bends
over and pukes her guts out! 
Here she is, bottom center

"NICE job!" I think to myself - I don't actually pat her on the back and tell her this because, well, she's puking. But jeeze, why don't I ever puke my guts out at the end of a race? Why am I so weak, so wimpy, so bloody conservative? This young woman gave it all she had. I can't imagine how she must have felt in the seconds before the finish - and she still got by me. What's wrong with me? I gotta get some grit, some killer instinct.

I'm running a couple 10ks in the coming weeks - and I have to say that this distance is not my current favorite - It hurts me more than halfs and marathons - but my goal right now is to work on my speed, and I don't do that very well unless there's some pressure. So races are a good way for me to push it. But here's the problem: I'm still not really pushing it. Oh, I may think I am in the moment, but then I feel fresh as a daisy the day after a race and run a nice 'recovery' ten miler! Puking aside, if I can run 10 miles the next morning then I clearly didn't run the race very hard. When I was younger I raced with all I had in me - and the next day I could barely walk, never mind run. Can I still do that? I wonder.

So, here I say it, for all the world to see: I want to run these races 'til I puke. Well, maybe, or maybe not - but at least I want to be just a little sore and tired after the race. Clearly my belief that I'm push it is bogus. I want to see if I still have it in me to really try hard and risk blowing up, or perhaps really succeeding. I've been playing it too safe. Well, no more...


  1. This made me laugh so hard! I'm know for having crazy finishing kicks. I've been overheard saying, "If I don't feel like I'm going to throw up at the end of the race, I didn't kick hard enough." So yeah, I can laugh along with this because I too have said hey ~ why didn't I puke?

  2. Thanks for the encouragement to follow my dreams!! I'm gonna do this thing ;)

  3. I finally dry heaved/puked at my last race - I hadn't done that since a really hard practice in college track. I think the puke threshold depends on the person and the race.

  4. I can count on 1 hand the times I've puked in my adult life and still have fingers left over. Haven't in 6 years and I've only been running for 1.5 years. But you hit me between the eyes with your challenging words to push harder, in the every day, because that'll make pushing harder feel natural during the big races. Appreciated that!

  5. Some may think this is a joke but I find it totally serious. I have thought the same thing recently. As I have increased my speed over the last few years I know that to eek out any faster splits I have to break through the puke barrier. It has to come and I have to welcome it, embrace it, be one with it. Another dailymiler watched a half marathon last fall. The winner finished in 1:12 if I recall correctly, crossed the line and puked. Talk about letting it all go. Maybe there is a fear factor to not crossing that barrier ..


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