I do marathons in my sleep… literally

I knew the race was not going to go well:
-When it was 30 degrees out and we were shivering at the start.
-When I got my first and only runners high a few minutes after getting to the start, while listening to the pre-race music.
-When I was absolutely exhausted and feeling like I was at mile 22… but it was only mile 2.
-When I didn’t have the energy to thank the volunteers or even ask “water or Gatorade?”… at mile 6.
-When I watched the 4:00 pace group pass me just after the halfway point, and I thought, “there goes my goal. There goes my job. Oh well.” And proceeded to take a walk break.
-Oh, and the big one? When I actually fell asleep while running around mile 16.

Running 07

After that, I did a combination of walking and running (running very little because after about 30 seconds of running I felt like I would die – not because of my muscles but because I didn’t have the breath to keep going). I could barely keep my eyes open even though I was blasting my peppiest wake up music on my iPod. I contemplated taking a power nap on the course and asking a spectator to wake me up, but I realized that if I did that, they’d probably cart me off to the medical tent and wouldn’t let me finish. And I did finish: 4:32.

Finish 1

Note: totally fake smile.

My flight isn’t till 5 PM CST, so I was going to go explore Tulsa, but I think I’m skipping that in favor of going directly to the airport and falling asleep at my gate. Tomorrow, I am going to the doctor to see if I have mono or what the heck is wrong. So yeah, I’m still depressed, and for once, running a marathon didn’t improve my mood. In fact, it made me feel like even more of a failure.



  1. Sorry it didn’t go well. It does sound like you need a nap and then a good night’s sleep tonight. I hope things look better in the morning.

  2. Hope you feel better. Nothing about finishing a marathon constitutes failure, especially if you were falling asleep :)

  3. You are most certainly NOT a failure!

    Travel safe home and regroup tomororw. I recommend ice cream. :o)

  4. Aw Laura, its likely stress with your job. You will overcome this and you did finish (and it a very respectable time) and knock off another state! Hang in there!

  5. Sorry it didn’t go well, but you definitely finished with a good time, considering how you were feeling. I hope you feel better quickly and that everything is fine with your job.

  6. Aww, hang in there. Your time is still good, even if it wasn’t your goal. I hope you feel better after a good nights sleep.

  7. A 4:32 marathon is great considering the stress you are going through. Try to relax and rest tonight – you will be in my thoughts tomorrow.

  8. I’m sure the employment Gods wouldn’t frown on a 4:32 showing ;-). Nor shall I.

    You’ll feel better once you know what’s going on. Good luck, call me if you need to yell indiscrimnantly at someone. I’m good for that ;-)

  9. I’m sure you’re not the first to go to Tulsa and want to just sleep. You’ve picked a pretty big goal (50 marathons/50 states) and they aren’t all going to be awesome. You’ll recover.

  10. GAH… hope you feel better soon girl!! times are tough right now and i hope everything at work goes ok tomorrow.

    still… you finished ANOTHER marathon in a time that i know a lot of people would love to have. CONGRATS! another state down :)

  11. 4:30 is still an excellent marathon time.

    Hope you feel better soon. I’m sidelined due to knee pain so I feel your misery.

  12. If it makes you feel better, you slept and you were still faster than me.
    Hope it all works out!

  13. Hi Laura you did great!!!! You really did!!

    I am sorry for all the stress you felt during the race!! Listen, no matter what happens tomorrow,

    GIRL you ROCK!!!

    Take care of yourself and get some sleep!!!

  14. Sorry you’re bummed chicka. I suggest you take some time and have some much needed healthy time. Sounds like you are in desperate need of immense amounts of sleep, tons of cleansing fruits and veggies, a massage or soak, and aromatherapy. Throw a chick flick in the mix and you’ll be all set!

  15. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You got ‘er done and that is still a great time.

    Hope you feel better!

  16. Condolences!

    I have definitely found that mental/emotional stress takes a bigger toll out of race performance than seems reasonable…

  17. seriously – after all that – you still pulled out a 4:32 – that is such a great time! Get some sleep and hopefully everything will work out for the best!

  18. sorry it didn’t go as planned…but you still did it! And I must say 4:32 with walking thrown in is great! I have my fingers crossed that you are just paranoid about the job thing…best of luck!

  19. Hope you feel better – I’m sure it will all work out for the best.

  20. I’m sorry you had such a rough time, Laura. Just remember that tomorrow is another day and that there will be other races. And that you are smart and strong and will recover, no matter what happens with your job.

  21. You definitely looked like you were in the zone when I saw you on the hills of the final 3 miles. Wasn’t sure it was you until I saw the maniac singlet and gave a quick “looking good!”

    Your time kicked ass – Good Job!

  22. :( You aren’t a failure. By any stretch of the imagination.

  23. Ooooo – you sound so stressed. But I think you’re great! Finishing the marathon when you felt like that? Major accomplishment.

  24. damn. Im in awe that you started and finished.

    for reals.

    I may never ever…

  25. I have totally done that! (Fall asleep while running, that is) But you still had a great race! Imagine if you really took the time to train properly for one marathon–you’d probably score a BQ easily!

  26. Just think back, and realize what you’ve accomplished in the last few months. Maybe it wasn’t a PR, or close, but *wow* you ran another marathon. And you’re literally running around the country! Thats pretty amazing.

  27. holy crap !! I am in AWE !!! Look pal.. you are not a failure. I have no clue how you could finish the marathon when you are dealing with so much stressors. That’s unbelievable. Hat off to you for getting the job done.

  28. I might have an M.D. degree but I absolutely have no physiologic explanation for how someone can fall asleep while running? Really, is that really possible?

    Anyway, you sound like you need massive doses of ZZZs and some rest. If that is not enough, maybe you should get checked out for vitamin deficiency or other medical condition.

    Hope everything sorts itself out for you.

  29. You run more in your sleep than I can run at my most awake. You are NOT a failure. Good luck with the job scenario… and get some rest.

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  31. 4 was a typo you meant 5 right!

  32. ok it’s tuesday where are you what’s going on?????

  33. Congrats on finishing yet another marathon. Think aboout that. You’ve done 10…not sure where that puts you statistically, but that’s pretty damned impressive.

    Good luck with the job thing. If you can run marathons, you can find work, right?

  34. That’s incredible–I’ve fallen asleep at the starting line before, but not while running!

  35. Hi Laura,
    I’m an academic physician (formerly at Harvard and Stanford) who found your blog while looking for the best health writers. I think your writing is great! I would like to feature you in the Running Community on Wellsphere, a top 10 health website that has well over 2 million visitors monthly.

    If you would like to learn more, just drop me an email to Dr.Rutledge@wellsphere.com

  36. You fell asleep? Wow. And still did a 4:32. Double-wow!

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