What happens when you train for something for 20 weeks, and when that day comes, it’s a total cluster f*ck?
That’s how I feel about my race.
I trained. I worked hard. I conducted an experiment of one. I did my homework. I kept logs and journals. I know exactly what I ate, when I ate it on every run. I gu’d, stingered and liquid aided myself for 20 odd weeks. I did tempo runs. I did long runs. I did hot runs. I ran with people and I ran alone. I mentally pictured myself on the course. I crossed on cross days and I rested on rest days… and …
Nothing I did to prepare myself for the marathon made a difference, because I was sick.
I was sick and I sucked, only, I didn’t know that at the time. I thought I was just sucking for some reason.
Bad runs happen. They happen to all of us. They could happen to anyone at any given time. I know this.
But somehow, in my mind, I feel like the world was my witness at my suckage.
I guess there are a few ways I could handle this.
1) I could quit running marathons. Give them up. Walk away. Embrace other distances that are less mentally challenging and physically demanding. Distances that require less recovery. And distances that are easily raced. Not because they’re easy, but because the races are easily found. If you screw up a 5K, wait till next weekend, they’ll be another one 3 miles away. For that matter, there are probably 8 to choose from, so you can pick the flattest course or the one with the most spectators or the one that supports the charity you prefer. And there’s no shame in a 10K. I think shorter distances are really underrated. That’s where you gain your speed. So there you go. Option 1. Quit marathons. Get Faster.
2) I could find another race to RACE, and figure out if this was an isolated occurrence. It’s risky. What if I suck at the next one? That will be the nail in the coffin. It could be so mentally crushing that I don’t bounce right back and recover. Or. What if I RULE the next one? What if I own it? Destroy it? Blow my expectations out of the water, or at the very least, meet the expectations.
3) I could find another race to run, and see what happens. Instead of shooting for some UBER GOAL, I could just go for a run and see what happens.
It really comes down to two things. I am faced with the choice to walk away or to walk on.
Just, the thing is, that the old me… the one you all don’t know... she would have walked away. She would have said, “well, that sucked, we probably hated running anyway. Let’s take up roller blading” and that would have been that…
...and that’s just not who I am any more.
So I will decide what my heart wants to do…
In the mean time, I’m just going to run without any pressure or plan.
~savor the run~