How did the race go????? To be brutally honest I wanted to cry as I crossed the finish line. Not out of happiness but out of pure disappointment. I had trained so hard. I had put so much pressure on myself and perhaps had unrealistic expectations for the race. A good friend said “We love and support everyone else in our lives but we can easily be guilty of being too hard on ourselves. Tell yourself exactly what you would say to one of your boys if they were in your shoes.” SO TRUE
Let’s go back to the beginning. My training went really well. I put in a lot of miles and speed work to help prepare for the race. I felt confident and ready going into it. Maybe so confident that I set my goal too high! I tapered and relaxed leading up to the weekend. I got lots of rest. Everything was falling into place. By Saturday I was so pumped to run that couldn’t wait to sleep. I set everything out the night before. I had my breakfast ready, my clothes laid out and my plan written. It was go time!
The morning of race day the weather could not have been better….or so I thought. I met up with my running friend, Carey, who had decided last minute to run. She is a great motivator and strong runner so I was excited to get to run with her. We had a fabulous start, trying to take the first 3 miles easy….maybe I shouldn’t have. I was feeling great until we hit mile 6. We were headed down Portage against the wind. It was a stretch of about a mile that felt much longer. Only to get to the 2 hills on the course and then more wind. By mile 11 I was done! The feeling of failure and puke lingered. Carey suggested that we take a walk break. Just as we stopped I was greeted by a local runner, Junel. He asked for a selfie and high five. It couldn’t have been better timing. Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation from someone else. After I solid minute of walking we were backing at it. I wish I could say I finished strong but strong is NOT how I felt….defeated perhaps. The finish line seemed so far away. As I approached all I could think about was stopping. There was no joy, just pain. I didn’t get a real chance to take in that moment so I’m a bit bummed.
This was a learning experience for sure, one that I will take with me for a long time. I only want love in running. Perhaps that is the fastest I want to run. I want to enjoy the experience and not set high expectations again or at least not in the near future.
So as I sit here a full 24 hours later I am able to reflect on this experience. I am most grateful for all the kind words and encouragement from all my family and friends. It helps more than you know. I am grateful my body is able to run 13.1 miles. I am grateful my body will push further with each run. I was able to take a solid 8 minutes off my time from this race last year. That is HUGE! I know I gave 100% yesterday and I have no regrets!!!
What is the best/worst experience you have had running? What did it teach you?