The Lincoln Marathon, 8,000 strong; it's an AWESOME atmosphere, one of the best races I've been to for crowd support and drink stations.
Well, today is not how I wanted it to be. Instead of finishing the Lincoln Marathon in 3 hrs and 45 minutes, I finished the 1/2 marathon in 1 hour and 58 minutes. I don't know nor understand what happened. I have trained for 18 weeks and am strong enough to successfully complete my goal. The stars aligned and the conditions were right, although it was a little warm for me. I knew at about mile 4 that something was just wrong. My injury was feeling good, my legs were strong, breathing was just as it should except for a cough every few hundred feet. I could deal with it. BUT when your body runs out of gas that early, there's no way you can replenish what you have lost nor what you are about to expend. I did my carb loading, I rested, I did was I was supposed to do. I got up at 2:30 the night before and ate more carbs. I drank enough then didn't drink much two hours before (so I wouldn't be running to the port-a-potties during the race). It was all good. But even before I started running, I told my husband that I just didn't feel full. I felt hungry. I ate more than a linebacker should, I ate constantly the past day, plus lots of carbs the two days before that. I got lots of sleep. But my body didn't show up. I simply couldn't finish the full marathon without compromising my health, let alone qualify for Boston. I decided that I needed to finish the 1/2 marathon and get home. I didn't want to end up passed out because I had no fuel left, which is how I thought it could very well end up. I didn't want to hurt my leg further (I'm icing it as I type this~yes, it hurts but was fine while running). I didn't want to get to mile 22 and not qualify AND hurt something. So I stopped at 13.1 miles . I NEVER thought I would do that. Never in a zillion years. But my body told me that I needed to stop. Rarely do I ever listen to anyone (just ask my husband), but I had a feeling that today wasn't going to be it. I knew around mile 4 that I wasn't going to be able to keep it up. I did until about mile 9 and then decided to just finish the frickin' 1/2 and be done.
I'm mad, sad, depressed, ANGRY, and lots of other feelings. Disappointed is probably the biggest one, mostly in myself, but some for myself. I was really hoping to celebrate today, or to at least finish the full marathon in good accord. I knew at the time, stopping half way was the right thing to do. Rarely do I ever "give up" or take the short way, but something told me to just stop. So I listened. I wonder now if I could have just walked it out for a mile, finished in good 4 1/2 hours or something. I need to stop that, but I am a very competitive person, so I have to wonder. But my motherly voice to myself tells me I did the right thing. It's just a marathon, there's lots more. Boston has been there for a billion years, it will be there in two more.
So my question is: What do I do now? I have my Storm Lake, Marathon to Marathon all planned out. With the wonderful crowds and atmosphere at Lincoln, do I want to compete on a road through corn fields virtually by myself in June when it's even warmer? I know that I can finish in the time I want, the question is if I can finish in that time ON A RACE DAY. That's a big question. I guess I don't know if I want to be this disappointed right now, plus the conditions will not even be close to today's. It really doesn't matter, as I tried. I tried today, I failed to perform today. I'm upset, sad, disappointed, weepy. The funny thing is that I ran 13.1 miles today and I feel like I walked around the block. I'm not really tired. Besides the injury, I'm not even sore! I didn't even need a nap. It's like a sick joke. I was ready to run 26.2. Sigh, one can never tell, nor control what happens with everything in your life. Some of us are slow learners.
I have a dream, a passion that burns inside me. I am a runner. I am proud that I tried, I'm proud that I could make the decision to stop. I'm just proud that I could attach to a dream and come pretty darned close to making it come true. I did the work, it didn't pan out. Deep breath. Life will go on, I will keep running. Who knows, some day I may get there. Maybe not. But as for me, I'm just going to keep on, keepin' on.
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I can't forget to thank my mom and dad for watching my kids while I went to Lincoln. I thank my sister and friends who have given me so many words of love and support. But most of all, thank you to my wonderful husband, who has inspired me to be a better person. Thank you for taking care of the boys so many times when I was running, napping, eating. Thank you for your confidence and kindness. Thank you for supporting me trying again, whether it be in Marathon or this fall. I love that you love your crazy wife. I love you. Thank you.