Long race recap made short: Sunday was rough. The end.
I’m not sure I’m ready to rehash every detail of the day. It was a long one. I was out there for almost seven hours. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. For well over half of the marathon, I had my friends Carrie and Christi to keep me company. Then, it narrowed down to just Christi and me. She refused to leave my side even when I walked for miles on end. Miles. On. End. That is no exaggeration, y’all.
I knew before mile nine that I was in trouble. Even running around an 11:30 pace felt difficult. My effort level was far too high for that pace and that point in the race. To struggle around mile nine in a marathon? Not good.
I had a lot of time to think while out on the race course. A lot of time.
Here a few things I had chosen to ignore up to marathon day:
(1) I wasn’t prepared mentally.
Honestly, I feel like I’ve been walking around in a semi-depressed zombie state ever since the Little Rock Marathon. I’m not even sure I can adequately explain why. I don’t know if it was the months of build up and anticipation and then . . . it was over? Even though I signed up for the Hogeye Marathon shortly after Little Rock and continued on with my long run training schedule, I kind of felt like I was coasting not accelerating. My mind wasn’t ready when I took to the course Sunday morning.
(2) I had gotten soft.
I slacked off on my early morning classes. I slacked off on eating healthy. I slacked off on my mid-week runs. I grew soft. Yes, my body needed time to recover, but that’s not what I was doing. I was wallowing in laziness and overindulgence.
(3) I grew a big head.
Even though I knew I wasn’t fully on board with my running, cross training and eating, I still thought I could swing another marathon and run it either just as good as Little Rock or even faster. No joke. I thought I was hot stuff. I got too big for my britches. I never said any of this out loud. I’m not sure I was even fully aware that I was thinking it, but once I was knee deep in agony on Sunday . . . I knew. I knew in my heart that I had lied to myself.
When I stepped off that race course Sunday afternoon, I said I was done. I was never running again. Let alone another marathon. I was retiring. Screw running. I was throwing in the towel.
Then, Monday happened.
My heart broke. My spirit cried out.
And I registered for marathon number three.
I didn’t quit on Sunday because my daughter told me the day before about how much she admired me. I didn’t quit on Sunday because my friends wouldn’t give up on me. I didn’t quit on Sunday because of the countless number of volunteers who lined the streets just to encourage me and hand me a cool cup of water. I didn’t quit on Sunday because I didn’t want to look in the mirror the next day and know I had given up when it got hard.
I’m going to run again for my daughter. I’m going to run for my friends. I’m going to run for the spectators who don’t have to be there, but choose to spend hours shouting at random strangers and holding up signs until their arms feel like they may fall off. I’m going to run for Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi.
Now that I’m fully aware of my mental state, my laziness and my pride I’m going to tackle them head on. No more coasting. No more la de da attitude. Things are about to get real.
Nothing in this life is sweeter than coming to the end of a long, hard journey and knowing you could have strayed off the path at any point and found a shorter route, but chose not to ~ you chose the hard path.
I want the hard path. I want the refining it will bring in my life. Why? Because I need it. I need the sandpaper of the hard path to shave off the rough edges of my heart.
Thanks for listening friends.