Thursday, April 24, 2014

Runners Tell All: Well, That Was Bad

Topic: Share a bad race or training experience and what you learned from it.
So, I’m pretty sure if you’ve been around for a while you know exactly what I’m about to reference.
It’s long detailed but that is absolutely my worst race, hands down. And it wasn’t actually anything about the race itself, really just the circumstances (*ahem* shitty weather closing the course on me *ahem*) of it all. Making a goal and working towards it for 5 months only to have it slip from your feet 2 miles from the finish line takes a toll on your emotions.
It’s been nearly two months and I’d like to say “I’m all good now!” but whenever it pops up in my mind, or I see someone post about their training, I get all side-eyed with myself. Because certainly had I trained harder, I would have been faster and already been done, right? Or perhaps I should have paid closer attention to the course itself before I registered? Maybe I needed more hill training? I shouldn’t have walked, I could have kept pushing through – I think? It’s probably because I didn’t eat enough carbs the week before. Yep, that’s got to be it.
After the constant barrage of what-ifs my mind has slung at me since March 2nd the one thing I know for certain that I should have done before my marathon is this -
Take into account the unknown
I had absolutely no doubt in my head I would cross that finish line. And it wasn’t that I was focused on a certain time, I had allowed myself to acknowledge that it may not be the time I want but DAMMIT it was going to be a time. And, I think for training, that was a good thing. I wanted it and there was nothing that was going to stop me – but then there was. And for me personally, I prefer knowing all my options before going into something.
For example, when I was pregnant I knew I wanted an epidural and to deliver vaginally. HOWEVER, I also knew that things happen so I also researched breathing techniques/pain management and c-sections just to cover my bases. I also (I know this will sound morbid, but this is how I roll) looked into stillbirths, etc. Because that is also a possibility. I felt prepared. Much like I felt I was prepared for my marathon ending.

Having the weather close me down wasn’t even an option on my radar and it was an unknown that I did not account for. I really think had I even considered the fact that I may not cross the finish line, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time adjusting to the idea that I’m not an ‘official’ marathoner despite the medal, t-shirt, and months of training. Which, I still haven’t worn my medal – the only reason it’s hanging up with my other ones is because Alfred put it there. I had it in the junk drawer at our house.
I think some people do well not knowing the outcome of things, I am not one of those people – and so, for my future marathon (and other races) – taking in all the possible outcomes is definitely on my list.


Kate said...

Obviously, I haven't given birth. But your comparison to educating yourself so much really struck me.

That's EXACTLY how I am. I feel like I need to know a little bit of everything for me to ever be prepared for anything. I also OVER research things. (Like recently when Michael couldn't figure something out on his Garmin. I spent over an hour reading and watching youtube videos. And eventually just asked Amanda, who knew the answer all along. Ha.) I NEED to know things and NEED to be prepared.

Your marathon story still makes me sad. I still think you're a marathoner. And you're definitely still the bad assiest of bad asses. Sooooo. I love you.

Amanda Arr said...

Sounds like you need to run a marathon in western Washington! We hardly ever get lightning, and you could run in wind, rain, sun, clouds, rain, sun, etc in the same race!

Seriously, though, it's tough when a race doesn't go as planned, especially when something happens that is out of your control. Heck, it's tough when a whole season doesn't go as planned.

Maybe it's time to train for a triathlon, eh? ;)

Amanda said...

This is a good lesson. Honestly, I do the same thing. I don't really honestly consider what will happen if the weather is bad or any other unknown like me tripping and falling and hurting myself or whatever. It is good to be prepared, or at least be aware of the possibilities. Also, I'm glad A hung your medal up. Did you finish? No. But you did it, and you have a story to share. I think it's totally different than a lot of other DNFs.

Beka said...

I have never thought about being turned away from a race for bad weather. I don't say this in a pity party way but I feel bad for you because I know how much marathon training takes. I also think because you can write about it and talk about it that you are stronger for it. I think after going what you went through you will be able to encourage a lot of other runners who have to quit for various reasons. Thanks for sharing your story with us even if it is not a fun one.