Oh, marathon .. you formidable opponent, you.
Every time I race, I am reminded of the respect I have for endurance sports, and for the people that excel in them. After the race, I am reminded of how much I personally love it, too.
I’ve waited a few days before posting, mulling over my delivery of my experience at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday. It was a perfect day. Absolutely perfect! We had a sherpa, a friend who had ran the race in Columbus before, recommend where to stay and where to eat, and it was the smoothest travel and race preparation I have experienced yet. We walked out of our hotel, and there was the expo across the street in the convention center. We walked out of our hotel, and two doors down was a restaurant perfect for the meal the night beforehand, with only a 25, maybe 30 minute wait. We walked out of our hotel, and 0.5 mi away was the start – a nice brisk walk (good for warming up and trying to stay warm on a chilly Ohio morning).
Everything was perfect. We started at a brisk temperature of 39 degrees, and I believe that by the finish it was around 50. Clear skies. 18,000 people at the start, with what the announcers described as 100,000 spectators out that day. The energy was contagious and I was enthralled. The Star Spangled Banner was sang. The fireworks went off. The race began.
The half marathoners started with the full marathoners. We were in a sea of people flooding through the start line. Lots of people.
- New signs from spectators .. “Keep it up – you’re running better than the government” (Sad face)
- Splitting off from the half-marathoners, always a time to test your own motivation at mile 13 when this happens
- Running into and through the Ohio State University Stadium at mile 17.5
- Signs about the children that were in the care of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital at each mile .. and many of them being out there to get high-fives and cheer on the runners
There are many reasons why I feel great about this race. I know, you’ve been wondering — the all-important question, did I get my time? Did I get my goal? Well, I got a few of my goals, but no, I did not qualify for Boston this race. I finished with a 2-minute PR, but still have 3 minutes to take off to get that BQ status. I’m not too shaken by it – in fact, I am looking forward to going back at it and tackling it again. I like the challenge. Who’s to say that if I had gotten my ultimate goal that I wouldn’t get bored with running (not sure if that is possible, but hey, I’m speculating here) and shelf it for a while? I thought that was what I was going to want to do when I battled my non-desire to run earlier this season.
Instead, I am looking forward to running again. I am antsy. I want to get back out there. I want to push my limits. I am happy because I know that I put everything I had out on that race course on Sunday. I overcame GI issues that I had to deal with. I pushed as hard as I could those last miles. I wanted to collapse at the finish line. My legs were toast. If I had finished the race with more in me, I would be angry at myself. But with the potential that I had stored in me that day, I gave it all .. and that, I believe, is more rewarding than just a BQ time.
Although I don’t view this as a “loss” .. I think we tend to learn more from our losses than our wins. I have learned so very many things this season about myself, success, and running. I’ve grown to value people more than personal performance. I had an amazing boyfriend who took the time to do most of my training runs with me, and the race. (That’s sacrifice!) I had many friends encourage me along the way and right before my race. I am very blessed to have been able to run, and to run with no pain, completely injury-free. God gave me an amazing gift – and I am looking forward to what He wants to do with it next!
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
People will be inspired by you. Your finish will inspire them, but your attitude will move them and cause them to think even more than your physical feat will. If we can inspire others to do more, to care more, to love more .. America will evolve into a better place for everyone!