Training is the Opposite of Hoping...This is what it said on the shirt one of my best friends bought for me yesterday. I don't think she realized just how much I needed it at that moment. I have been through a wave of emotions in the last 24 hours, some of which don't pertain to running and is a blog post of its own!
As far as running goes, yesterday was a big race for me. As I am training for the Newport Marathon on May 30th, the date of March 7th has been my first big hurdle. It is a 30K (18.6 miles) race that I would be running for the third time. It is nice to have a distance between the half marathon and marathon to let you know how your endurance is. There are not many people who run in the race because, let's face it, there are not many people who want to run that distance! It was my favorite race last year and gave me a lot of confidence going into the Salt Lake Marathon. I was hoping it would do the same for me this year. I had to keep reminding myself that I was further along in my training last year, so not to get fixated on a goal time. That is easier said than done. I showed up to the race with good friends Sarah and Kirsten. Kirsten was taking the race as a long run and Sarah was just happy to be there, as she has been very sick this month, had sick kids, and had a husband traveling a lot! Kirsten was running with her hubby and Sarah was running with her cousin, Nicole, so I was on my own. It was a very lonely race for me, but I knew I needed to get in my own zone. My plan was to take the first 10k loop slow, then get to my Boston goal pace (8:23) for as long as I could go. I probably didn't go quite as slow as I needed to in the beginning, due to some confusion with the mile markers, so I kept the second 10k about the same pace. By the third 10k I had a burst of energy and decided to speed up and give it everything I had, even if it hurt! I had a fantastic couple of miles and then all of a sudden it was painful. I started wondering if I would finish. The last 3 miles were tough but I kept hanging on. I ended up finishing with an average pace of 8:27/mile. I had tears of joy at the end of my race as I spotted my sweet family cheering me on. I started to believe maybe Boston will actually happen for me. I was elated and so excited with my race.
Then, as I started thinking about it more, I realized I still had 8 miles to go. There is no way I could have run 8 more miles at that pace. My confidence began to sink as I remembered how tough the race had actually felt. I thought about Salt Lake and the disappointment I felt. I wondered if I could put myself, my family, and my friends through this whole process again. I got even sadder as I realized the one person I wanted to talk to about it is not here. I began rethinking my goals and wondering if Boston is even worth the emotional and physical energy I put in. When it comes down to it, it is worth it. My journey to Boston has been a metaphor for my life. I have learned that I can keep going when things are hard. I learned that I don't have to give up just because I am not going to get the result I want. I have learned that I can accomplish things when I set my mind to it. I have learned that even little steps forward still make for progress. I have learned that setbacks can't keep you from your final goal. If I can use this as a wife and a mother, and in all my other roles, I will accomplish much and have a life I am pleased with. It's when I let my setbacks and disappointments hold me back that I am not able to be the kind of person I want to be.
So, if you want, join me in my quest for my elusive goal of qualifying for Boston. It might not happen this time around, and I will need all the support I can get to pick myself back up. If I do qualify, I will celebrate with all who will listen. :-) All I do know, is every time I put myself out there, I learn something new. Training is definitely the opposite of hoping, and I will be doing all I can on my end, on the road and in my life! Thanks to all of you have have continued to encourage me. I love your stories!