What exactly do I mean by that?
I had a lot of fear going into this race. I borrowed the faith my friends and family had in me until I could rebuild my own.
As the race approached, it became increasingly clear that my body was just not recovered from Chicago. Still, I really didn’t want to give this race up and do the CIM instead. If tapering for a marathon is hard, I think the reverse taper (easing back into training post-race), might possibly be harder. Because you can’t really do a whole lot except have patience and know that your body will heal when it is ready.
Except when you race two marathons a month apart. Then you have to ram that square peg into the round hole as elegantly as possible. Because that paints a mental picture of elegance, no? I think some people are more capable of this than others.
Before I get into the race recap (to come later when I have race photos), I want to tell you all the things I was afraid of going into this race:
- A repeat of Chicago. I learned a lot from that race. But what if it happened again? Could I handle that blow? Would I sign up for the CIM again? Would I let it go for 2016 and return to the challenge after Boston 2017?
- What if my first marathon was a fluke? What if I will never be that good again? Chicago was only my second marathon and it was a bit of a disaster.
- This course has an EXTREME downhill the first 13 miles. Sounds great, right? The issues that it CAN cause are plentiful. Cramping, blowing up by going out too fast. Leaving you with nothing in the tank for the second half that has some hilly terrain.
- I did not have nutrition nailed down. What I did in Chicago didn’t work. My stomach revolted. I really only had a 16 miler, 18 miler and 9 miler to practice new gels/timing/methods.
- The weather showed a high of 82. That is hot for this Portland/San Francisco girl on its own. I mean I grew up in Chico, where it is so so hot in the summer, but my running life has been in very moderate climates! Heat is a no. Certainly not while running a marathon. Isn’t it supposed to be f**king November??
So why did I sign up anyway?
I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome my fear and I wanted that Boston 2018 BQ DAMMIT. I mostly needed to know that #2 on the list above was not true. I still didn’t PR in this race, but I now know I am capable once I have fully recovered.
So now, I have faith in myself. I gave myself that gift. I trained hard for Chicago, and this past four weeks has arguably been harder than that. Physically, all I felt I had energy to do outside of work was run, eat and sleep. I just felt so tired. Mentally, doubt was ready to consume me at any weak moment. Luckily, stepping outside my front door to chase down the sunrise never fails to put a smile on my face. At the end of the day, I love running and no one cares what my paces are but me. And stepping outside my comfort zone helped me realize what I’m capable of.
Expo, race recap and post race noms to come! Thank you so much for following along with me!
P.S. Quote is from Rich Roll’s book, “Finding Ultra.” It is a great read.