Sometimes it just doesn't work out.
Picture somewhere in the middle of the Marathon. I am clearly aware of the day I'm having.
I know I've been a little MIA since Chicago. Before the race I had admittedly a lot of big talk about workouts and my confidence. But here I sit five weeks later with a performance close to 10 minutes slower than I was hoping to run to the tune of 2:21.
I spent these last few weeks away from running and social media for the most part as I've attempted to wrestle with what happened while penning my thoughts down; on a race that didn't go my way for reasons that I still don't have much of an answer one. I decided I wanted to share something different. Something I wrote before the race while I was still caught up in the excitement of the thought of something life-changing about to happen and the fun of doing something so well.
What is written below is a reminder to myself that of the randomness of this sport that I love so much. So many times we hear the stories of the underdog doing something special, and that's why we watch sports. Because we don't know what's going to happen if we did why bother?
This is the other bitter side of the story though. This is the story of that doing all the right things doesn't always mean it's going to happen. Because sometimes, it just doesn't work out.
As I sit on a cramped plane waiting to take off my mind begins to wander as the plane continues to board. My mind focuses in on what's been the constant on my mind and in my heart for the past 12 weeks.
The Chicago Marathon.
The Marathon is such a beautiful distance in my limited experience, every race has a story that begins with that first workout and ends with crossing the finish line on race day. Pardon and I have been writing our own story together for this race since the middle of July.
Since that date Pardon and I have ran, hyperventilated, thrown up, felt power and misery all together.
This build up has been nothing short of a gut check. With a few Marathons under our belt, Pete pushed us farther in workouts than I've gone. The heat and humidity of a North Carolina summer made sure to make them even more uncomfortable.
Pardon and I grinding through a tough session.
With laser like focus we took care of our business. We were locked in like never before. Every run felt like it had more meaning than before. We were living what we came to ZAP to do: give all of our lives to this sport to see how good we can be, without distraction.
Memories of this build up come up when I think of the sacrifices of the past 3 months. I think to a warm fall day just a few weeks ago where Pardon and I were struggling on some fast mile and 400 repeats, just a few days after a savage long run. Before the last mile repeat Pete gives us his last words on how he wants it run, then finishes off with "And have fun guys"
"FUN? I exhale inbetween breaths. I don't know if I consider this fun."
without hesitation he smiles and responded "Look where you live, look what you get to do for a living. This is special.... Now let's go!"
Whoa. That hit home. Even in the most lactic and I can't possibly do another rep, ok fine I can rally moments. That this is fun and I do this because I ENJOY it and I have the amazing opportunity to do it. We want it to hurt because hurting means we're getting better. Anything in life we've been proud of accomplishing wasn't easy to do. It took sacrifice and hard work.
Days like these with friends like these are the reason I love this sport.
Some days are easier to recognize that fun than others. I remember having a particularly good session of 1K repeats in an absolute monsoon of rain. A session that both Pardon and I were dreading going into it. But halfway through we were smiling joking around and soaking it in as the rain came in droves. We do the hard work for this feeling. The on top of the world feeling.
No matter what happens This Sunday I can look myself In the mirror and know that I left no stone unturned in the training. My only goal is to have the race show what I have given and done these last 3 months, and last several years.
I have given my everything like never before to this sport and on Sunday, I can only hope it's willing to give back.