When life gives you lemons, tell the lemons to kiss your a$$
You know what they say, it’s your life so feel free to hit them with a plot twist? Well joke is on me because life decided to hit me with a plot twist of its own. Gearing up for the biggest two weeks of my marathon cycle, fresh onto the start of what was going to be a 4 mile PR try for my local turkey trot, and having a solid training cycle under my belt and
I got sick. Thankfully it’s not COVID (been there done (THAT) but it’s knocked me on my a$$ and taken me out of the game. I chugged Vitamin C, Nuun, elderberry syrup and basically anything that could keep me healthy. I thought I skirted it and felt victorious but then that little sore throat started. What I hoped was just from a long night of snoring (sorry honey!) by the next day was a full blown, down for the count, no hope for anything good happening——respiratory infection.
I’m thankful it’s wasn’t anything serious or an injury but damn…I didn’t know going into my last easy run of the week that it would in fact be my last run in general for over a week.10 days actually to be exact.
Aside from this seriously cramping my marathon training it also meant our local turkey trot was a no go.My daughter was signed up for her first run where I was proudly sponsoring the little pies that each kid would win. It was monumental not only to finally be able to share my love of running/races with her but a huge milestone for me as a business to be promoting myself in my home town with MY very own business. I had planned to hopefully PR in my race snd even had a bigger goal of finishing top 3 in my age group.
None of that obviously happened—while I still got to sponsor the pies and my business was printed as a sponsor it was far from what I had imagined I’d be able to do. Thankfully my daughter legit only cared that she got a pie—which we bought at the store and she didn’t even want to try. But I will use this blog as proof for years to come, she did in fact get the pie I promised.
Now to the elephant in the room…..my marathon. The one thing that I truly have been looking forward to for the entire year (not even bringing in the feelings from last year)
On the risk of sounding completely dramatic, I was devastated getting sick within the last 2 weeks of my training (not including taper). I have worked for 16+ weeks to push through fatigue, life hurdles, time constraints, and put everything extra I had left into this marathon training cycle. After all I had put myself through I was left to sit in bed, trying to breathe, get food down and not get worse as I watched my 16 mile run slip away and then watch my 19 miler follow suit 7 days later.
I cried, I bitched and I had every emotion under the sun. It felt like everything I worked for just disappeared in the blink of an eye.
While as a coach I know that fitness doesn’t just “poof” away, that’s exactly how it felt. Also being a coach though I know realistically the challenges that arise with not being able to complete your long runs, especially the longest run of the training cycle. My family tried to cheer me up but honestly nothing was even touching the sadness that I felt realizing that after all this time and work, I may not get to the start line.
I’d like to think that most runners can relate. We often put our blood, sweat and tears into this sport knowing full well that we probably won’t come in first or maybe even 100th. But we take pride in our training and our journeys. We wake up early to run miles on end, we go out after everyone is already asleep because that’s the only time we have, we run when we feel like we have nothing left but don’t want to give up on ourselves——we run over all the hurdles in our way even when we feel like nothing is going right.
So when after all of that we still don’t reach the race of our dreams, the only emotion we feel can only be summed up in my case as devastating.
For my athletes I can easily wade through the emotional side of setbacks, disappointment, and the “noise” that we as runners often let in our head. I can give inspiration, a new game plan, and hopefully pick them up and get them back on track. However, like we all can relate to, I don’t listen to myself. I am my toughest critic and have a harder time letting myself feel that hope. Thankfully, I have people (you know who you are) who have texted, DM’d and sent me the same words that I’ve told them before. They’ve done so much to help me get out of my funk and I forever am grateful that they have been placed in my life. They got me running again.
To quote AJR’s song “The Good Part”, let’s skip to the good part!!!
After talking with my coach and pulling myself back up I decided to go through with my race as planned. I know that my initial goals HAVE to change. I know that this won’t look like how I imagined but I’ve worked too hard to give up and not give it all I have. So this is my SUPER long winded way of sharing my new and improved goals
A. Finish the damn thing!!! (Regardless of how it looks)
B. Go as far as I possibly can
C. Get to the half marathon distance (it’s a looped course)
I can honestly say I feel at peace with my decision and with my goals. Running isn’t linear, you get what you put in, and we are already a bit crazy for doing it so we may as well just go for it!