In a nutshell…
Miles 1-13: This is the best day ever!
Miles 14-16: Tummy ache better go away… I think I’ll wait to take my gel…
Mile 17: Tummy ache subsided. Get that gel down.
Miles 18-20: Quads are starting to cramp… Its manageable though.
Miles 21-22: Calves starting to cramp… maybe not enough fuel or electrolytes (slightly regretting not sticking to my fueling plan…)
Miles 23-24: TALK ABOUT A WALL
Miles 24-26.2: Walk. Run. Walk. Run. Finish.
These were probably the hardest two miles of my life. I felt like I was hobbling, like my muscles were slowly shrinking and shriveling up, like I wouldn’t finish.
BUT I FINISHED.
And I can’t complain. Even with the difficulty that I faced, even when I hit the wall like a bug on a windshield, and even though I told myself to forget about a goal and just finish (at that point I can’t say that I was enjoying the run) … I crushed my goals.
Teton Dam Marathon (Idaho Triple Crown Race 1 of 3)
Average Pace: 7:31
1st place in Women’s
New course record for Women’s
When I woke up for this race and got ready to go, I wrote “JOY” on my hand. This was to help me remember how much joy running brings me when I don’t stress about my time and focus on the moment. Every time I would look down at my watch, I would see that word – JOY. It reminded me to not worry about the time, to find a pace I was comfortable with, to find joy in what was happening, and to just run.
I believe this is why the first half was such a success for me, why it felt effortless. This is also what carried me through the struggles; the joy I feel remembering that I have a strong capable body that allows me to be outside on this day, not only racing, but seeing the beauty of the earth. The joy I felt as each bystander, volunteer, and fellow runner cheered everyone on without hesitation.
I’ll admit, I did look at my mile splits, and my competitive nature decided to compete against myself. But in the long run (pun), it was something I was capable of, a pace that I had held on long runs and knew that I could hold for the race… if all went well, right?
That’s the thing about running, it doesn’t always go as planned.
That’s the thing about life, it doesn’t always go as planned.
We’ll have runs that are blistering hot. Runs that the wind decides to pickup. Runs where we get dehydrated or under fueled. Runs where our body decides to rebel. Sometimes, you can’t control what happens, but we can choose to find the JOY in it. That is what my focus was for this run.
Even though I struggled, I take it as a lesson learned that will carry into the next marathon. Even though I struggled, I was still able to meet my goals. Even though I struggled, I still found JOY that beautiful morning.