13.1…I finished.

And that’s about the only good thing about today’s half marathon.

I envisioned coming into writing this post feeling on top of the world, as if I’d conquered something huge, but instead, I am left feeling mad at myself, (ashamed, even), frustrated and bummed out.

Yes, I ran 13.1 but I did stop. I did walk. I did struggle. I did slightly panic. I didn’t breathe well. I told myself I couldn’t do it. I told M I couldn’t do it. Over and over. I failed.

In my opinion, I failed today. And I know I am being uncessarily hard on myself. I know I am not ‘seeing the forest from the trees’ and I know that the important thing is that I didn’t give up. Determination got me through.

But I feel ripped off. All of the hard work. All of the miles leading up to this. All of the mental and physical determination.

For what? 2:50?

A finish of 2:50? EXACTLY where I finished last year. And I felt almost worse than I did last year. I struggled intensely. It was humid, it was rainy at parts and it was also extremely hilly. (in hindsight, it’s no wonder the race only had 250-ish runners, I’d estimate. It was a tough course) I won’t make excuses though, because I should have forged on and kept running. But these conditions were less than ideal for me (mostly the humidity feeling as though I had a weight on my chest the entire time) and quite simply, I allowed it to take me down.

And that’s why I am mad. And ashamed. And frustrated.

But I did finish. I didn’t give up. Even when my mom drove to certain points on the route with water and her camera, cheering us on (seriously, she was amazing) and could see me struggling around mile 10 and offered to drive me to the finish. As much as I wanted to, I did not. I kept going. I kept run/walking as much as I could.

But today’s half marathon…well, it wasn’t in the cards for me. My sister, brother in law and friend Steph killed it. I am so proud of them and am glad I feel pride and not jealousy because the ‘comparison’ part of me wanted to be jealous.  (as much as I wanted to be jealous, I am beaming with pride that they did so well. Honestly.)

And M? I am convinced I wouldn’t have made it without him. He truly was my rock and I know I would have given up if he weren’t there, pushing me along, keeping me going. To find out that he told my mom at the starting line that he’d take care of me was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. He is my heart.

I think I just need to feel how I feel and start fresh tomorrow. I have some ideas in mind that I will share in the next few days on how to get back to feeling proud, how to prove to myself that I *CAN* do this, and that sometimes…it just happens.

Thank you all for your support, on Twitter, Facebook, email, texts galore, Tina’s beautiful feature, blog shout-outs from Heather and Lindsay and so many more of you. I feel blessed.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. “ 
— Dean Karnazes

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73 thoughts on “13.1…I finished.

  1. I’ve avidly read your posts for sometime now. They have always inspired me. That is until this one. Which has left me with a deep seated desire to say, “What a load of old balls!”

    You did it, woman! Bask in the glory of your success!!!!!!!!

    I, for one, am so very proud of you – my transatlantic friend!

    1. Spencer, you always know what to say to make me laugh, seriously. THANK YOU for saying that (and that my posts inspire you? Really??), because at the root of it, I KNOW I am being hard on myself and that I did it, no matter how I got there, I did it. Thank you duly, my transatlantic friend :)

  2. I wish I could give you a big hug! I totally know how you feel. But regardless – you did it. You finished. That right there is something to be proud of – especially given the tough conditions! How easy would it have been to hitch a ride with your mom? And there were only 250 people the race? It must have been a monster! You are awesome! I am proud of you!!!! And I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve.

    PS TEARS at M. What a guy!

    1. Aww, I’ll take the hug :) Virtually. It was really tough, but at the same time, hard for my mind not to wander to the fact that my sis and bro in law and friend Steph all finished in PR times and I basically just sucked my way through it. But you are right, I did it, didn’t give up and ran across the finish. THAT is what’s important, not how I got there. I just gotta keep saying it. And I hope ‘what’s up my sleeve’ helps me believe it. And yeah, M, tears when my mom told me in a text that he said that to her, I had no idea. Love.

  3. That sucks! I’ve definitely been there. We all have good days and bad days when it comes to running. You will have many more good days out there! Love the Dean Karnazes quote.

  4. It’s disappointing when you don’t run the pace you want. But you still completed 13 miles on a tough course in the middle of August and that’s something to be proud of. Honestly, when this type of thing happens to me, I register for a flatter race! And trust me, this has happened to me a lot!

    1. Thank you Lee, you totally get whats frustrating me. I appreciate that!! And yeah next time I’m warned yay it’s hilly, I’m passing ;)

    1. Thank you Tina, it was probably harder to push through my mind today and crossing the finish despite that? I will give myself credit for that!

  5. I would jump on the bandwagon admonishing you not to beat yourself up – but you already know that. I perfectly understand that you just need to “feel how you feel” today. Even if you aren’t pleased with the result right now, it is an accomplishment that I hope you come to appreciate. Just think how many couldn’t make it through 13.1 AT ALL – let alone in under three hours. (I did it in 3:18 and just don’t have it in me to run through a half course.)

    1. Thank you for seeing where I’m coming from even if you don’t necessarily agree with how hard I am on myself. It is an accomplishment and I do know that even though my performance is tough to swallow!

  6. I’m late to comment…been running around like crazy today…but first off: you FINISHED. No DNF’s. No quitting. You FINISHED.

    I know it isn’t what you hopes for…and I know how upsetting that feels. But, as strange as it is, that’s the beauty of running. It’s unpredictable. It’s always a challenge. It’s never the same conditions.

    You should feel proud of your finish – because you finished.

    Hugs my friend!!

    1. Thank you dear. Coming from another runner, I appreciate the words ad the truth behind the beauty of running. It is unpredictable. Onward, I guess, right?

  7. LOVE what everyone has said here so far…they’ve put it into better words than I could right now. All I can say is this: you. are. determined. And the one person that never ever ceases to amaze me with her strength and determination. I am so, so, so proud of you for never, ever giving up. Love you lots, sis.

    1. Thank you sis. While I didn’t give up, feel like I did mentally. That’s what’s getting me. It was the last thing I wanted to happen, but I can only move forward. Onward.

  8. this is just ONE race in the many more that you have to come! and you still were able to push yourself and tell yourself you CAN. the “off” days suck, but they make the good days that much sweeter :) it wouldn’t be running/racing if we all didn’t have a little of both!

    be proud of every minute you worked to get to the finish line today! i hope you are enjoying some treats and relaxation time right now!

    xx. christine

  9. As I said before, you are AMAZING, super HOTT, and such an inspiration to me. I am so, so thankful to have you and Jess in my life. Without the two of you, I wouldn’t have gone for TWO half marathons, or become a better runner, or become a lover (cult member LOL) of Barre N9ne. You both bring so much joy to my life, words cannot even describe. It sucks that you didn’t have the race you were hoping for; side cramps, humidity, hills..it just makes it seem unfair. And sooo frustrating! BUT you still did it, and for that, you should be proud. I’m so proud of you!!!! You powered through so many training runs, and you are, and will always be a RUNNER. Love to you! Start fresh tomorrow, and we will celebrate together this week! And PS…we need a run together soon! i think 5 miles will be perfect! ;)

    1. Awe! Steph!! You almost made me cry. Thank you. For giving me the perspective, in a way, that I needed. Inspiring you to go further is an amazing side benefit to working out ad striving for goals. And to do it together and share so many loves for challenges etc is awesome! I am thankful for your friendship too and would to run together soon and celebrate together :) xoxo

  10. Not every race is going to be great – but you finished! Any time, no matter what it is, is better than a DNF. There are so many factors that have to come together – kinda like a perfect storm. But as long as you can reflect and take away things that you learned to help you with your next race, then it is a success – and knowing you, you’ve already done that! Stand proud and enjoy your race bling!

    1. Thank you!! You are my seasoned race running idol! So of course your words mean a lot for the truth behind them. The perfect storm was not today for me. I gotta be ok w that. better than dnf.

  11. In a few days I think you need to sit down and make note of all the good things about today. Starting with the fact that YOU FINISHED. That’s not something that everyone can say…and you need to recognize that and give yourself a pat on the back for it, despite everything else.

    *hugs*

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Thank you for commiserating with me, as a fellow runner ;-) It does happen, it does suck, I just gotta realize that at least I finished, and that’s something I can be proud of.

  12. Ya know what? EVERYONE has a bad race now and then. No one can fully predict what the weather will be like, what the course will be like, what their body will feel like… but, as you well know, 99% of endurance racing is MENTAL FORTITUDE. Sure, you felt like calling it quits but you didn’t. Sure, you kept saying you couldn’t do it but you did. Even when you wanted to give up, your mind said HELLS TO THE NO.

    Can I get a HELL YEAH?!?

    You know you have the mental capacity and determination to see something through, no matter how hard it is. You did it with your divorce and finding yourself again. You’ve done it in allowing yourself to be loved again. And you did it through not 1 but 2 half marathons. I couldn’t tell you of the number of people I know who say, “I could never do that.” and ya know what? They don’t even try to do it. They don’t even TRY! But you, you tried and finished twice!! I mean, holy crap! Others stand in awe that you even said you were going to do something like this and put in the time and effort to train. Others stand in awe that, despite the difficulties, you went full yard!

    I understand not doing as well as you’d hoped. I understand feeling a bit like a failure at your own expectations of your performance. I get that. It makes me feel a bit like watching the Ironman World Championship triathlon and seeing these world class athletes not make the cut off at the swim. “Sorry, you didn’t finish the swim in XX hours so we have to end your race here.” People break down in hysterics at that cut off… and it breaks me down too. I know what it’s like to push yourself and still not be who you’d wish to be.

    But in time, with perspective, I hope you give thanks to your mind for its determination and your body for its endurance and strength.

    And I hope you sign up for another one to try again.

    Much love! (And sorry for the book!)

    1. ((hugs)) ((kisses)) thank you T! You always know how to slap me back into reality with a little tough love (okay that was puppies and rainbows tough love, but you know what I mean!). I know you are right, I know EVERYONE is right in that I am determined to finish what I started and made it. I just can’t get past that I had just hoped for this to be so much different than it was, and not in a good way. But at the core of it, I AM proud of what I did, I am certainly feeling the effects of it today and I feel blessed to even be CAPABLE of doing it. I’ll give you a hell yea to that :)

  13. Great job for finishing, and for your grit and your determination to forge on no matter the obstacle!

    I think that you may be forgetting one off-shoot of what you’ve accomplished – inspiration. You have done something that only some of us can dream about, and that is competing and finishing. Many of us would not even walk that far let alone go the distance! You’ve proven to us all that it can be done.

    Big deal that you didn’t look like a professional marathon runner, you’re an amateur. And for an amateur who is not worried about making good enough time to qualify for Olympic trials, you did magnificent!

    You deserve praise!

    1. Thank you MTFFH, inspiration is something I hadn’t really even thought of, I was so wrapped up in me me me here. Thank you also for slapping me back into reality with that.

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