I would love to have some really inspiring and clever lead-in to this post. Alas, I do not. So we’ll just get into it.
Monday was the big day. Boston #2. I had high hopes for this race. I trained my ass off. I was consistent with my training, I missed very few runs. I pushed hard on the road and in the gym. I weighed and measured everything I ate and successfully got down to my race weight. I was leaner, faster, stronger than ever and I was expecting a PR.
I wish obsessively checking the weather meant that you actually had some control over the weather. It was warmer than everyone wanted it to be and the wind (a headwind, of course) picked up around mile 14.
I’ve been staring at my splits. Trying to figure out where the wheels fell off. I never blew up… but maybe the wheels were never on in the first place. I pride myself on my ability to redline for a long time. Not the case on Monday.
I felt toast by mile 7. I struggled mentally.
I felt alright at the half. I was a little behind my goal pace, but I figured I could push hard after Mile 21 and bring it home. I could never put the hammer down. I could never push myself any harder. I tried at the end. With some success.
With less than a mile to go, every fiber in my being wanted to quit. My determination to finish was paper-thin. I wanted to give up right then and there. To not move another step. To walk. To quit. But I kept going. I pushed with everything I had. My time was good enough for another BQ. Only 74 seconds slower than last year (my PR). But I suffered immensely.
Was it really just the heat? The crowded course? Did I make a mistake in training? In fueling? In hydrating? Was it stopping and walking at the aid stations? Was it the wind? Was it a little bit of everything? Am I obsessing over this too much?
It’s just over a minute. Over the course of 3 and 1/2 hours. It could have been a lot of things. But I was so confident, so mentally prepared to crush it this year…. and to feel like the best I can do is hang on is disheartening.
Perhaps the only reason I could hang on is because I was in good shape. Because I put the work in. That logic still feels like settling… and there is little satisfaction in that. However, I did not collapse, I am not injured in any way, and while I am sore, it is not debilitating. Perhaps another way my training paid off.
I’ll be back to running in the next few days. I’ll get back in the gym. I’ve got some strength goals to pursue – I need to take a break from racing for awhile. But I’m still after my sub-3:25. This time with a vengeance. Perhaps a fall marathon. Once my mind has recovered.
For now, it’s back to the gym, more trail running, training my puppy to be a good running partner, and actually sleeping in on a Sunday or two.