It’s Marathon Monday– thousands of runners are at the start line of one of the most famous races in the world. And despite planning my booty off and working my booty off for almost two years, I’m not there. And it’s okay. It really is.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and is part of a larger plan. I now know without a shadow of a doubt that this wasn’t my year to train for and run Boston. The way the last few months have have been so intense and crazy that training for a marathon, a hilly one at that, would have sent me over the edge. So in a way, now in hindsight, I’m glad that I don’t even have the option. It was like God said, “Um, no. I know what’s coming for you in the next few months and Boston is so not right for you now.”
Ironically, I think I’m in better running shape than I would be if I were running Boston today. Not training for a marathon has allowed me to use that time to focus on leg speed, core strength, leg strength and other aspects of the sport you can’t emphasize as much while marathon training. Plus, it caused me to step back and evaluate my training more objectively. Had I blown my expectations out of the water at CIM I think I would have continued to think that I know everything I need to know about running and wouldn’t have sought out the help, companionship and toughness of the group I now run with. So if or when I tackle that distance again I’ll be more prepared.
Plus, the “failure” I experienced at CIM allowed me to focus on why I run. Yes, I like to compete and yes, I like to run hard and run tough but recovering from CIM, being injured and building up my miles again allowed me to see that I love running for its own sake not just to prove to other people and myself that I can run an arbitrary time on the clock. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to qualify for Boston, but I just know it wasn’t meant to be this year.
And I know this is true because on Sunday I ran on our local bike trail where there was a marathon taking place. I was at about miles 21-25 and as I ran with and against the flow of the runners I had zero marathon envy. I was proud of them for being out there and getting it done but I had zero desire to be with them.
So I guess at the end of the day I’m happy with the way things panned out. I’m faster, stronger, more sane and prepared to take on the next one whenever that may be. And that’s great.
Off to another crazy and another week full of high miles. I hit 55 last week and will hit 50 this one. Phew. In a good way!