OK … I will be the first to admit I am not one for explaining myself. If I do something or plan to do something it is between me, God, my family and my closest friends. I base my decisions on what is best for my family, myself and our well being. Minds. Bodies. And souls. No one ever really dares ask me to explain myself. I’m assuming because they know that they will get an ear full. A talking to. AND a humbling look at their own lives, given to them by me, if they did. I also think that for the most part people know I’m a genuine person. I am what I am. You get what you get. I do what I do. No harm, no foul intended. Yada yada yada. HA!
Anyway, today I feel the need to, in fact, explain myself … and I’m not entirely happy about it. But here goes.
I am a distance runner. I train … and I train HARD. I am not the fastest in the herd but I am, for the most part, usually pleased with my race performances. I take almost every race VERY seriously. ESPECIALLY MARATHONS. They ARE NOT frivolous events for me. I respect the distance and the course I’m running. Every. Damn. Time.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with casual runners, people who don’t race, or people who run races just for the fun of them. But for me, it is a whole different ball of wax.
When it comes to MY performance on a race course I have certain expectations of myself as an athlete. Expectations I hold for ME and ME alone. These expectations are MINE. No one else’s … MINE. I do not expect anyone to commit to their training the way I do. Our lives differ too much for that, our goals are never the same and our abilities vastly different. Who am I to say what will work best for another.
Running and racing are personal. To be critical of another runner or to attempt to THRUST personal “techniques” or “goals” upon another person just makes someone, in my opinion, look bad. It makes me question the type of “athlete” they are and wonder if they have any integrity at all. My advice to them … don’t do that … because I won’t like you anymore.
OK … onward … boy, this is a long one!
I have a goal (yes, we know crazy). I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon (ugh … she said it again). I have to run fast, albeit, “for my age”.
Yes, one day I will.
THAT is MY PRIZE and it REALLY means something to me. My reasons for wanting this are personal. I will blog about them one day, I’m sure. But that day is not today. All I know is that I don’t care if anyone understands. I do. My family and closest friends do … and that is all that matters to me. How I ultimately pull it off is MY JOURNEY.
I had hoped that my first chance to BQ (or at least to reach my stepping stone of a 4:10 finish) would be at the Ventura Marathon. Sadly I have had three separate injuries since March. Something I have been very public about discussing. I’ve also been dealing with a flare up of the arthritis in my feet. Something I haven’t really discussed openly. I’ve lived with it for so long I sorta forget I even have it! Anyway, I had a flare up with a ridiculous amount of pain and swelling after I stopped taking glucosamine and chondrotin. Don’t ask me why I stopped, I’ve taken them for years. Dumb … that’s all I can say … DUMB!
Anyway, this has all sucked. HUGE. Has it set me back? Yes, of course. Will it stop me? No. But I am playing my training safe. I am not running nearly as fast as I was before the LA Marathon. I’m close-ish. I can feel
it. It’s in me. But I can’t guarantee myself a new PR, let alone reaching my stepping stone. Which, for some reason, I need. ME. Again, JUST ME.
So, I may not run the full marathon in Ventura now, I may run the half. A very honorable distance might I add! I have many reason as you have read for doing this. The primary reason is, of course, that I am not sure I can run the full and come out uninjured. I don’t know if my foot can handle the training I subject myself to. Again, I take it SERIOUSLY, this is NO JOKE for ME.
Let’s discuss MY training for a second … OH GOD THIS REALLY IS A LONG ONE.
I pour MYSELF into my training days. MY long run days are prepared for and run at the best level I can physically run them. I don’t walk or stop. And I’m certainly not taking the time to text my friends, Facebook my whereabouts or Instagram a cute picture of my running shoes. I am out there EARNING blood blisters and black toenails and trying not to puke! When I’m done with MY long training runs, the 18, 20, and 22-milers, I AM BEAT! With the accumulative fatigue that sets in at that point in MY training I really do feel like I ran a marathon after these runs! THREE FREAKIN WEEKS IN A ROW! But again, this is how it is for ME … and I train HARD.
OK, going back to WHY I MIGHT run the half. (Shhhhesh … FINALLY)
Another reason I may chose to run the half marathon is because I don’t see the need to put my family out on those long run training days if my performance isn’t going to be what I want it to be by race day. I am pretty darn wiped out on my long run days (BECAUSE I TRAIN HARD AND I DON’T TAKE TIME FOR A SELFIE) so I miss out on 2-3 Saturdays in one month’s time! I just hate the thought of missing that precious time with my family just so I can say I “ran” another marathon. That seems like it would be a little selfish of me if I did.
The best part about waiting for another full marathon would be that it will give me more time to focus on my first 13 miles being as solid as they were l when I ran my fastest half marathon in January. I finished just under 1:56 … and I was thrilled! I finally saw Boston as a reachable goal. Best. Runner. Feeling. Ever.
Can I run a marathon. Yep, I’ve proved that a few times over. BUT NOW I have a NEW GOAL.
A goal I am willing to be patient for and take the time to reach … safely. At MY pace. At MY time. And under MY conditions. All the while being conscientious of and considerate to the people who will help me cross that finish line … goals achieved.
Oh and no one … needs to tell me that they know better …
Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t feel the need to explain yourself!!!