Wednesday, January 2, 2013
December, 31, 2012 was supposed to be a great day of running. For some, it was. For others, not so much. For me? I wish I could lie and tell you it was the greatest day ever, but I won't. To be quite honest, in all of the years I have been running and racing, this was my absolute worst performance. I am ashamed of how I ran. I'm embarrassed that I dropped at 19 miles. I am honestly heart-broken that I let certain people down. More importantly, I am heart-broken that I let myself down.
My downfall started the week leading up to the race. My daughter was sick with a nasty cough and cold of some sort. I did my best to stay away from her so I wouldn't catch it as well. Obviously she loves me so much that she shared it with me. I started feeling like total crap and couldn't shake it. My chest closed up, along with that came a nasty cough and fever right before the race. I downed so much cough syrup that it started going down like water. Add in Mucinex and living on an average of 2 to 3 hours of sleep for a week and what do you get? Nothing good, that's for sure.
Yet, even with all that going on, I never once thought about not showing up. I'm a runner, that's what we do. We're married to this weird beast and for better or for worse, we toe the line on race day...or at least I am stupid enough to. I arrived at the ARCC on the campus of Hagerstown Community College at 8:30am. I could barely breathe, my voice was going south in a hurry. I did my best to trick myself into thinking I could compete for one of the top spots but in reality knew I would be near the last spot.
We had our pre-race briefing and did a little stretching and warming up. I ran a lap around the 200 meter track and when I finished I was struggling to breathe. How in the world was I going to make it 211 times around? We toed the line and the call was made. We were off and I settled into the front pack going through the first 200 meters. I was on 8:00 minute pace right out the gate...not good. After the the first mile I slowed my pace to conserve as much as energy as possible. Mary Z was kind enough to share her inhaler with me a few miles into it. Along with Becky W, we were all sick, or trying to recover. I kindly accepted, because who wouldn't want to put their lips where Mary's has been? Hi Mary!!
I was being lapped over and over by Matt McDonald and Laurie Dymond. Both eventually won with times of 3:16:24 for Matt and 3:20:23 for Laurie. I started feeling worse and my body was rejecting my offer to have fun. I ate 60 Energybits tablets to boost my mental awareness and to see if it would boost my energy. Believe me, any other day and I would had been happy and rolling. But even as great as they are, they couldn't even get me going. I wasn't even 100 times around before I mentally quit. I settled in to watch Laurie go on cruise control and look to break the World Record for the Masters Division for the Indoor Marathon. No matter how bad my day was going, it was a real treat to watch her run. I love that lady and it is my honor to call her a real friend. In the end, she did beat the record and can now call herself a World Record holder. It couldn't have happened to a nicer lady.
My lap counter, Shaunte, was doing her very best to keep me motivated each time I went around. Cheering, smiling, even pulling me to the side to tell me to get my "Fucking ass moving." I moaned and groaned and she was my positive force and told me I could do it. I wanted to quit at 10 miles...13 miles...and she motivated me to just do a few more laps. She even offered to run the rest of laps with me. Shaunte, you can be my lap counter any day!! I stopped at the table where she was and asked her how many laps I had left. "60 laps left" she said. I dropped the F-bomb, put my drink on the table, laid down beside the track and quit. My body had enough, my mind couldn't take it anymore. Shaunte looked at me from under the table and tried to get me to keep going. "It's not that far, it's only 7 miles. You can do that." The thing was, I couldn't...not yesterday. I have never been so ashamed of myself as a runner. Anyone who knows me knows that I just don't cry. But I was such an emotional wreck I just wept right there on the track, in the concession area by myself. Again in the stands as I spoke with Shaunte and Laurie.
I wanted this finish for loved ones looking down on me. For those who love me and support me now. To prove a point for those who said I would never make it as a runner. More importantly, for me. In the end, I blew it.
All of my friends and supporters told me that I was kick ass for going out there and fighting through 19 miles while being sick. They told me I shouldn't feel ashamed...that I was smart for calling it a day. There will be other days, other races. Yet here I sit and type this and still think I failed you. I need to reevaluate my goals for 2013 and beyond. I need to look deep inside and find out if I want to keep doing this. At this time, I just don't know. I have dropped before but this one stings the most.
Anyhow, for those who do read this....does anyone even read this blog? who knows. Thank you for taking time to read my self pity blog report.
Side Note: Nick Snyder, Wayne Kretzer, and all of the volunteers did a great job with this first year event. The aid stations were awesome and the people handling our water for us did a great job. Nick is planning to hold the Hawk Indoor again in Decemeber of 2013. You should try it. It was fun in a sick demented way. Happy New Year!!