It’s a little ironic. I don’t know how many times I’ve talked about how I just really love the training for races more than the race itself. Fast forward to Friday evening (or flash back since it’s oh, Tuesday now) when my phone started blowing up on my way to the NYCM expo, and despite my best efforts, an overwhelming sadness filled my heart. Yes, I know the best decision was made. I don’t live in the tristate area, and I’ve never experienced a hurricane. I have absolutely no room to comment on the issue, and I don’t intend to. I do, however, know what it’s like to give everything you have into training for your first marathon, and not run it. And I do (finally) know that it’s okay. Ideal, no, but okay.
If I’m being 100% honest, I’m still feeling slightly down about the whole thing, and I feel guilty about feeling down when clearly people are suffering way more right now, but I can’t control how I feel, only how I deal with those emotions. It’s okay to feel disappointed, and to be honest, I knew I would come back from New York feeling down. I always get the post-fill-in-the-blank sadness after big life events, ie: my wedding, my first 1/2 marathon, even a little bit following Christmas and my birthday (you can judge me). I put a lot of build up and anticipation on these things, and when they’re over, I get sad. This one just didn’t end how I expected–or maybe it’s just not over?
I’ve thought a lot about what to do next. I’m trained to run a marathon. I want to run a marathon, like really really badly. Funny story, there’s not as many of those crazy things as one would think. In fact, there’s pretty much non coming up in Arizona for quite a while, and traveling isn’t really in the cards right now. I found a couple that I thought “Maybe I can make this work…”, and then I realized that this is my first marathon, and you only get one first marathon. I don’t want to jump into just any replacement race. I want to make the right choice, and that means waiting until RnR AZ in January when I can still go out and have my friends and family be there to cheer me on. I know that’s not what running is all about, but it’s just something I need for my first marathon, and that’s okay.
So I have 12 weeks to get faster, stronger, and even more ready. Hopefully along the way I will run some shorter distance races and maybe set some new PRs. I am really happy to have a new goal to focus on, and every day I am believing the voice in my head that says “Everything happens for a reason.” just a little bit more. Some amazing things still came out of this trip, and I can’t wait to tell you about running in Central Park on marathon morning, but that is a story for an other time. Right now, I will leave it at: I am still sad, but I’m okay, and I’m refocusing on training and preparing for my first marathon in January.
Thanks to everyone who sent me texts/emails/phone calls/tweets/etc. I felt really loved, and I really needed it. I am so ridiculously lucky, and I honestly still kind of feel like I did it. Running a marathon isn’t about that one day; it is about the months you spend working toward your goal. For 20 weeks, I prepared myself to run 26.2 miles, and although that day I ended up running less than half of that, I gave my heart to that goal for 20 weeks, and one day doesn’t change or define that process. Onward.