So, I told you I wanted to post about how I really felt after San Diego and how I felt after Long Beach. There were some pretty drastic differences after both races for pretty apparent reasons. I’ll start it off with my first marathon, San Diego.
I had some high expectations for San Diego before the gun even went off, but for some odd reason I knew it wasn’t going to be this amazing, great race that I had visualized in my head. When I woke up that morning of the race, I wasn’t excited and I felt vastly unprepared. I realized looking back on my training for San Diego, I was on a six day plan and was running a pretty hardcore workout regiment. It includes a lot of different workouts including speed workouts, hill workouts, cross training, long runs and the such. Looking back now, I have come to realize that before the race even started I was so burnt out, I wanted nothing to do with running. I had literally run myself into the ground. I remember the few weeks leading up to San Diego my blog posts weren’t much about running at all, because I hated running. Every long run it seemed that I got sick, and I felt like maybe magically, on race day, that wouldn’t happen. I was exhausted all the time, beat up and sore from running so much, and I felt like I had no life besides waking up, working, running and sleeping. I may not be the most social bug around, but I wanted to be able to hang out with my friends when I wanted and not be sore every morning and every night. I was seriously miserable. I trained and trained my butt off and I still felt like I was going to suck come race day. I had a secret goal for San Diego. It was to qualify for Boston. I NEVER verbalized that, because I felt like it was so ludicrous, but I also thought that maybe, maybe come race day I would be able to pull out some kind of miracle. I couldn’t have been farther from the qualifying time. But I thought SURELY I would be able to break four hours. I mean, even on a bad day. Wrong again.
Then it was race day. Race day didn’t go as planned. AT ALL. If you missed the race recap you can read it here, but the quick and dirty, no pun intended, was that I got really sick, made eight different stops at porta-potties and was graced with a visit from Aunt Flo at mile 8, which I was also unprepared for. My body hurt from being sick and my mind was not in the right place to run a marathon. I was exhausted, sad and felt like a failure. All I could think about was how horrible it was. Around mile 13 I seriously thought about quitting. My whole body was already aching and it just wasn’t my day. I realized that when my whole body was hurting and it was only mile 13, I had a long way to go. I felt defeated and horrible and that feeling never left me throughout the race. I didn’t want to walk during the race and when I began to walk off and on starting and mile 18, I felt horrible. I felt like I was a failure because I had NEVER walked. I felt like crying the entire race and was not happy with anything going on around me. It seemed like every step I was on the verge of tears. I sniffled as I passed all the other cheerers along the course, and wanted to just curl up in a ball on the side of the road and die.
I remember being in the porta-potties along the course and thinking I might have to throw up. I remember thinking about my hands being on the floor of the porta-pottie and I wanted to cry even more. I remember thinking about not ever even coming out of the porta-potties and just crawling off the course the next night. I remember there was an out and back section, and literally, at that point, I thought about if anyone would see me if I went under the tape and just started running again. I thought about cheating?! What the heck was wrong with me. I know it was just a mess. Then when I finally got to the finish line, I felt nothing. No sense of accomplishment, no joyous “I just finished a marathon!”, and no pride. I felt like I sucked at life. I felt like all my training was for nothing, and I swore as soon as I crossed the finish line I would NEVER run another marathon. EVER. They were stupid, and pointless, and worthless. All that training, all that time, all that exhaustion and dedication for a medal? I was never going to win a marathon. I wasn’t going to go to the Olympics, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to waste my time again. No thank you. I remember driving home and just thinking about how stupid I was for thinking I could possibly qualify for Boston. I finished in 4:28. I walked a lot of the course towards the end.