June 10, 2009

My True Feelings Revealed

Tomorrow is the day. The hiatus is almost over. I will put on my Salomons and drive over to the Bald Mountain single-track for a test run on my not-quite-100% shin. My plan is to do about 3.5 miles at a conversational pace. Of course, running Bald Mountain is hard to do conversationally because there are very few flat sections. You are almost always going up or down hills, tripping over roots and rocks and dodging fallen trees, large puddles and thorny vines. It's awesome!

I'm simply going to have to cross my fingers that whatever is wrong with my shin will continue to slowly heal as I continue to run. It worked with my achilles - I never stopped running when they became painful and they healed up quite nicely. So I know it is possible with some injuries! I'll continue to ice, stretch, roll out my calves, strengthen my lower legs and hope for the best.

On to an entirely different topic...

I keep going over my marathon in my mind. Every time I do, I realize the dominant feeling I have is disappointment. How can I be disappointed with a time of 3:31 for a first marathon and a Boston qualifying time. What is wrong with me?? I mean, I ran this marathon less than a year after my very first race! I keep thinking to myself that the standards for women in my age group must be WAY too easy if I can qualify after walking for so many miles. Then it occured to me - maybe I'm the one with standards that are way too high for myself

Still, everytime I talk to friends or family about the race, I stop myself when I try to say, "I ran my first marathon." In reality, I didn't run a marathon. I ran most of it and walked the rest. One of my goals for the race was to run the whole thing. I'm not one who buys into the whole walk/run strategy. That may be okay for those who just want to complete a marathon, but I wanted to RUN a marathon. I just can't bring myself to believe that I did that.

I ought to be darned proud of myself. The vast majority of the world's population will never even register for a marathon. I not only completed one, but qualified for Boston - a feat that takes many seasoned runners several tries to achieve. I repeat - what is wrong with me?? I've tried putting on a happy face when talking about this race with others, but it really was partly an act. I'm trying to convince myself to feel how I ought to feel, but one cannot turn feelings on and off with the flip of a switch. It doesn't work that way.

So now I set my sights on the Grand Rapids marathon. Goal number one will be to run the entire race. I know I won't be satisfied unless I also PR, but that shouldn't be an issue if goal number one is reached! I can't imagine going to Boston without ever having RUN an entire marathon. This is why my fall marathon is so important. I hardly feel like a marathoner yet! I feel a little pang of guilt every time I see the 26.2 magnet on my car. Did I truly deserve it? Of course I did! See, part of me understands, but part of me is a stubborn, perfectionistic redhead.

Hopefully tomorrow will be an upbeat post on how great I feel after my trail run!

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