I heard it so many times…
“You’ve got this in the bag.”
“There is no way you’re not going to Boston Qualify.”
“The only way you won’t BQ is if you get hit by a car.”
“Look at what you did at Dopey…this one will be easy!”
ALL. THE. WORDS.
And while I appreciate that people have confidence and faith in me…there were a few things I was contending with…
I didn’t have a coach or…technically…a plan starting in August, when marathon training was really getting heavy. I figured it out by turning back to an old training plan from 2013 and making adjustments.
I didn’t feel like I was in shape, personally, for my goal. After all, my longest run in my training plan didn’t go well at all. It ended with me walking my last 1.3 miles of it to hit the mileage and almost passing out thanks to the heat. Let me tell you, that really did little to boost my confidence at all going into the taper and the race itself.
I still feel out of shape.
With myself. With letting those who believed in me down. For not doing what others did that day. For feeling like an absolute failure every time I hear the success stories of those who ran the same race at me…but achieved their goals. For letting myself down.
Maybe I didn’t want it enough. Maybe running without my watch telling me pace and distance was a mistake. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time off my feet the day before. Maybe I didn’t fuel right that day or at dinner the night before. Maybe I didn’t wear the right thing for the weather. Maybe I didn’t fuel enough during. Maybe…maybe…maybe.
Excuses? Reasons? Justifications?
It doesn’t undo how much it hurt to know that I didn’t achieve a goal that I was told was going to be so easy for me to get this time. It doesn’t undo the fact that I ran a marathon in January an entire minute faster after running a 5K, 10K, and half marathon in the 3 days leading up to it. It stings. It hurts.
I am very proud of my finish, please don’t get me wrong. But it feels like such a let down because, while I wasn’t actively proclaiming my goals from the rooftops…I carried all these high hopes with me. They drove me. They pushed me. And in the end…I still came up short. By a bigger margin than it should have been.
And that’s a hard pill to swallow at times.
I am okay with how my race turned out…but I’m not satisfied. And I’m not happy. I know, just like everyone who told me, that I have at least one more BQ in me. It just wasn’t this race. It wasn’t my time. And it’s okay for me to not be okay with it. But it’s not okay for me to dwell on it. Or to let disappointment hold me back.
After all…I still have goals to meet.
I am proud of every finish line because, ultimately, my goal is always to finish. Sometimes it feels easy…and sometimes it’s a struggle. I still believe every struggle and every shortcoming is a learning experience and something to grow from and improve on. So, while it didn’t happen this time…and perhaps might not happen next time, I’m driven and striving to get there and make it happen. I know it will. I’ll chip away until I reach that goal.
For everyone who believed in me then…believe in me now. I’m not done yet.