Sunday, October 4, 2009

The end of the road (for now)

Well. I had really high hopes for today. I started thinking about the 26.2 sticker I was going to buy for my car. The "marathoner" title I would finally have. An idea for dedicating each mile of the marathon to a friend or family member.

I was to do 22 miles this morning.

My leg was hurting right away, but I kept at it, and soon the hurt subsided. But my ankles and feet hurt. And as I prayed and prayed for help to get me through, I started to feel better...until I didn't. My right calf (the one that never hurts) started to tense up so bad I could barely walk. I made it to my car (where I was to refuel for part two of my run) and had to stop. I had been making good pace the whole time, ten-plus minutes ahead of where I needed to be, but the clock stopped at 3 hours and a mere 12.85 miles. I was done.

I struggled and struggled with what it meant. Without this 22-miler (or at the very, very least, a 20-miler), I wouldn't be ready for the marathon. Sure, I did 20 already, but it was a month ago and would be too far away to matter. I haven't dropped any weight (maybe 5 pounds, on a good day), and I look awful. I have been wondering what I was going to wear in the race, what I could wear to not look as bad as I feel. And all of this made me realize it's just not my time. I want to be ready. I want to be MORE than ready. I don't want to worry about being kicked off the course because I'm too slow. I don't want my longest long run to be 20 miles more than a month before the race.

So that's that. To all those who believed in me and made me believe in myself, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I'm sorry. I hope to get to that finish line one day. For now, I'm going to take the wise advice of my wise and supportive boyfriend and go run some 5Ks and 10Ks and enjoy this sport again. I think I've been worried for so many months about succeeding in the race that I haven't enjoyed the process like I used to. I'm ready to get back to that place.

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