An Untitled Long Run
I've been struggling the past few weeks with my longer training runs, but always kept the dream of a BQ time in my mind. I thought I'd hit it last year, but tragically fell short. I occasionally speak of that race as the marathon that 'broke me'; 'the course that stole my soul'; 'the time I met Jesus'; 'the marathon I lost', etc., then blaming my wall on a shitty pair of shoes. I made peace in the weeks leading up to the May 2016 New Jersey Marathon that a BQ wouldn't happen, but, instead, my focus would be on just running in the moment. I developed a lifestyle that incorporated more meditation, more focus on maintaining the fragility of my emotions. Despite 40 degree weather, pouring rain AND 17 mph winds, I earned a personal best, both underdressed and wearing a trial pair of shoes from the Runners World Shoe Lab. Ha! Go figure.
But Via, this race, would be my redemption. I'd own that course and qualify. I would NOT allow that race to destroy me, again. As time went on in my current training cycle something felt off. I stopped short on my long runs not because of physical limitations, but because I didn’t want to run anymore. At some point, I lost the joys of being on the road, running free; the goal of a BQ didn’t motivate me anymore. I knew something had to change. It took time for me to process everything, but I finally made the decision to take a step back from my training and just focus on breathing in the present. I'm not yet sure whether or not I want to run the half marathon; I have some time to figure that out. I certainly strayed from my meditation, my focus on maintaining my fragility, by again, feeling a sense of unbreakability.
Yesterday was Wednesday, the toughest day - MY toughest day. I felt kind of guilty about skipping my speed workout as I perused my e-mail over a cup of coffee. The letter from Lauren Fleshman sat in my inbox unopened no longer. I could have dropped dead that moment. Although I can’t relate to the career of a professional athlete, I can certainly relate to those feelings and those words. There are other things, for me, on the horizon. A BQ wouldn’t define me, just like NOT going for it wouldn’t either. Her letter is another reminder that I’m not alone. The freshness of this decision hasn't permitted me to let it all sink in. There are still tears; however, I know I made the right decision. There might be other races, maybe not. But there will never be another right now.