|Giving it one more shot in Phoenix. Can you find JV and Me?|
A record number of days (for me) have elapsed between crossing the finish line and finally writing a marathon race report, and I'm sorry for that. When starting this blog, it was never my intention to solely write about the good races or training days. Like everyone else who has dedicated themselves to running, I've experienced plenty of highs and lows while pursuing my dreams. January 17 was one of those lows. I failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials on the final day of eligibility.
Running Rock n' Roll AZ as my final OTQ attempt was great in a lot of ways. Jesse was there to pace (again!) through mile 20, I got to race with many teammates and friends, and had many others on course for support. I don't think I've ever had so many people cheer for me by name, and not just because it was on my bib. I am very grateful for that, and honestly don't know if I could have finished were they not there. The race itself was "indescribably painful" (as I uttered after crossing the finish line). I was on pace through mile 10 (ha!), before progressively declining as I slogged through 16.2 more. There were no "rough patches" before feeling good again. Every mile hurt worse than the one preceding it. Let's just say I'm excited to take a break from marathons for a while!
|One of the better miles with Tanaya, the champion! Thanks Josh Esquivel for the photos!|
I wish I had some brilliant insights about accepting failure, or having it be a great teacher, or something else, but I truly don't. It has been really hard for me to accept failing at something that I worked my ass off for. As I drove to work two days after the race, it hit me like a ton of bricks: My dream for 2016 was gone. I shed tears in my car, recomposed myself, then had another breakdown after entering my office. The cycle continued throughout the day. I may not have set a marathon PR on the 17th, but I definitely set a personal record for the number of meltdowns in one day at work: FIVE! I share this only in hopes that it might make someone else feel better who has also failed at a dream. Sometimes you just need to cry and grieve the loss.
I'm happy to report that my emotions have been a lot more stable since the five-meltdowns-in-one-workday incident. While I am still sad to miss running in the Trials, I've been able to ask myself a fundamental question: If I had known back in 2012 that I would have ultimately failed, would I have still pursued running with the same effort? It took me less than a second to answer - YES! While January 17 was a heartbreaking day for me, I experienced some of the greatest moments of my life leading up to that race. Breaking three hours in the marathon. Running with my brothers to calm my nerves the morning of my wedding. Racing around the world. Being on a professional team. Winning my first marathon. Meeting some of my greatest friends. Most of those moments and opportunities wouldn't have happened had I not been willing to dream big.
|A forever moment - en route to my first sub3 in 2012. This still remains my only official race photo purchase.|
As much as it annoys me when other people say it, the reward is truly in the journey. That is why mine will continue. I'm not afraid to set another big goal, and mine is to run in the 2020 Olympic Trials. There might be ups and downs along the way, but it will be worth it again. In the meantime, I have a 5k PR that is begging to be broken!
|Addy deserves this medal for inspiring me to run for the joy of it.|
|Friendly tip: Fostering a dog is a guaranteed way to raise your spirits. Meet Roman!|
For another, much more inspiring read about failing to OTQ but finding joy in the journey, check out this article by Mike Cassidy.