Did I say I'd be fine? Was that just yesterday? I underestimated.... the guy who said this course was flat was NOT a runner. He drives a car! He averages out the fact that there are the same number of uphills as downhills and says that equals flat! That does NOT equal flat. THAT equals quads, knees and hips. Ohmigod. It's been 8 hours since I dragged my sorry ass back from the race (up and down those short steep hills I wrote about yesterday) and up the stairs into my room to collapse into an ice bath... and it HURTS!
But you know what? That's okay. Because I made it hurt. The reason it hurts is because I tried. I set a goal, I worked my ass off for five months in ice and snow and wind, and I showed up on race day. I believed I could make that goal and I pushed myself through the pain, whimpering as I did it, but I did it nonetheless. I do have to admit that I was laughing a bit to myself at mile 24 where coach had said if you have anything left, give it a little push to the end the last 2.2 miles. HA! You're kidding right? I was into marathon shuffle mode at that point. Walk breaks at every mile marker and SERIOUS whimpering a few hundred yards past that when I started running again.
Now I usually cry when I cross the finish of a marathon, but this is the first time I was crying because I was in so much pain. This is the first time some strange volunteer at the end of the race put there arms around me and asked if I was okay, if I needed to be escorted out of the finish shoot. PAIN.
So, I didn't meet my goal, but it was a rather lofty one for me. I was trying to shave 26:30 off my best time for the marathon. A time I achieved in my first effort, but which had deteriorated significantly in subsequent attempts. I did, however, get a PR... by 11 minutes! And you know what? I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, feel guilty over, etc.... I left it all out there on the course. There was nothing left. There is still nothing left. I'm not really sure about that long drive to Portland tomorrow. I wonder if they'd let me stay here another night :) It sure is peaceful. At any rate, I'm proud of my accomplishments today. Sure I'm disappointed that I didn't meet my goal, but you know what? There's always next time :) And I've proven to myself that I can run through the pain.
But does it have to hurt so much?