I really don’t know how to begin this post. I sit here struggling with the right words, because if I reveal the truth I open myself up for judgement and other people’s opinions of me at a time when I am already judging and critizing myself just fine on my own.
After my last marathon, I made a quiet decision to run another 26.2 this past Sunday. I was feeling disappointed with the last marathon, it was hilly and hot and I didn’t have my best performance. Looking for some vindication, I had every intention of getting my PR at this race, fully confident that my body is capable of running this distance at the same pace as my long training runs. As the start time approached, however, things began to unravel. I was awoken at midnight the night before the race, and because of my anxiety I was unable to fall back asleep. By the time my alarm went off, I had a splitting migraine and was still recovering from a severe chest cold. I guess a part of me wanted to believe that these factors did not matter, that a champion can push through illness without flinching. Determined, I put on my gear and drove to the starting line. In hindsight, this may not have been the best decision.
I began my race and, despite the pain I was in, maintained a solid pace. By the time I completed the first 13.1 mile loop, though, I knew that I wasn’t going to able to finish. I was nearly delirious from the pain of the migraine and seemingly every breath triggering another hacking cough. I had to call it, and in that moment I did something I have never done before: I ended my race at the half marathon point. The announcer was, literally, calling my name as the 3rd full marathon woman to reach the halfway mark when I just stopped running, walked off the course, and puked my guts out.
I’m frustrated, disappointed, and angry with myself that I have not yet run the marathon the way I have my long training runs or my half marathons. It has become such a point of contention that I believe I have created a dark, anxious cloud in my soul. I got home yesterday, sick in my body and wounded in my spirit… Thank God I had the words of my precious friend comforting me as she texted me the entire day. If not for her compassion and level headed advice, I may have spiraled downward. I was telling her “running is no longer fun”, “I have no motivation to do this anymore.” She gently talked me through my sadness, in a way only she could.
As we all know, tomorrow is a new day, and all will look different in time. Today, I dropped my kids off at school and went for a Garmin free therapy trail run. What I came to me is nothing new, but what I oftentimes forget… that life is, and always will be about:
1. Surrender– Letting go of an idea that things have to be a certain way and stop judging when they are not the picture you had in mind.
2. Trust– Being comfortable with what is happening right here, right now. Not questioning or protesting, but accepting the path that is being presented to you. Even if it hurts.
3. Believe– What you want is possible, but it takes time, paitence, determination and perseverance. The path may be a rocky one, but there is no turning back. With every failure, the eventual victory will be that much sweeter and meaningful.
Perhaps God knows I need meaning in life, and He is guiding me toward something larger than I could have ever dreamed. Like a child, I could be angry and upset for not fulling a dream ‘RIGHT NOW” or, I could stay true to my intended purpose. God may cause me to stumble so that when I do get that PR it will have so much meaning, and that is what I have been praying for… meaning in my life. With this belief in mind, I choose not to be angry and jugdmental towards myself, but be grateful for every failure, every bump in the road, because it’s all part of the path I am on.
It sounds so petty discussing my sadness over something as small as running a PR, but I believe chasing dreams and fighting for goals, no matter how big or small, is important in our lives. We all have different hopes and distinct journeys, they all must be acknowledged, we’re all in this together.
I TRUST that this is the road He wants me to take, I BELIEVE that I will run the race I have dreamed of for so long, and I SURRENDER and will try not to question the journey to get there.
What bumps in the road have you had that resulted in something great?