2014 was quite a year of fitness! I ran 2 marathons, 2 half marathons, a 10k trail race, 3 5ks, and a 15k for fun, along with a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon. I almost finished P90X3, but all of the aforementioned races got in the way. I did a lot of Pilates and some yoga, but mostly this was the year all about running.
And I did get faster. I PRed at the marathon, the half marathon, and the 5k. I took 1st place woman in a 5k and 2nd place in my first trail run (both small races but a win is a win!). Despite a lot of progress, I didn’t achieve my biggest goal for the 2nd year in a row – qualify for the Boston Marathon.
To review, my goals for 2014 related to running were:
1) Qualify for Boston
2) Run a sub 1:40 half marathon
3) Run my first trail race
I almost qualified for Boston. As we all know, I collapsed within yards of the finish line and ended up walking over it with help of my husband and volunteers to finish in 3:35:26.
I almost ran a sub 1:40 half marathon. I came in 1:40:03 at San Diego Rock n’ Roll.
At least I did run that trail race!
Am I disappointed that I didn’t achieve all 3 goals? Of course. My ankle sprain in January set me back for the Phoenix marathon and my body decided to call it quits within seconds of qualifying at CIM. The 3 seconds that stood between me and a sub 1:40 half marathon don’t really bother me – although I”ll still chase that goal, I’m satisfied with how close I am to it. But of course, I’m sad about falling short of Boston again.
In the days following CIM, I went through a range of emotions. Disappointment. Anger. Comfort. Doubt. Fear. Pride. Respect. Love. I’m disappointed in the outcome, angry at my body for the way it reacted to the circumstances, comforted by the kind words of family and friends (including all my virtual blog/twitter/instagram friends!), I’ve doubted my body’s ability to finally achieve my goal, I’ve feared trying again and failing, I’ve been proud that I stayed mentally strong during the race and that I didn’t give up, I respect the marathon distance and those who have successfully conquered their goals for it even more, and probably most surprisingly and also importantly, I’ve fallen even more in love with the marathon.
One thing I’m not feeling is regret. Yes, I think there are probably some things I could have done differently that may have caused an alternate outcome, but I don’t regret the choices I made or how I trained. I have no idea if going out a little slower, doing more hill work (specifically downhill repeats to get my quads used to the 1,000 or so feet of descending we did over the course of the race), listening to my body’s protest and slowing down just a little bit more in those last 2 miles, or drinking more water or eating just one more Gu (but not electrolytes – I took 3 salt pills and also drank nuun on the course so I don’t think this was an issue) would have helped. I’ve even wondered if I had calmed down could I have somehow forced my legs to work!? Could I have rolled or crawled to the finish line? The answer is probably no, but all of these things bounced around in my head in the days following the race.
Despite these thoughts, the truth is, the joy of running is in the journey, not the outcome. I loved training for CIM. The beautiful sunrise runs, the adrenaline producing speed work sessions, the breakfast training brainstorming sessions with Mike, the satisfying exhaustion of my legs after a successful long run. I learned more about what works for me as a runner, and I am now faster for it. I walked away with a nice marathon PR and I had a great year. I didn’t achieve all my goals but I did make progress. I made new friends along the way and I enjoyed the ride. And for that reason, I’m happy with 2014.
Thank you to everyone for the incredibly kind words following my unexpected and heartbreaking day at CIM. You all have made the day much easier to swallow and I’m thankful for that.
Cheers to 2014 and Hello 2015!