Today I ran a race, and it was terrible. It was one of those mornings where nothing seemed to come together - my stomach felt funny, I couldn't get into a good rhythm, and at about mile 10 the wheels just completely fell off. I've had a big goal for the last couple of years, to break 1:40 in the half marathon, and I thought today could possibly be the day. It wasn't even close.
The Lake Sammamish Half has a rep for being flat and fast, and the field is indeed pretty fast and full of people looking for that PR. What that also means is that all 3 times I’ve run it, I’ve spent the entire run being passed by people. No matter what speed I run somehow the entire time people pass me. It's not something that normally bothers me, but today as I was fighting my disappointment and frustration, each new back I saw just made me madder and madder. Wach step felt like way more effort than it should have, each mile was just a few seconds slower than the last, constantly watching people pass me was disheartening. You can train and put the hours in and feel strong, and still not get that result you were hoping for. It was a tough day.
I think as moms, we tend to try to frame events in ways that we can pass on a lesson to our kids. I wish I could say that what kept me going was the chance to show my kids that it's the effort that counts, but the truth is that I kept going because my own mom was going to be at the finish line and I didn't want to disappoint her by calling an Uber and going home. Each run, both good and bad, is for me. Part of what I love the most about it is that it's my chance to just be myself - not mom, not wife, and not Bridget from F4M. And that means that the lessons that I learn are just mine. The kids will see my example, see that I’ve kept going even when it's tough, but this isn't for them. I’m doing this for me. And right now, that means accepting the disappointment and moving ahead. I need to get my mojo back because Boston is just 6 weeks away - should I burn some sage or something? This probably makes me seem superstitious, but I believe that in every training cycle you have to have one spectacularly bad run, and at least it's happened *before* Boston. There won't be another chance to try for that magic number until the Fall or Winter, and I guess that may be the lesson for the kids - make the most of each day and each run, because another shot isn't guaranteed.