Okay, it’s been a while since my last post and there really isn’t a good reason.
My fingers work just fine. I took a break from running to give my legs a rest after the Cleveland marathon, so it’s not like I don’t have the time.
. . . Oh, yes, Cleveland, I think with a wry smile, followed by a sheepish grin and slightly averted eyes.
I had high hopes for that race didn’t I? I publicly declared goals. I was going to set a personal best and do things.
Well, I failed miserably in achieving them, and perhaps I just didn’t want to talk about them. I am a man with way too high expectations and too much pride for such average skills. Typical?
Within a two-week period I went from setting a new personal best in Cincinnati (still almost 9 minutes slower than what I feel would make an awesome marathoner) to clocking in my worst marathon time at Cleveland (a full 40 minutes over my goal time).
We could go into a rundown of reasons why I didn’t live up to expectations in Cleveland. I’ll give a few just to make myself feel better.
Some of it had to do with running two marathons within 15 days. I never attempted this before. I felt crazy for just trying. I told myself I was crazy and I was very nervous before the race started. I was actually in a foul mood the night before Cleveland started.
Then there was the weather on race day. It was 82 degrees by the time I finished the route! Seventy-one degrees at the start! I tend to meltdown in heat. And it didn’t help that I decided Cleveland sucked. Okay, not an entire city, since I didn’t really get to see all of it, but the marathon route did. Too flat, too many open, straight stretches. And too few crowds and water stops, and the heat, did I mention the heat?
Though I’m not completely willing to give up on my excuses, what kind of happened was I got about half way through the race with time to spare on my sub-4 hour pace, and realized I probably wasn’t going to keep it up. I gunned it too hard at the beginning, put too much pressure on myself to get some goal, and shamefully, I decided to just run-walk it in around mile 15 when my head defeated me. I even barked at one of my friends who went to Cleveland with me as he passed me. After the race I felt bad, as I realized that friend hurt as bad as I did, and was trying to drag me a little further so we might walk-run the rest of the course together about a mile up the road.
Since Cleveland (three weeks now?) I have run a few times, mostly short distances of four to five miles, with one 9 mile road run, and one trail run. The trail run was supposed to be 8 miles, two weeks after Cleveland. I bought trail running shoes. The trail was a mountain bike path. I ran almost four miles before I had to stop because my chest felt like it was going to explode and I needed to run-walk the rest of that course as well.
Perhaps I am experience burn out. Perhaps I am just suffering from a deep-rooted insecurity where I set higher than to be expected goals for myself, to prove myself and standout, only to fail.
I know when I ran the 9 flat miles by myself this past Friday, I enjoyed them. I ran slowly and didn’t worry about my pace, or how I looked or who I was keeping up with. Basically, I didn’t care as much, because I wasn’t in some way trying to compete.
And with all this downtime, since I’m not “training” at the moment, I went to three Reds baseball games, stayed out way too late on one work night, am actually eating healthier (since I’m not burning the calories that allow me justification for being a human garbage disposal), and have been watching movies on Netflix when I get home from work.
Okay, I should honestly stop doing the last, since the movies I am watching are all these depressing little independent films, like the one I watched last night called “Everything Must Go” that put me in this little mood this morning.
Anyway, summer training starts up again in a couple of weeks for the fall marathon season. I will probably sign up. I will hopefully lose the goals and pressures I place on myself and just enjoy the running. Or not. Perhaps I just need a long beach vacation and a few more baseball games down by the river.