Sometimes running can really get in to your head. Since July training and racing has been going so incredibly well I have felt like the sky was the limit........THAN.....I went out and did a marathon pace workout at the Heart Center Half marathon. I don't really know why I was expecting it to go so much better than it did. Last week I really pushed my body Sunday running my longest run ever a 20 mile progression in just over 2 hours followed by a 9x mile workout on Weds ranging from 5:22-5:31. All my other runs of the week were 8-10 mile runs in the morning between 6:30-7 min pace and a 4-5 mile easy evening run. All week long my legs felt pretty spent, but I still had this great idea that my MP workout was going to be a lot more than just a workout, I was going to somehow run faster than that. I mean it's a race right my legs would just snap back at it. I quickly learned from the start that my legs weren't going to snap to anything. The guys took off pretty fast and I kept telling myself it's cold, the ground is muddy, icy, and just not perfect for me. Once we get out of this loop (close to 6 miles)and on the street I will be able to get in the swing of things. Truth was once we got out of the dirt my legs just felt worse. I think all of the uneven ground worked my legs so much differently than what I am use to and the mile markers were so off I decided to just stop looking at them because one mile would be 6 something than the next would be 4 something. It was really messing with my head and it didn't help that I was all alone. Long story short I ended up averaging just over 6 minutes for the half. I crossed the finish line and really wanted to cry! Which is so silly. Had this been a workout outside of a race situation I probably would have been a bit disappointed as I wanted to run 5:50's but not defeated. I knew going in the course was tough, but I still couldn't handle it.
Than this nice man walked over to me and said "Are you Wendy Thomas? I have been following you, your story is so inspiring." After talking to him for a bit another woman walked over to tell me "IT was so great seeing you run so fast! I was here watching my daughter and she is really impressed with you." I've been in this situation before and I have learned instead of feeling sorry for myself to these people I needed to thank them and appreciate this fact. For me it's hard. I tend to put a lot of weight on my shoulders and when I run a time that I feel is so slow I feel like I have let myself down, my kids down, my family down, my coach and all the people who believe in me down. Than I start to think why on earth am I getting the opportunity to run with team USA in Japan? I'm going to run horrible in the Vegas half, I'm going to let my team down in Seattle at the XC meet and don't even get me started on the trials.
Yes I came home walked in the door saw the sign from my kids, Our mommy rocks (yes that is still up from my half in Philly two months ago) and started crying. I spent the rest of the day really down on myself questioning everything. Luckily Sunday was the NYC marathon. I sat on my couch watching every second. Trying to absorb all the lessons I could, do not go out to fast, respect the distance, see how those guys are running with their bottle for a bit and just sipping, see the women falling in and drafting. At the same time I was following a friend online as he tackled the tough course. I was inspired!!! I could see on TV the exact point that Mary started to hurt, I could see online the exact point that my friend and others I followed started to struggle. All I could think is it would be SO much easier for them to just stop. But non of them did they all pushed and finished. After the race I began texting Corey to tell him how inspired I was by him pushing through and finishing. He was disappointed like I had been the day before. I told him how he didn't let anyone down he was amazing! Pushing showed so much about his character, how there are so many people that would give anything to run the time he did. His response took me out of my funk. He said "Does that advice work for you? :)" HE was right! That nice guy and mom were so impressed by me. No one other than me thought holy crap she just ran that slow. How did she go from a 1:13 to a 1:19 in a couple months. No one but me was thinking that (I HOPE :)). Races and workouts have been going better than expected for a while. I had one bad workout! Yes it was HORRIBLE, but I finished it. I wanted to quit at 4 miles my body was so tired and cold. But I didn't I pushed! That in itself was an accomplishment. I'm sure come January I am going to want to quit somewhere after 20 miles when my body just hates me. It's workouts like Saturday that will remind me I am strong enough to push through. I am in the best shape I have ever been in, but my body is working so hard I can't expect it to always be at 100%. I'm sure that was part of the reason Scott wanted me to do this race on tired sore legs. I've worked hard for all of this I can't let one workout get me down.
So thank you to all of you who support me and believe in me. It's all of you that make me finish a race when I want to give up. It's you that make me pull my head out of my funk! It's all of you that get me through the day to day struggle. I have to remember how blessed I am! I am going to Japan! I'm going to the trials! I'm going to have a kick a** time with my team in Seattle!
A friend sent this to me a week or so ago and I have a feeling I will look back on it a lot the next couple of months.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"
2 Timothy 4:7
Now off to training!!!!!!