So, I know that not every race can be a PR or even a good race. I know that; but accepting that is a whole different story, especially when it comes to marathon training. I can get so competitive and so focused that I will think that anything but a victory every time will set me back, which, although I know is not the case, weighs heavy on my mind.
Well, my fine and fair readers, I am happy to report that I was able to shake this bump in the road! To quote an ex-boyfriend’s Facebook status update a day after I posted a picture of me and my new beau at the time - now also an ex, but who’s counting? – “I’m over it.” Unlike that poor, lost boy, though, I mean it. Just for the record, he ‘unfriended’ me the next day. Mmm hmm!
And despite the time that’s elapsed since my last blog post, I felt much better about my perceived failure within a day or two. First and foremost, I owe my acceptance to one word, a single, magical syllable that can mean a 180-degree difference in mentality between fighting the urge to snap at anyone who tries to make you feel better and actually hearing your own voice of reason repeating their exact words: SLEEP.
After catching up on a lil’ sheep countin’, I was thinking more clearly and much more logically; and I just felt better about my race in general. That alone was enough to tell me just how physically and psychologically tapped I was on race morning.
Then, I started doing a little digging and discovered that, had I run just as fast as I did last year, I still would have placed exactly the same in my age group. The facts of the matter are that (1) more women in my age group registered for Jodi’s Race this year and (2) some of those that did were faster than me on race day. And that’s that.
In fact, the first four female finishers in my age group landed spots in the list of the first five overall female finishers. To place in my age group, I would have had to run more than two minutes faster. No matter how well I’d been running up to that point, that just wasn’t gonna happen. Or, at least, not this year. There’s always next year. . .
And, at the end of the day, our joint mission was accomplished. Continuing the trend since it began four years ago, Jodi’s Race was a HUGE success! Race directors set a goal of reaching 2,500 participants and raising $100,000 to help women in Colorado and to raise ovarian cancer awareness. The final figures include 2,521 runners and walkers and fundraising over $116,000 for the cause.
And, of course, I’m always ecstatic to spend some time with my like-minded winged-feet friends!
And finally, as if helping women in Colorado affected by ovarian cancer, spending a day with my running buddies, and not only realizing but accepting the fact that I am human and can only do so much wasn’t enough, I had an even better trail run and ran about 30 seconds faster per mile than expected at the Snug this past week.
I know I’ve said it before, and I may very well say it again: 2013′s gonna be a great year.
Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., conducts child development research and works to improve the lives of young children at the University of Denver and is a long-time road and trail runner. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.