To run the Marshall University Marathon or not to run it...that is the question.
In truth, I think I already know what I will do. I will go and run. I will run hard and try for a personal record. But I have no idea what the outcome will be, and I have already counseled myself strictly that I am NOT allowed to be down or hard on myself if I do not PR.
Here's the thing. I think I am trained and able to run a better time than a 3:58. Maybe not a Boston Qualifier, but a PR is definitely within my reach. The factor that works against this is that I just ran a 50 mile trail run 3 weeks prior. I feel good and healed and ready, but that is not always a true sign that this is the case.
Why is this a big deal at all? I mean there are a ton of marathons all over the US taking place at later dates. Why not do one of those? Good question. The reason is I've decided to do some other things, and while I do not intend to stop running, I do not intend to run a marathon for a while. I'd like to temporarily "end" on a better note than a 3:58. Not because that is not a good marathon time, but because I know in my heart I am ready to do more. I'm itching to prove this. Maybe just to myself, but I want to see it on the clock, not just in my mind.
I had a moment last week when I let myself...what would you call it...give way to the worry and frustration that sometimes plagues a runner in a human body (which is pretty much all of us unless there is something I don't know). Our imaginations, dreams, hopes and desires often outrun what our bodies will let us do. This may be because of time, energy, ability, or injury - but it is the runner's curse in a way. In truth, we (I think I can speak for most of us) just desire to run. Period.
I love it. It is why I can hardly let myself mend and heal after a hard race. It is why I cannot ignore the call of a gorgeous day. I get impatient, irritable and fidgety at my desk as I long to be outside in it. It is why, when injury strikes, it can become seemingly unbearable to hold back, to stop, to do less, to wait. Simply because I love to run.
So, last week I had some pain that hinted of injury. And I had surprising amounts of fatigue. I wanted to run the marathon. I doubted I could run the marathon. Should I run the marathon? I wanted to run and PR. And as the tears of frustration began to appear, I rubbed my sore leg and thought, this is ridiculous. I am crying about running down the road of all things!
Ridiculous, not to mention greedy. Ungrateful. Silly. I just finished a 50 miler. What more can a girl want? I also have a husband I love, a house, a good job, great family, and all the trimmings that make my life wonderful. I feel like the little girl who got a new doll but wants the doll house and pronto.
So, I let myself have this little pity party tear fest and then I got myself together (okay, so Jason helped). My amazing massage therapist worked on my leg and told me I was going to be fine. She said to rest and then run the marathon. My running friends said the same. At the very least, I get another state toward my 50 state goal, and I can say I tried. At the most...well, we know what that would be.
The decision is pretty much made. It is a risk because I fear the disappointment that accompanied Louisville, KY. I fear some sort of proof that I can't break my own record. But I hope too. I hope I can run strong and hard. I hope I can achieve a PR. I hope to have that amazing feeling that accompanies such a feat.
All I can do is lace up my shoes and give it a shot.