...is simply to finish.
Deep down, I think I have the potential to run sub 3:20, maybe even sub 3:15. I realllllly do. And perhaps I'm just not tough enough, but I don't think my current lifestyle is letting me reach my full running potential.
The first six weeks of my training cycle went surprisingly well. Of course I had some less-than-stellar runs, which I wrote about a bit before, but for the most part I felt strong and excited for November 1st. I was training smarter: long runs were in the 8:30/mi range, and shorter runs were right around 8:00 pace. I forced myself to foam roll and stretch for 15 minutes after every run. I went to yoga & lifted a few times a week.
Sure, I ate a lot of tacos, was still really sore and tired all the time, and had some dark, dark days. Running became the priority and other things suffered because of it. But amidst it all, I was enjoying the up and down journey.
But then my foot ended up in a boot.
I wrote this emotional/dramatic rant in my journal right after I got hurt (TBD on what's exactly wrong, but I haven't been able to run in two weeks and it still hurts to walk..). AH:
"I was supposed to run 17 miles tonight, but instead I slipped on my swimsuit, and then begrudgingly went on the bike. (I hate the stupid bike.) Injuries are #theworst. I felt pain. I ignored it. I took a day off and then felt the pain again. Next thing I know..I can't put any..ANY.. weight on my foot without being an "8 out of 10" on the pain scale. I barely slept that night. I am scheduling an MRI. I cried in the bathroom at work. Three times. I miss this sport already. Should I retire?"
After a week in the boot of shame, I was cleared by my doctor to take it off and see if I could run a few miles. The next day I got on a plane to spend a week and a half in Utah, where my boyfriend lives. A little too excited, I jumped into the mountains ready to run the roads, climb the mountains, and hike the trails. I packed my Garmin and gu, hoping to finally get back on the long-run train.
But I'm still in a lot of freakin pain, and couldn't muster more than a few minutes of running (or walking) before becoming a limping machine.
To keep things interesting, I return to New York on Sunday, and then leave Wednesday morning for a three-week work trip in Nepal. Even before I got hurt, my goal for Nepal was to try and run max one-hour, five times a week. I didn't want to put pressure on myself + try to get in long runs, since I want to focus on work & being with my team. It's also damn mountainous in rural Nepal, and even though a daily hill session would prob be an AWESOME butt workout, the elevation + my asthma + always sticking out like a sore thumb makes it hard and awkward to run alone.
But throw that out the window, because who knows how much I'll run in Nepal, if at all.
I come home October 6th. I am immediately traveling for a wedding, celebrating my dad's 60th birthday, and going to visit my Grandma in Florida—all the while trying to peak train, taper, and mentally prepare to run 26.2 miles after essentially taking a month+ off.
All of this is to say, the marathon has turned into a fun run. Prior to getting hurt I really thought I'd be able to BQ again, and secretly dreamt of finally going to Boston this spring. But the reality is (which is so hard for me to say, but here I go...) I need to stay healthy, I need to stay present, and I need to enjoy these next few months of travel.
I just want to run, and run fast. But there will be time for that. Eventually.
Until then, here is the scene from where I've been "hiking" and camping all week. Not a bad alternative :)