Last Saturday was my 4th Mini-Marathon, and my first mini-disaster.
As always, I drive to Indy filled with expectations and hopes. I love the city. I thoroughly enjoy the expo and I don't even mind waking up early on a Saturday to "race", which I never do. I always just execute my race plan.
Last year I set a PR. I knew going into the Mini-Marathon that this was not going to be my strongest race, but I was willing to test the legs and see if I could come close to my PR.
From the very first step, I knew it was not going to be a strong race. My legs felt tired from the very beginning. I was running with my friend, Christy, who strained a butt muscle earlier in the week. For the first half mile, we ran together weaving in and out of people and obstacles.
That's where we got separated. She kept holding a nice steady pace and I was excited to see her stride looked normal. For myself? Ugh. I couldn't get my legs to move. I had absolutely no gas in the tank. Today was obviously not going to be a PR day.
Instead I switched to Plan B. Execute my Ironman plan. Run from aid station to aid station. Walk at aid stations and take in hydration and nutrition.
Mile by mile they clicked off. It's amazing how different you feel when you can say you only have 4 miles left. ONLY 4 miles left.
I finished the race around 2:25 according to my Garmin. I felt slightly deflated and frustrated. During the entire run, I tried to figure out why my legs felt tired. Could it be over training? I slowly smiled and thought it could be under training.
On the walk back to the hotel with Christy, who finished the entire race, I read a message from a friend asking how it went. I said it basically sucked, it was a bad run, but I'll learn lessons from it and move on. Her response was "Sorry. I'm still proud of you. I prolly wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for your motivation and encouragement. just remember that" The message brought tears to my eyes.
My response made me sob. Because it wasn't me that made the difference in her fitness journey. It was all about her and her hard work. I am forever thankful that I get to play some small part in her fitness journey, that I get to help her along the way, but it's her hard work that has made all of the difference in the changes she is seeing in her body.
One deep discussion led to another.
Christy and I had a nice long talk about the life lessons we get from running. Some race days are great and make you feel like you are on top of the world. Some race days...well, you wonder why you even try. That is how I felt on Saturday. Frustrated and down, but in the end it's all about the journey. It's about enjoying the highs and and pushing through the lows. Just like life.