The day was just wonderful. I woke up at 4:30, ate my usual oatmeal, and got out the door. Everything couldn’t have worked out better. I drove up to the zoo, and the busses were there. I didn’t even have to wait in line! Bus rides, for any of you who know me, are not my favorite. I am very susceptible to motion sickness, so I avoid them. I had no choice for this race. No cars were allowed near the start. I boarded the bus and the front seat was vacant. Wow! What luck, this is gonna be a great day.
Once we got up to Cabrillo everything again was perfect. Little lines for the bathroom, met some other racers from my team, relaxed, ate a snack, drank some water and we were off. I never would have thought that I would be disappointed with my performance today. Everything was too perfect.
The race started easily on a long down hill. Beautiful scenery on all sides from the tip of Point Loma as we ran through the National Cemetery overlooking the ocean. Peaceful, beautiful, and almost silent with only the pounding of thousands of feet making noise. I was a little over pace at 10:30 mile. I was okay with that though. I knew I could keep it up. Once down the hill, it was all flat until mile 11-12.
The race went on without a hitch. Hubby and my son met me at mile 5. I was feeling great, just finished the hill and ready to run by the airport and the harbor. By mile 7, I was running into a problem. Where was the water?? Everybody was saying the same thing. Finally it was there, but it was almost 3 miles without anything. I was thirsty. I took the water and drank it all, slowly. I really needed it. It seemed to give me the push I needed to keep going but again, by mile 9-10, I was really thirsty. I don’t know as if I have ever been thirsty in a race before but this time my mouth was dry and I was failing fast. Luckily for me, we were along the boardwalk and I found a water fountain. I was able to push on because I knew another aid station was coming. Finally when I got there I took my drink and began walking. I needed to get all that water in me.
I don’t recall the exact time or the exact point where I made the decision to walk but I made it. I knew that I could finish this race in under 3 hours even if I walked the rest of the way. I felt lousy, and didn’t care. I wanted to get my medal for the triple crown and that was it. When I started my journey my only goal was to do these 3 races in under 3 hours. I would do that, even if I walked now.
Poor Leah, along with Maria and J, were there cheering me on and I was walking, with no intention of running. The funny part was they were there to help me up the hill, but the hill was not what was holding me back. It was ME that was holding me back. Leah walked with me, after trying to get me to run. We talked and walked a bit and then she sent me off with encouraging words and I ran the rest of the way in.
After the race I was so disappointed in myself and the choices I made during the race. But most of it was exactly that: choices. I chose to not carry my own hydration when I knew how few aid stations there were. I chose to walk because I didn’t want to feel miserable after the race. I hated that I didn’t PR but mid race I decided finishing in under 3hours was what I wanted to accomplish. I was embarrassed about my time and for walking, yet they were direct results of my decisions!
I thought I was miserable during the latter part of the race but a photographer captured a wonderful picture of Leah and I walking and smiling. I think that picture summed it up for me. It is not all about times and PR’s. It is about friends, family, health and fun. That is why I do it.
Sure, I didn’t do my best. I don’t even think I tried my hardest. I know I could have toughed it out and I probably would have PR’d. I just opted not to. I don’t really know why. I will probably never figure it out. What I did figure out is: It doesn’t matter. I did it therefore I succeeded. I shared it with friends and family. I felt great after. I reached my goal and earned the Triple Crown. A picture tells a thousand words.
I will try to remember that for my next race.
OH YA! My time: 2:46:05 :-) Yes, I am smiling. (Cringing a little, but smiling)
"You are only as good as you are on that particular day, on that particular course, under those particular circumstances." Coach Lee (Quote I got from SP Nancy’s page that pretty much sums up this race)