Still Trying to Break 4 Hours: Inevitable Marathon Setbacks
[Editors Note: This is Part one of a two Part Series. Yes, I know, we haven’t posted in months, and now a series?! Yep. Sandy’s journey has, not an end, but a second part, but you have to start here first . . . ]
In 2015, I trained a lot and competed in four half marathons and two 5K’s. I placed in my age group at each of the races and ran a personal best time at one of the 5K’s. I should be happy, right? Well, as with most things in life, I just keep dwelling on three efforts plagued by setbacks.
After running the Chicago Marathon in October 2013, I registered for 3 marathons:
- Marshall University Marathon – November 1, 2014
- Bayshore Marathon – May 23, 2015
- Monumental Marathon – November 7, 2015
Want to guess which of these marathons I ran in? The answer is ZERO. Yes, ZERO!
So instead of being happy about my accomplishments, I keep dwelling on my setbacks, what could have been.
Setback number 1. Because of a family emergency, I was not able to train for the full marathon at Marshall and decided to switch to the half marathon. Family always comes first, so this was a very easy decision to make.
Bayshore: Everything was going great, until it wasn’t.
With life getting back to normal in December after Marshall, I started to think about another marathon. So, I registered for Bayshore and began training on February 2015. Five days before the race I woke up with a scratchy throat and felt horrible. Messages began going back and forth between me and the Skortaholics.
I felt better after a couple of days and headed to Michigan. I drove the Bayshore Marathon course on Friday (oh my gosh-it is gorgeous!), went to dinner, picked up my packet, got everything ready for the race, sent my flat runner picture to Deborah, then went to bed.
At midnight I woke up with a fever and knew that I would not be able to run the race. Because I didn’t get to run at all, this was harder than Marshall. Setback number 2 is in the books.
Third times the charm, right?
Next up: the Monumental Marathon. The weather was supposed to be ideal in November. The Monumental course is flat – my requirement for a marathon. I was thinking, this is going to be my race! And I was so excited to start training in July. Again, everything was going great, until it wasn’t. I was in a store and didn’t notice a drop off. I fell and injured my foot.
Thankfully nothing was broken, but because the injury caused me to miss several weeks of training, I decided (again) to switch to the half marathon. For me, that’s setback number 3.
Learning to accept the setbacks.
Since October 2013, I am three for three on registering for and not running a marathon. I still have my goal. I want to finish a marathon in under four hours: 3:59:59 would be just awesome. But I am now riddled with doubts. I ran a personal best of 4:06 at Chicago, so I think it’s an attainable goal. Or maybe it’s not? Am I jinxed? Should I even be thinking about registering for another marathon?
I think what I’ll do is put off that decision for a while, focus on getting better, and start being thankful for what I’ve achieved this year.
Running (and life) is about perspective. Setbacks can cloud otherwise wonderful achievements — one person’s setback is another person’s goal.
How do you handle your setbacks?
How do you try to gain perspective and be thankful for what you have accomplished?