The race that wasn’t.

Although I think deep down I knew I would never finish the Brighton marathon, there was still a small part of me that thought I might get lucky, like I did at Chester in October. Sadly this wasn’t to be, and I had to pull up at 14 miles as my legs just hurt too much, and I just gave up. 

I didn’t enjoy a single second of my (half) marathon yesterday.  The first few miles were spent panicking I was never going to hit target marathon pace, and constantly checking my Garmin.  Normally in races, I am monitoring the spectators for people I know, smiling away, bouncing around for the cameras and generally loving being part of something so awesome.  Thinking back to the Brighton half – I really was pushing myself but enjoying loving adoring doing it. Yesterday that just was not the case – from the 1st mile I was wishing the end to be nearer and nearer. 

I know this is the smallest violin playing the saddest song, but yesterday was truly rubbish for me.  I’d worked super hard, and to be felled by injury was not in the plan.

Yesterday also taught me a lot of lessons, some of which I know I won’t appreciate for a long time. 

The heart-breaking news that a man my age died in the race yesterday. After I heard that, there was no more tears for me. It is such a sad thing to have happened, and puts my own troubles right back into perspective. Every thought to his family and friends. There are much, much more important things that whether I finished the marathon or not.

It wasn’t just me that didn’t do what I wanted to yesterday and I need to get over myself. I know of two others now that also pulled up because of injury and a few of my other lovely friends missed time goals that they’d also worked their socks off for. It’s never just you that comes away wishing you’d done more.

I can only learn from what happened not only during my marathon attempt, but also in the lead up. I know I did too much and didn’t recover enough, as well as ignoring a niggling tightness and pushing on through sessions when I should’ve just stopped. Stopped, chilled out, and then gone back when it didn’t hurt any more. 

So that’s my sob story over. Nice work if you made it to the end without shouting ‘SHUT UP WHINER’ at your computer.

So. I have 4 weeks until my dissertations have to be in, so they are my focus right now. Then I have 6 weeks until my next attempt at sub 3:30, in Shrewsbury.  I am going to be sensible: be kind to myself for 4 weeks and rehab and recover, as well as try to maintain my fitness with some stress busting sessions in the gym.  Then (HOPEFULLY) it’ll be back to running, and back to aiming high.

So many congratulations and hugs to anyone that ran Brighton yesterday, I really, really, really hope you enjoyed it.  Running is meant to be fun, even marathon-ing!

Smiling makes you go faster.




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