Thursday, August 11, 2011

It was my shame but now it's my pride...

As I write this I am still short the goal money I needed to raise for my charity in order to run the Boston Marathon. I was able to run (obviously) but the bill is going to come due and I'm still over $1,000 short. I'd appreciate any and all contributions. No amount is too small. If you are so inclined/motivated to donate just hit the button at the top right of my blog and thank you in advance. 

It has taken a long time for me to come to grips with the 2011 Boston Marathon. To be honest it took all my desire to train and race, hard or otherwise completely away. I have been embarrassed and ashamed of that race and my performance, or lack thereof, so I've done everything I could to not think or talk about it and move on. Then I ran across this picture in a stack of racing photos and numbers. I hate this picture. I hated it when I turned the corner and saw the cameraman taking it, I hated it when I saw it on the "proof page" for marathon photo and I hated it when it came in the mail. I ordered it however because it is an image that truly portrays how I felt from mile 13 on.

You can read about my Boston Marathon in an earlier blog post on here but a quick BLUF (bottomline up front) is that is sucked. Not sucked as in "aw, man I'm not gonna get a PR" but sucked as in "I'm so angry and in so much pain that hate everything and want to find a puppy or baby to strangle (don't worry, no children or animal were harmed during the course of my marathon)".

I will be honest and tell you that I work very hard for no one to see me in pain or struggling especially when it comes to races. I was taught as a young cyclist thats okay to be in pain...but no one shoukd ever know you're hurting lest they attack. I would love nothing better to be a machine when it comes to training and racing, able to drop a 6 or 6:30 mile pace at any distance on any day but that's not the case. When it doesn't go my way I just lock my jaw and push through. Which, in hindsight, is probably why I look constipated in most if not all of my race photos and most days at my desk ( in hindsight maybe that's why I always get those weird looks at work).

I do think however that weakness is not in the body but in the mind. The only reason you can finish well or even finish at all in some cases is because you believe you can and tell your body you will. Unfortunately for me it feels as if I have spent most of my life in damn near any of my pursuits, athletic or not, having to put my head down and telling myself to get it done no matter what. That certainly was the case with Boston. My race systematically fall apart as the miles went on. I cramped up, threw up and blew up but the thought of not finishing NEVER crossed my mind. I saw people fall down, pass out and give up all around me. I just put my head down and knew I'd suffer whatever I had to in order to finish. The face in that picture shows it.

I hated this picture...and now...I love this picture.

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