Warning… this is kinda like a mini novel…..
As you learned in my last post, I was road tripping it to Ft. Worth Tx. for the Cowtown Marathon/Ultra Marathon race. I was super excited to be heading into the event that would be really, the culmination, of my months of training and essentially kicking my own ass… (oops, can I say that??) Not just that, months of making sacrifices, pushing myself in new ways, training in all kinds of weather, taking on more and more mileage, managing my nutrition as well as mentally training myself for the task before me. I’ve learned so many things about myself preparing for this endurance run.
I’ve learned I have great strength, determination, a strong will, an unwillingness to “settle” without asking as much of myself as I can, that my mind is a huge factor in my success, and that I really can, always, do a little more.
I headed off on my road trip as prepared as I could be………
Excitement and eagerness at a high octane level…..also helped along with some caffeine……
I had scaled my mileage back to taper and really focused on eating good carbs days out. I hydrated constantly ( well, that I always do) I increased my sodium intake ’cause I sweat out a ton when I run, I was getting to bed earlier… basically doing everything I could physically to ensure I went to the line as prepared as possible.
It was almost show time.
Saturday it was off to Ft Worth…. as we got closer…. the weather started looking different….. there was ice on roads and bridges….. and snow blanketing roof tops and filling fields. I had received e-mails Friday saying that they had cancelled Saturdays races, but Sunday’s half, full, and ultra were still on.
Ok, no worries, I had googled the weather for Sunday and it promised chilly with some precipitation but nothing horrible.
I am… always … the eternal optimist.
But then Saturday going to expo to get my runners pack and number ( see my first ever ultra bib …with my name.. how rocking is that ??)
I see this…. which is basically the area the race starts in……
I kept checking my e-mail for updates like a school girl waiting for a message from her boyfriend. About 5:30 an update came through.
It was simply stated: The Cowtown Marathon and Ultra Marathon…are cancelled.
It took my breath away. My chest felt tight. My stomach felt like I had been punched. I tried to choke tears back….pointless…I was trying not to cry like a baby…..
Even typing this now brings tears to my eyes.
I wish I could fully describe all of what I was feeling.
Frustration. Major disappointment. Agony realizing…. all… of my work for these past few months… to this one… single… moment…. gone. The culmination of my efforts… to not take place.
Don’t get me wrong… I understood why. I had seen many of the streets…. can you say….slushies ?? This was one of the areas the race was scheduled to go through….
But still….. I wouldn’t be running the biggest event of my life the next day. I felt crushed. They were running the half and offered it to the full/ultra runners to participate.
I hadn’t gone all that way NOT to run.
But I’ll tell you , the next morning, waiting in the corral with temps lurking above freezing, my ultra bib on amid mostly half marathoners and some marathoners, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I tried not to think how different this day was playing out from what I had imagined. Or the comment from another runner… “oh, this will just feel like a warm up race to you” ( I didn’t want to tell him that was pretty true)
I was going to run but definitely going easy because even though I had trained in cold and pouring rain and heat, this day was literally my first time dealing with slush and ice. They had done a good job of mostly clearing the course but there were still lots of areas to exercise caution.
I will honestly say there were moments of emotion in that race I had to just work out.
Coming around the corner to the finish line….. another moment I had imagined so differently. I did shed a couple tears crossing that line… I just couldn’t help it.
But I did it. I ran the race. I did my best. I didn’t back out or quit because it wasn’t what I had planned to do. On the bonus side… I got the coolest medal I have to date.
Sooo there you go….. my 50K…… crunched….. I will freely admit I’ve struggled with frustration … and tears have even cropped up writing this.
I don’t know what my next steps are yet. I already had a half marathon I was aiming for at end of month. 50’s are a bit harder to find.
I will do it though. I’m strong. I’m a fighter. And I don’t flippin’ quit.
I will do it even if it means I take off on my own and do my own personal 50k… I will do it.
Oh and before I go… I gotta give kudos to this amazing guy in my life who supports my craziness…cheers me on…and loves me when I’m sweaty and stinky 😛
and thank you reader for sticking with me this far.
Come back and check in and see what life lessons I’ve pulled out of this situation…. because I know there are lessons to be learned…. it’s how we grow….