Thursday, May 1, 2014

Going Back On My Word

That finish down Boylston Street was supposed to be the "end"

I even said it here:  Week Nine

"Boston will be my last "competitive" marathon

Boston will be the last time I attempt to run the fastest I possibly can for that particular distance."

I thought I was done.

Then this happened.

If anyone's better days were behind them, it was Meb.

He won a Silver freaking medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.  10 years ago.

He won the New York Marathon in 2009.

He was almost 39 when he took the start in Hopkinton less than 2 weeks ago.

And then he stomped a bunch of younger guys with PRs several minutes faster than his.

Now, I am no Meb.  But Meb was the perfect example: if you genuinely enjoy what you do and you remain hungry, you will find a way to be successful.

Boston was going to an incredible experience regardless of the result.  It was my "bucket list" marathon.  It carried all the emotion of last year's tragedy.  Yet I still tried to turn it into something even bigger than it needed to be - my "best ever." And I blew up that day.

So what did I just do?

Exactly what I said I wouldn't do.

Sign up for another marathon.  Just a small one called Tobacco Road pretty much in my backyard in mid March, where I can eat my own pre-race dinner, roll out of my own bed, drive a few miles down the road, and run my own race on a crushed gravel path through the same rows of pine trees I see two or three days a week.  There is nothing awe inspiring about it.  

If I decide to train hard and run fast - great.

And if I decide later it was a bad idea - I'm down $50.  Big deal.

In the meantime, I have a spring to recover, get some big projects done at work, a summer to go on vacations, drink beer after runs at Fullsteam and Brixx, run some low key summer track races, read books, and go to music festivals.  A fall to run some fast shorter races.  And then another winter to do a few long runs.  No all-time high mileage weeks.  Probably no weekly blog and emotional pre-race write up.  Just consistent week after week effort with people I enjoy running with, listening to albums that I don't even know exist yet, and running down the same trails I have seen a million times, but each time in a different light.  Each time remembering to have fun with it.

Boston 2014 is in the past.  Nothing can take that away - but now it is time to move ahead, down whatever road that may be.

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