I’ve had an irrational fear building all summer. I know it’s irrational but that doesn’t make it any less gut churning. My fear? That no matter how hard I train for an event, I’m a failure.
I can’t escape it. Every time I ran this summer it was miserable – things hurt, I couldn’t breathe, I was interminably slow (and this is coming from someone who is never classified as fast). And all of these things can be traced back to my marathon. I had never run in such miserable heat and humidity as I did on marathon day – it literally sucked me dry – so every time I ran during the summer heat I found myself having flashbacks, sometimes so bad I almost hyperventilated. I was so damn angry after that marathon that I didn’t rest and I hurt my leg/shin/knee – so every time I ran this summer I felt pain and it reminded me of the marathon. Every step, every breath reminded me of failing.
I’m not going to lie – the whole thing sucks.
I trained my ass off for that marathon. I did everything I was supposed to do. I wasn’t going to be a Boston qualifier but I was strong enough to enjoy every mile and feel the sense of accomplishment that should have followed three months of hard work. Instead, I felt crushing disappointment. I can tell myself over & over that I didn’t quit. That I was forced off the course. But the fact of the matter is that I didn’t have the finish I trained for. I’m trying to find joy and accomplishment in the fact that I indeed trained this body of mine to run 26.2 miles but I still can’t. It feels like every day of my training was wasted because I failed.
That feeling just won’t go away.
I have purposely not signed up for events this summer because I’m afraid of that feeling. I don’t want to train hard, to invest my time and energy, to stretch sore muscles and come up short. I’ve avoided doing anything too hard. I’ve made some excuses but what it comes down to is fear.
It’s time to do something. I’m slightly sick to my stomach thinking about it but I have to challenge myself soon before this fear grows so large it takes away everything I’ve worked for. So I registered for a triathlon yesterday. I loved the triathlons I did last summer and I’m hoping I find that feeling again on the course.
Stroke by stroke. Pedal by pedal. Step by step. Mile by mile. I’m going to convince myself that I can indeed train for something and have a good experience at the end of it. I haven’t had a positive race for 10 months. It’s time. No turning back.