believing can be hard

Today was a hard day. A hard race. I started too fast for my fitness, held on for 7ish miles, and then I blew up. In a big way that hasn't happened in quite some time. But a way that seems to threaten every race from the sidelines.

Coming to the starting line I felt scrapped together. My foundation unstable, my goals flying out of control from high to low to high again. As the race went on, I was there in 9 parts at least. My thoughts fighting other thoughts, my knee fighting both my calf and hamstring, my heart was fluttering and falling. I felt like some string puppet, holding it together then falling apart again. I walked, I got a foot cramp from my heel to my toe. I didn't cry, which I count as a plus. I was so mad at myself.

At one point during the race we ran past a slide-letter sign over paint store. It said "Above All, Love Each Other". A quote I'm familiar with from the Bible. And all I could think as I watched the group of women working in front of me, is, I love them more than me. I spent the first 5 miles (7 miles?) thinking how strong they looked, how fluid, fast. I spent no time telling myself any of these things.

At mile 10, I had lost touch with that group. I still felt the possibility of catching them. But just as I had hope my entire left foot cramped. I tried to keep running. Then I walked. I saw them climb the hill, minutes ahead of me, as I walked. WALKED. It was humiliating. I didn't feel like loving them or myself, or the view, or the sun.

After my foot allowed me to run again, my side ache crept in and got stronger and stronger until it burned deep in my in every fiber of my muscles. I had taken in no water or gel. I felt like I was drying up. I stopped and walked and drank water. No one could tell the difference between me and the marathoners we'd merged in with. I felt so low, but I knew my friends had driven from Seattle and they were waiting for me to cross the line. And I wasn't sure if I could. But I took it a step at a time. And I crossed. 1:22:50(?)
photo cred: my amazing cheer squad leader, sally b.
 It was hard day. I am having a hard time with it. But as I wrote my race review in my Believe I Am journal after reflecting and some quiet tears on the drive home I started to see the race as fuel. I wrote what I had learned and what I would have changed. And even managed to come up with 'how I was brilliant'.

As I put this race behind me and look to immediate future of building my foundation I am fueled by this latest flail. I want to get strong. To focus my work. To focus my mind. I know it's equal parts body and mind. I have the heart and courage. I just need those other two key elements.

personal information
I am excited to dive into training and into my Believe I Am workbook. To join a community of women all daring to dream, and put in that extra mental and emotional work to become a full runner. Made of more than mile repeats but of focus, belief, patience...all the ingredients joyful, beautiful running. Follow the process #sistersinsport.

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  1. Don't beat yourself up too much, you still ran a terrific time! You are very, very, very talented so I am sure that you will kill your next race.

  2. As hard as they are, every one of these experiences makes you a better runner and, more importantly, a better person!

  3. This sounds like what happened to me at the Cleveland Marathon. I came into it under-trained bc I was out for a month with an injury and could not run. But I still wanted to shoot for my goal. Which just blew up in my face and I had to start walk/running at mile 14. It was very humbling. I had never had a "bad race" before. It taught me a lot... but I am still proud of myself that I went for it, and put it all out there. Even though it didn't work out. It takes balls and guts and there are many athletes that don't have the courage to even try. But what if we never try? Not trying is a failure to your dreams and I think that is worse. I really think this will make you a wiser runner as I know my experience at Cle did. Time heals all wounds. Keep looking ahead!

  4. Congrats on finishing the race! I takes lots of courage to finish a race when it's not going well. I have definitely learned the fueling lesson too.

    Thanks for the reminder to start writing in my Believe I Am journal!

  5. Mac attack -- you still looked stellar to me. Thanks for being my inspiration! Onward, right?!

  6. Like everyone before said, it takes courage, heart, and strength to finish a race with all of those obstacles and I admire you for seeing it through.
    Whenever I have a race like that (and it has happened a few times in the past 2 years) I also like to think how great it is that I'm still running despite all the struggles I've faced and how I can keep coming back for more even after failing (and what feels like failing BIG TIME). I see how far I've come and know how far I'm going to get because of the bad experiences. You rock MAC!

  7. It's so impressive that you got through such a tough day, so proud of you! Great job fighting and getting through it. Go you!

  8. Wow is a great time and you finished another half marathon so that alone is a fantastic accomplishment!

  9. i know it wasn’t the race that you planned for-but proud that you finished! and i’m loving the believe i am journal-all of the posts i keep reading are telling me i need one :) i know that your next race will be a huge success!

  10. Nice work, you're still ridiculous.

  11. Hey! You don't know me but I happened across your blog because I did the Half Marathon with you. You're race recap made me tear up for some reason! I think that it's because we all have those races and your reaction is what makes us runners- always looking to make changes to be the best we can be in all aspects of life! I hope the race got you pumped for try number two in November! : ) Christina

  12. Just reading this now. What beautiful writing about what was, I'm sure, a heartbreaking experience. Just you wait. Your moment will come. Your triumph will come. Til then...big #oiselleteam hugs to you!

  13. Hey, I stumbled across your blog from Oiselle's site after seeing that Lauren joined Oiselle (I am a Jesse Thomas tri dork fan :) ) and if I am not mistaken I am the guy that accidentally clipped your heel during the race (about 2 to 3 miles in). I am really sorry and have felt really bad about that ever since. Sincere mega apologies from the bottom of my heart! I hope you come back to bham and dominate the bbay half in 2013, and you can kick my feet next time. cheers and here's to a great 2013 season! - Jon, Bellingham

    1. Hi Jon! Perhaps you did, but I don't remember at all :) Hope your racing season is going great!


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