#OWNCHICAGO

EVERY RACE IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE WHETHER IT'S YOUR 1ST, 4TH OR 15TH. THE CHICAGO MARATHON TAUGHT ME THAT THINGS DON'T ALWAYS GO ACCORDING TO PLAN. YOUR WATCH COULD BREAK, YOU CAN GET INTO YOUR OWN HEAD AND EVEN AFTER MONTHS OF TRAINING, YOU FALL SHORT OF THE GOALS YOU'VE BEEN CHASING.

I WISH I COULD TELL YOU THAT SUNDAY WENT BETTER THAN IT DID. I WISH I COULD TELL YOU THAT I RAN A SUB 4 OR THAT I EVEN PUT OUT A QUALIFYING TIME FOR BOSTON. BUT I DIDN'T. AND THAT'S OKAY.

FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, I'VE BEEN MY TOUGHEST CRITIC. IN MANY WAYS IT'S ALLOWED ME TO EXCEL, BUT WHEN I FAIL, IT CAN BE CATASTROPHIC. ON SUNDAY, I FAILED IN THE SENSE THAT I DIDN'T ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS I SET OUT TO DO. AND FOR ME THAT'S THE HARDEST PART. I KNOW I AM CAPABLE OF MORE. I KNOW I AM CAPABLE OF REACHING THOSE GOALS, I JUST HAVE TO GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY. I FORGET THAT I HAVE TIME. TIME TO FINESS MY SKILLS AND FORM, TIME TO GET MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE DISTANCE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY. I WAS SO PREOCCUPIED WITH NOT HITTING MY ORIGINAL GOAL THAT I COULD HARDLY CELEBRATE THAT I HAD JUST RAN MY FASTEST MARATHON TO DATE. IT WAS STILL A PROUD ACCOMPLISHMENT, CLOUDED BY MY OWN IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS.

BUT FINISHING, IS FINISHING AND I AM SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL FOR THAT. ALTHOUGH FAR FROM THE TIME I WANTED, I FINISHED IN 4:08:57.

MOST CHALLENGING: PUSHING THROUGH THE MILES

I DIDN'T NECESSARILY HIT "THE WALL" BUT I DID FIND MYSELF STRUGGLING TO KEEP PACE AFTER MILE 14. I COULDN'T FOCUS, MY WATCH WAS TELLING ME I WAS RUNNING A 13:25 PACE, WHICH I KNEW WAS INCORRECT BECAUSE I WAS KEEPING PACE JUST AS BEFORE. I STARTED TO GET OVERWHELMED AND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER DURING A MARATHON, I COULDN'T GET PAST THE MILEAGE I HAD LEFT. BUT I KEPT ON, AND PUSHED THROUGH, EVEN AT MY SLOWEST KNOWING THAT IT WOULD BE OVER THE FASTER I RAN.

MOST SURPRISING: FEELING OVERWHELMED

I'VE RAN BUSY AND ENERGETIC RACES LIKE THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON A FEW TIMES AND HAVE NEVER FELT AS OVERWHELMED AS I DID FOR THIS RACE. I'VE BEEN TRAINING ALONE IN VERMONT FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS AND THINK I'VE BECOME TOO COMFORTABLE WITH THAT. I'M SELDOM WITH A LARGE CROWD OR RUNNING WITH ANOTHER PERSON. THIS RACE WAS PACKED AND IT NEVER THINNED OUT. THERE WERE CROWDS OUTLINING THE ENTIRE COURSE AND LOUD MUSIC BLARING AT NEARLY EVERY TURN. NORMALLY, I WOULD HAVE LOVED THE ENGERY AND SUPPORT, BUT ALL IT DID WAS KEEP ME FROM FOCUSING. THE MORE I DWELLED ON IT, THE FURTHER MY MIND WANDERED.

LOOKING FORWARD TO: USING THIS EXPERIENCE TO BETTER THE NEXT ONE

I'M INCREDIBLY EAGER TO HIT THE PAVEMENT AND START BUILDING FOR MARATHON #5. LEARNING TO ADAPT AND EMBRACE PAIN IS HIGH UP ON THE TO-DO LIST. I NEED TO GO BACK TO THE FUNDAMENTALS AND RE-GAIN FOCUS. 

FITNESS, LIFETONIComment