I did it! I set a new PR (personal record) this past weekend… 1:58:15… So why do I feel a slight sting of disappointment? Why do I have such mixed feelings about it? After all, I hit a long standing goal that just a few weeks ago seemed so difficult to achieve… Why do I feel a little let down?
Since entering half marathons so many months ago, I’ve targeted time goals for every race I’ve entered. Even for my first, although most people tell you the goal should be to merely finish… I set a goal to run it in less than 2:15… which I did, 2:11! For my second race my goal was to break 2 hours, which I didn't come all that close to.... finished that one in 2:07. I cut myself some slack though as I underestimated the hills in San Francisco. Okay, my focus was on race number three, Long Beach. I trained well for race number three. Despite a minor injury in a local 5K, I still felt like this was my chance… I thought for certain I would break the 2 hour barrier…I ran with determination and spirit... but that only lasted until mile 10... I finished in 2:00:13… 13 seconds too slow! Utter disappointment… Race number four I threw out the window… horrible finish time of 2:04, but I gave myself an out because I ran this race one week after running my “almost sub-2 hour” race day and PR at the time.
This was the weekend for me... this weekend’s race was supposed to be it for me… the run that would set the bar for my goals and finally put me in a respectable category of a “sort-a-fast” runner. I used everything I had learned from my “almost sub-2 hour” race to train for this one. Lessons like, using the port-o-potties before the race not during or taking energy gels at mile 5 and 10, instead of just at mile 6 so I don’t die on mile 12… I trained smart… I ate well for this event… I did everything right… The result? I did it! I broke that elusive 2 hour barrier. But this is not what I thought I would feel life after hitting this mile stone number. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great when I crossed the finish line… but that was it… I felt good… too good. I may have left way too much in the tank… I may have held back too much. So now that raises the question for me… could I have done better?
Depite my mixed emotions, most of me feels pretty good about it. In fact, in thinking about it now, I feel pretty good… running 13.1 miles in 1 hour 58 minutes and 15 seconds is something to feel good about… I guess my expectations of how I would feel or the experience itself seemed far more glorious in my head… There was no dramatic music… no applause… I just ran… but I guess it fitting. I run for myself… my competition is really against myself… and for now, I can say I won… I beat the younger, slower me… heck, a few months from now I'll be beating the younger slower me again... well, I can hope and plan anyways...