Last time I was here I was filled with anger, despair and regret before I even stepped over the finish line.
I’ll be honest here, I am competitive. Not nessarily with other runners (not ruling that out though) but with myself. Why run another 5k unless I’m going do beat my PR? Maybe if I started running earlier in life (I started at 51) I’d have the running maturity to let that go. For this race, my first marathon I was going to finish with a “respectable time” and train hard to insure that.
In hindsight I see that I had peaked by my 18 mile run. Shortly after congratulating myself on a spectacular long run in 80 degree temps. I came down with shingles! I still stuck to the schedule determined to not let that stop me. Missing the obvious clue that my body needed rest.
Last November I came to New York already exhausted and filled with trepidation over the weather predictions for a windy run. And the wind did show up with impressive 40 mph gusts, which felt like a head wind the entire 26 miles. I finished with gritted teeth and my hands in balled up fists like I was fighting for my life. All I could think was “I’ll never do this again”.
As I ran today entering Central Park with the sun shining it was like I was seeing it with new eyes. The anger and regret melting away with each foot fall like the snow in the park. Maybe next time I’ll train a bit smarter.