Marsha’s Blog

Reflecting on CIM

Posted by on 11:43 am in Marsha's Blog | Comments Off on Reflecting on CIM

Marathons are hard. No matter the pace. The pain will always come. Physically and mentally. As runners, a road marathon is one of the ultimate tests of these capacities. I have had marathons where I have conquered both the physical and mental, where I have felt absolutely victorious at the end, crushing my goals. I have also had marathons where I have felt beaten and utterly depleted. My latest California International Marathon (CIM) experience on December 6th, 2015 turned out to be a combination of the two. My three goals for this race were #1 – Beat my 3:33 PR, #2 – Qualify for Boston (I needed to beat 3:45 to BQ), and #3 – Still love to run. The gun went off and that was the last I saw of my beautiful sister-in-law and training partner, Meg. I knew she was going for a sub 3:10 goal and I had no intention of trying to stay with her. Cassey and I, on the other hand, had been training together and are usually right around the same pace. We had both been training for a 3:35 finish. Although there were no expectations of staying together, I know we had secretly hoped to run together. At around mile 5, my annoyingly ‘impinged’ hip had other ideas for me. As my strong, in the zone, beautiful friend went soaring on, I fell back. Ugh. My hip has been my achilles heel for a while, kicked off three years ago with a stress fracture. So, for about 11 miles (miles 5 to 16-ish), the seed of doubt dangled in front of me, taunting me. Constant analysis of every stride became my very unhealthy, mentally draining mantra. I could not commit to the race with a very real fear that I was doing damage. What if I stopped and wasn’t really injured? What if I didn’t stop and was really injured? I would feel regret either way. I felt frustrated. I felt defeated. I had been hitting all of my numbers or coming darn close in my training. I had tapered well, slept well, and ate well. Everything was ideal for a solid race. Except it wasn’t turning out to be a solid race. That’s when my friends Jen, Sandee and Jessica, helped turn the race around for me. I came upon Jen at around mile 10. She took one look at me – in what must have been a Walking Dead-like state – and told me she would run with me until mile 20. Gratitude overwhelmed me. I knew I was sinking into each stride in utter defeat. She must have seen that. Running with her at this point was exactly what I needed. She has a beautiful, bouncy, happy stride that began to rub off on me. When she told me that Sandee and Jessica would be ready to run with me at mile 20 all the way to the finish (she had somehow managed to text while we were running to coordinate this – I can never multitask like that), I again, felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I have come to realize that the friends I have made through my running journey are fiercely supportive, so generous, and compassionate. We have all been there and not one of us judges the...

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