Not a Quitter…Rock n Roll RI Half-Marathon Recap
Hope you had a good weekend. Mine has been a mixed bag of emotions and I think I’m both mentally and physically worn out from it right now. This morning I ran the Rock n Roll Providence Half-Marathon in Providence, RI. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I registered for the race a while ago but haven’t been able to train for it very well due to various injuries and some personal reasons. Well rewind to yesterday, Saturday August 18th. I went for a quick 45 minute swim at the gym and then drove down to Providence RI to pick up my race packet. It took longer than I expected due to traffic delays (and some random guy stealing my parking ticket?! Fortunately the parking attendants gave me free parking in light of it – thanks guys!). Anyway, I was really nervous about the race and annoyed about my sore ankle, and wasn’t even sure I still wanted to do the run. But part of me didn’t want to give up on it either. So I tried to psych myself up for it – saying I’d run slowly and stop if anything hurt.
Truth be told, I’ve also been feeling a little (OK – a lot) depressed and lonely lately, especially since my on-line class and internship hours have ended. A lot of the time I come across as being very “chipper” and optimistic, but the truth is that I still struggle with pent up emotions from something that happened earlier this year (I don’t want to go into details but suffice it to say that it took a huge emotional and physical toll on me). Earlier this year I was constantly tired, upset, sleep-deprived and trying to maintain my grades in school while applying to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at my university. I got through those months partly because I was so busy with Biochemistry and my Food Science class that I didn’t have time to brood. But the pent up emotions built up and the floodgates opened up again yesterday. Some days are better than others but days like yesterday are the worst. I don’t know what triggered it, or if it was a long-time coming – but on my way home from the Race Expo I had a meltdown in my car which continued until 11pm last night. Hysterical sobbing – from so many things that have gone wrong for me this year – mostly personal. Furthermore, the emotional strain kept me from training well and consequently I’ve also suffered from several running injuries this year, from strained hip flexors to recurring plantar fasciitis – and now a sore ankle. My ankle was probably the last straw and last night I was just so bummed out about EVERYTHING that I fell apart. At 11pm, I finally wrote a little note to myself of how sobbing was not going to help and listed the steps that I can actually take to go forward. And one of them was to do the race today as best I could, but to stop if I needed to.
I finally fell asleep just after 11pm and woke up a while later thinking it was 4am already (the time I had to get up to get ready for the race). No. It was actually 1:30am. Fabulous. I don’t know if it was my disbelief at the time, the fact that I was hungry (since my sobbing had dulled my appetite and lead to a light dinner), whether I was still emotionally distraught/nervous/anxious, or a combination of all of the above. Anyway – even after having a snack I couldn’t fall asleep again…and the minutes ticked away till 3am.
At that point, I think I fell apart again and sent my friend Jill a text at 3:15am (sorry it woke you up Jill) saying that I just didn’t have it in me to do the race. I was just too worn out and sleep deprived. I sent the text and then sat on my couch – still unable to sleep and feeling like a failure. And then, I don’t know what happened. I suddenly decided that I was going to do the race dammit….If I couldn’t sleep then I might as well go and try my best. Even if I couldn’t complete it, I was NOT going to be a quitter.
So…quick dog walk, coffee, breakfast #2 packed to eat in the car, KT tape on my ankle, race clothes on and I left.
And I did the race: 2 hours 5 minutes and 50 seconds. My slowest time for a half-marathon ever (I always aim to do it in under 2 hours) but in light of everything that has happened this year, the past month (ankle strain and poor training) and last night’s sob session and insomnia, I’ll take it. Don’t get me wrong – the race was tough – much, much tougher for me, both mentally and physically than the Spartan Sprint that I did last weekend. But I did it – and I’m glad. I think I needed this race for some sort of self-redemption after last nights emotional outpouring. I needed it to show myself and to believe that I can get through things.
And so even though my time was much slower than what I typically would want, I’m still proud of myself for finishing. For not quitting. To be fair – at no point in the race did I experience any intense or sharp pain, or else I would have stopped immediately. It was more of an intense fatigue that got progressively worse – from emotional, mental and physical srain. The effects of my insomnia hit me at mile 8, and by mile 11/11.5 I was SO ready to be done. But I made it 🙂 (BTW – never have I eaten my GU gel as quickly as I did at mile 8.5/9 today – and never has it tasted so good!)
After icing my ankle in the medical tent, grabbing food and texting my friends, I made it back to my car and drove the hour home to a real meal, coffee and my adorable dog. After a much needed shower and more ice, I’m spending the rest of the day relaxing with my compression socks on:
I’m still tired and will probably be sore for a few days. I’m also taking the next few weeks off of running and will just be swimming, biking and doing some yoga and strength training. I’m glad I did and finished the race today – more for mental reasons than anything else. I just needed to do it…for me. However, I also know that I’m mentally and physically burnt out from running and my running struggles this year, and need a break – to refresh and recharge myself and also to let any nagging injuries heal. So I’m not running for the next few weeks or month…I’ll start again when I’m ready – both mentally and physically. This year has been tough for me but I’m looking forward to starting over, and 2013 will hopefully be a better year of running (and other things!) for me.
Sorry for the epic post here – and thanks for reading if you’re still with me 🙂 I hope you all had a great weekend – something less emotionally and physically demanding! I’ll be back later this week with more posts…Till then – Cheers 🙂