It took me a few days to recover from Houston, physically. It took me more days to recover mentally. After a bad race, it is easy to be hyper critical of not only your running but also your life. I realized that my race was not a product of poor planning or training, it was just a fluke day and that I would just have to get back on the horse and try again. But when I turned and looked upon my life and questioned whether or not I was working hard enough, planning or training right to achieve the goals I wanted, I was faced with an answer I did not want to hear. I was not, unlike my training for Houston, doing things that scared me or preparing in case my chance came. I was wishing and hoping and thinking and praying but not planning or preparing or creating the reality I wanted. I was caught in a life rut, a mental vortex of self-doubt, lack of direction, not sure what to do. When it came to my working life (which is what I am talking about here), I realized I was apathetic. And as an introspective, reflective person I find this absolutely weird. The positive side effect of this larger (and maybe more depressing) realization was that I was able to fully accept that the race was just a bad race and I was able to emotionally move on and set myself passionately on the next goal (more about that later...)
Last week, we watched a movie that my bestest everest friend Jonathan had given us for Christmas. It is called Happy, which is about the science of happiness and though I have read/heard/been exposed to most of the concepts in the movie, for some reason it was like a light switch was flipped. I woke up the next morning and all of my apathy was gone. I had motivation and energy and passion to take my business to the next level. Suddenly, it was as if I could suddenly see the path I wanted to take concretely were only vague shadows had been before. I could see my path and what I needed to do. Suddenly, I was as empowered by my working life as I was about my running life. In my running, I don't sit back and wait for things to happen, I go out day after day and make them happen. I control the part I can control and hope my preparation will move me towards my goals. I woke up last week and realized that the way I run is the way I can work. I don't need to shrink back into the shadows and take a desk job for security, I don't need some gigantic stroke of luck to fall in my lap, I just need to get out there and do what I am good at. I have never felt so excited about work before in my life. I feel empowered, I feel inspired, I feel excited. Momentum quickly builds when you get your energy behind it.
Momentum is also something I am trying to keep in my running. After a bad race, it would be easy to lose it. It would be easy to be demoralized, to go back to the drawing board. But, as I mentioned above, I was able to shake off my Houston experience pretty well and pretty fully. I had a smart recovery, have listened to my body diligently and allowed myself some comfort and some exceptions. But I also still have the strong driving desire to pursue my Olympic Trials qualifier. I know I have it in me and though the reality may be that I will never make it to the Olympics, the opportunity to try, to be a part of the race that determines it, is absolutely not something I am walking away from. I am going for it.
The week after the marathon, I was looking at every possible race there is this spring to make another attempt at. I went a little marathon sign up happy for fast races this year, but none of them are soon enough to satisfy me. I am hungry now, I am ready now. Finally, I decided on my next attempt and I am very excited to race the LA Marathon on March 20th. I have 5 weeks until race day which means, with last weeks good training, I will be able to continue to capitalize on my great fitness leading up to Houston. I also have the added bonus of having the Houston experience. I was severely lacking in fast road racing experience going into Houston (hadn't done a road marathon in 2 years!) and even just this one experience helps me get closer to my goal and helps me better understand how to race a marathon. I am very very excited about the LA Marathon. I look forward to the training, I look forward to reflecting and sharing the journey towards this goal and I look forward to achieving my dream: seeing a sub 2:46 on that finishing clock.