Ever since my DNF at the Olympic Marathon Trials I have been in a state of dizzied confusion. My head, my heart, and my body have all been fighting. My heart wants to push on and overcome this all. My head wants to figure out what's going on, make the right decision. My body is telling me that I've still got it, but maybe not right now? It's all really a jumbled mess and all I really want is for someone to tell me what to do. To tell me "everything is going to be okay." Looking back it is pretty clear that I made some mistakes in my marathon training. Upping my training volume too quickly, forcing too much, taking on a training style way different than what I am used to. I treated my marathon training as a different beast where logic didn't apply. Feeling sore for 2 weeks after the hardest half-marathon of my life was okay because I was training for a marathon...dumb...
I took 3 days down after feeling dreadful and then did a blood test with inside tracker. This gave me some good insight into what was happening from a biological standpoint. I felt more at ease after reviewing my results. I had a few concerning levels pertaining to my liver and hormonal bio markers but overall I wasn't in too deep. I did know that I needed to be careful over the course of the next month. I payed closer attention to how I felt but this didn't trump the things that I felt I HAD TO DO to run well.
After dropping out I sat on the curb, trying to process the events that had just transpired. Was I dehydrated, out of shape, over-trained, just plain sick, or scared? I was full of regret and full of questions. What were people going to think? How could I let everyone down? Where did I go wrong?
The race I had worked so hard for and was so happy to have qualified for had just gone up in smoke. I felt worthless. It was a wasted opportunity. One question reverberated through my brain that day and it is still burned into my thoughts, "Am I going to be okay?"
I needed some time to figure this out. I took some time to rest with easy miles and then decided to pick myself back up. I am capable of qualifying for the 10k At the Olympic trials and that was my plan. Surely dropping out when I did would allow me to skip the lengthy recovery from running a marathon. Surely I would be just fine! After all, I didn't run a full marathon, I have no excuse for being tired.
In the weeks coming back, I began training with my beloved Wolfpack team. I jumped right back in and started to have good solid workouts. I felt good, until I didn't. My legs had suddenly reverted back to the heavy crappy feeling they felt in January.
Once again my confidence waned and my Olympic trials dreams were out the door. It hurts to feel like I wasted the opportunities I worked for this season. I hurts to think about how well I was running just 6 months ago. I have never raced in Eugene and I guess this would once again not be my time.
Ultimately I had to make the decision to take a rest. Making that decision made me finally feel at peace with myself. It was the right decision despite what my desires would be. I had to think realistically and realize that there will be more opportunities if I keep digging the hole I'm standing in I will just keep getting deeper.
Moving forward, I am excited to be thinking about the future. Thinking about what it's going to feel like to start feeling good again! Who knows all of this work may finally come full circle if I just give my body a rest. I'm looking forward to the pain and suffering that comes with growing your fitness. The feeling when you hit your stride running at a hard pace that feels surprisingly smooth and easy . I am ready to move on. I am ready to think about what's to come, including a new debut marathon. Indy monumental, Here I come!
p.s. I will be racing this Sunday at the Rocket Mile in Rocky Mount to close my season. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me through this rough time. Having family, friends, and teammates to remind me that they will always be there has made all the difference! My sister gave me the best compliment in the world when she compared me to my uncle and grandfather who have passed. I am reminded of this every time I question myself. So thank you!