CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - Debut Recap
Just about 9 months ago, and about 4 days after the trials, I sat in my room at the Yosemite lodge replaying the race over and over in my head. I closed my eyes and all I could see was Figueroa St. and the endless stretch of road ahead. I could still feel the burning in my legs, the tightness in my chest and the pain in my heart. The worst part of all was the constant visions of me stopping. As I sat on the bed of our room staring off into space I turned to my boyfriend and whispered the words “Am I going to be okay?”
I have been blessed enough to know that these types of events in life are tests of character. They give you a backbone. What comes of them all depends on how you choose to overcome them. What happened to me in LA was not a failure because I didn't let it resonate in side me and strip me of everything I am. You can only fail if you let your disappointments define you.
Yesterday I stood proudly because I fought hard and finished. It wasn't my goal time but I did it and I couldn't be more proud. I know I pushed my limits too early and in those last 6.2 miles I paid for it. I struggled with one of my bottles at mile 8 which cost me some precious energy but these screw ups invigorate me because I know my potential is still on the horizon.
I’ll admit, I dropped my run gum on the ground after struggling to get my cold hands to work, but I picked it up and chewed it anyway. In the last few miles I took some gambles grabbing a gel I had never used before because I was feeling a little desperate. Luckily in the end I didn't have any bathroom disasters, cramps, and I didn't pee my pants. All little wins. The last 10k may have been slow but it took all the strength in my little body to make it to the finish line. I took each mile one by one until I could see the finish line and then I let my heart take it from there. The finish line tape stretched out before me and as I broke through the tape a weight was lifted. I was no longer a marathon trials qualifier that dropped out, I was a marathoner.
A couple of months after the trials I emailed the elite athlete coordinator for Indy Monumental and told him I would be there. Of course that email was way premature for a November race but I was ready to change my story. What I realized in making that decision was that I wasn't changing my story but giving it definition. From that point on I began reviewing what I had done wrong leading up to the trails and put myself on a path of recourse. Every mistake I made I was going to make right. I let my body recover, I listened to it, and I put in the work. It paid off.
As I walked through the finish shoot I heard someone shout my name. As I turned I saw my sister standing at the fence. I had talked to her the night before but never expected her to be there. She flew from Charlotte, NC to watch me race. I immediately was in tears. As I hugged her I cried. The person who stood on the sidelines of the trails holding me as I balled was now hugging me as I cried but this time they were tears of joy.
The days leading up to this race were picture perfect. I felt energized and excited yet happy and very at peace. From every pre-race text, call, tweet, and insta I got I knew the race would be special. Seeing a room full of my Oiselle family wishing me luck on the eve of this race almost had me in tears. In my mad rush to the airport to catch my flight home I had text after text, tweet after tweet, a facebook full of messages of congratulations, and more than I could handle. Every time I tried to read each message my eyes began welling up. A lot of people said that the hard work paid off but I'd have to say that each and every person in my support system did half he work. So thank you thank you to my huge massive family (yes I consider everyone family!) that includes: Oiselle, NC Volee, GenUCAN, InsideTracker, Elliptigo, my NC State family, Under Armour Run, Run Raleigh PT, Hands on Health, my actual blood family, my coworkers, and beloved friends.
Success like today was that much more meaningful because of what it took to get to the finish line. I ran for what I believe in and I did it for the people that have come along on my journey. Every mile is a gift and I love being able to share that gift with every person that I can. Through it all I hope gods gift to me will continue to allow me to make a difference in the lives of others. Now that's it's over, I think it's safe to say, “I’m just getting started.”