I know, I almost forgot I did these silly little things called races too!
But alas, it’s true – I still run, bike and (sometimes) swim.
Thus, I have managed to drop what sparse duckets I have on a few races this season, and completed my first one of the season this morning – the Wisconsin half-marathon.
I ran this race last year, and they have a killer awesome course that I happened to PR on last year.
Sub 2, baby.
So yeah, its kinda one of my favs.
So here we go again this year, and the race didn’t disappoint.
First off, Spie came out to cheer me on, which was AWESOME! Even after doing her long run this morning, she rode her bike all around the course – sadly, I has laser focus for most of the race, so I only caught her once!
So without going into a mile-by-mile replay, let’s hit the highlights:
Picture the scene:
Me - Deep in the corral with 30 seconds before the gun goes off.
My bowels - Moving.
Because until that moment, all efforts to make a poopy had been unsuccessful.
As luck would have it, we get the final warning before the gun, and who decides to show up?
Mr. Turtle, just peeking his head.
Hell, the little bastard was waving to spectators as I crossed the Start.
Now, common sense would say, “Take a second to go to the bathroom BEFORE you cross the start line, because you cross, the clock starts.”
But the Panic Megan said, “Go go go!! Just hit the Porto-Potty at the first station ASAP!”
So off I went, managing to withhold a MAJOR running faux paus until Mile 1, where Scene 2 went down as follows:
NO!! THERE’S A LINE!!!
*FOOT TAP FOOT TAP FOOT TAP*
COME ON POOP – HURRY UP!! STOP HANGING AND JUST FALL IN ALREADY!!!
NO TOLIET PAPER?!?!?!
WELL, LET’S HOPE IT WAS A CLEAN BREAK!
PANTS UP AND WE’RE OFF!
And over the rest of the course, I ran as fast and as smart as I possibly could – trying to make up those lost minutes, which I estimated to be about two minutes in total.
And since I forgot my watch (I apparently couldn't be bothered with small details at 3:45am), I had no idea how things were fairing for me, especially considering that only Miles 1 & 2 had clocks.
But no matter – I didn’t care. I actually liked running “naked” – mostly steady, with kicks here and there, and a slow down if needed (but never for long).
It was just me, and my mind, and my own self-motivating thoughts to push through the pain and the slowly creeping fatigue.
When I turned the corner to homestretch, I was pretty sure I had made up the Poop Time, and then some. I was confident that – yes – I put it all out there, and ran my race as best I could. No excuses – I gave it all that I had, I all that I trained for – and when I finished, I gave it every last gasping breath in my body.
But the clock told a different story.
I fell short of new PR.
Ten seconds to be exact.
I immediately felt the tears – stupid poop!! Next time I am going to let you just fall out of my shorts – to hell with the toilet!!
But then I saw Spie – and she was so happy, and so supportive, and so congratulatory that it was hard to stay down on myself.
My muscles were cramping, I felt like I was going to puke, and I then decided – yeah, you did everything you could do. Be proud of that. Be proud you about to vomit Roctane. Be proud that you ran until almost-collapse. Be proud.
And I am.
I mean, yeah, it’s hard not to go over and over and over every mile and say, “Well, I could have gotten my water faster at that stop” or “I could have gotten up that hill just a few seconds faster,” but I am trying not to do that. I did what I could in those moments. There are no excuses. I literally did what I could.
Shit happens – literally, sometimes. And like a recent blogger post that I have really taken to heart – no race will ever be perfect. But what you do whatever it takes to make it as good as possible.
And you never resort to excuses.
Not even excuses of the brown 2-minute variety.
So it is what it is – and what it IS is a motivator to kick things up a notch – it’s like Potential knocked on the door and said, “Hey, I'm your Potential. Pleased to meet you. Can I come in?”
And I am going to open it wide and welcome him with open arms. Because this race showed me tht I actually have potential.
Potential to actually be faster - not just envy it.
Potential to race smarter – and not complain about elements I can’t control.
Potential to actually see what my body is capable of – and not just wonder.
Potential to "race" - and not just simply "run" these events.
Potential to mentally conquer - or, like Liz says, "Adapt and Overcome" - because I am an athlete and that's just what athletes do.
So this race? This may not have been that perfect race, and I may not have reached the time I had hoped for, and I may not have acheived what I wanted.
But yet, I still got what I came for – and what I needed.