What’s most important isn’t always putting up the best performance, it’s getting through when it’s hard. I know this because I preach it to anyone and everyone that I train. But this past weekend reiterated that thought very clearly and I couldn’t be more happy that it did.
Once up a long time ago, I was a decent runner. With a couple of years of less and less running due in part to heart disease as much as due to a complete intolerance of running, my quicker days are most likely behind me. With that being said, I’d committed to running the Great Turtle Half Marathon on Mackinac Island last weekend. I’ve been going up there for it religiously for 10 years. Used to actually run it too. The last time I’d run it was 8 years ago on my wedding day. I knew I didn’t want to run in and I knew that I’d not really put in any type of running to prepare for it. But I also knew that I’d made a pact with myself to just fucking do it. Once I was able to let go of the things that were once important, like my speed and how many people I could pass without being passed, I was able to focus on the one thing that mattered and that was just doing it. It didn’t matter if I finished in record time or crawled across as long as I finished it. It would have been very easy to find a way out, I usually can. For whatever reason, this time I didn’t. I was fine needing to walk much of it after 10 miles. I was actually impressed that I’d run that far at all, what with my extensive run training leading up to it. When I finished, I was more proud of myself than at any other time having run MUCH faster in years past. Sometimes beating yourself and what you’ve been comfortable doing before and committing to not doing them again is the biggest factor. My speed didn’t matter. That I had to walk didn’t matter. It didn’t even matter that my heart was sick. I said I’d do it, I didn’t bitch at all about it and I did it. Wouldn’t have mattered what occurred during the race, I would have finished and I know that. I focused on the end, not how I was going to get there. I liked that better.