They say the key to happiness is low expectations and that’s probably correct but I don’t think it’s the key to success. I got a 3:16 today, not Boston qualifying like last year thought it is my second best out of 4 marathons; I also didn’t break 3. To be less than appropriate, shit happens. It was the first time ever in a race that I had to stop and lose some weight. And while I’m sure no one wants to hear about my bowel movements, it was the first time they didn’t happen before a race. So that was a mistake…I couldn't control. I had passes to the VIP section before and after and while I enjoyed it before, I left afterwards since I’m someone who regularly credits my successes to others and my failures completely to myself. Maybe some people have that misery love company complex but initially skipped the events I was going to do during the afternoon because I was pretty heart broken. I said it before, go big or go home and I went home. Several people have kindly expressed how they’d love that time and the honest truth is that I probably walked fairly close to 1.5-2 miles just because after I was done with the bathroom, I couldn’t seem to get it back together. I’ll be getting up 3-4 hours before Boston but that future does help, that Boston is on the calendar and let’s be clear I’ll be once again trying to leave it all out there.
I tried to make jokes to make myself feel better, quoting a comic that says “you can’t have everything, where would you put it.” But the digestion wasn’t the only problem, it was a mistake to have references to the ex on the playlist, sitting there thinking sad thoughts when you’re pushing your body hard is, at best, stupid. My ex and Dre had cheered me on together last year, provided support on the Austin marathon course and I couldn’t seem to shake that thought out of my head with call it post traumatic stress disorder remembering the points where I had seen them. I wish I could have mentally overcome that but we know I have problems with my brain. Solomon said that the race is not always to the swift nor does food come to the wise but chance and circumstance happen to them all. But I think today I failed at both being fast and wise. I’ll try to run Boston faster and make a wiser playlist.
Still, after I got home, trying to shake off, someone sent me of all things, the cancer survivor results and with all of 3 minutes to spare, I had come in first in that division. That wasn't even on my radar but then the focus started getting clearer... Last year I had put off brain cancer surgery to run this marathon; this year I came back to win the cancer division at the Livestrong marathon. Anyday above ground is a good one, and while it was the first race in months that wasn't a PR, I was ALIVE to run it.
It was interesting being at the Livestrong events this weekend meeting quite a few of the 500 members that had flown in from all over to run in the 2nd ever Livestrong Marathon. There was a breakfast Saturday before where mostly we talked about the marathon. On Sunday after the marathon, there was a happy hour that lasted longer. There I got to hear echoes of my journey that rhymed with others and others that were very distinct. People sharing of their journeys, their treatments, their family members successes, other's about their family members death, their worries. While it felt awkward to keep being introduced as the guy who won the survivor division, there was one thing that kept sticking with me. At the marathon expo, there was information on a variety of cancers but nothing on brain cancer. Among all the runners on team Livestrong, I met only one who had any connection to brain cancer, someone whose brother had died of it.
So today worked out less than adequately…but worked out. More importantly, it reminded me that while I gotta stay focused on running while running but also be infinitely thankful for being alive and having capacity to do both the focusing and running . Yesterday was hours of marathon running and celebrating and tomorrow is 8 hours of neuropsychological testing. Still, I need to stay aware to be glad I am alive and I gotta get back to working out because Boston’s what’s next.