One week ago around this time, I was in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium dumping my gear into the gear check, making my last run to the port-a-potty and heading my way to my assigned corral at the Asics LA Marathon. A marathon I had trained for as my goal race to start off 2013. The first of 5 marathons in the year and the marathon I had high hopes of finishing at a time of 3:05. I did finish the marathon at a pretty good time overall, crossing the finish with an official time of 3:11:54. In fact I did so well I PR’d that morning of March 17, beating my previous PR by nearly 21 minutes (previous marathon PR was 3:32:08). Typically I don’t look back on something and wish I did something differently or regret what I did, but this is one of those cases where I wish I would have done something differently.
|at the finish of LA Marathon|
I don’t regret or wish I would have something differently in the 14 weeks of training, the day before or even through the course during the 3 hours 11 minutes 54 seconds it took me to run the streets of LA and finish up into Santa Monica. In fact I wish I could take back and do over the final 15 minutes after the race starting right when I crossed the finish line. The moment I crossed the finish line I was frustrated, discontent with my performance and felt like I had failed. When in fact I did not fail, I crushed a PR, I completed my 12th marathon overall, and I ran a decent time that most people would dream of having when running a marathon. The moment of not celebrating my PR is the moment I wish I could take back.
Looking back at my finish and the photos of me at the finish, I really am disappointed not with my time or failing to earn my BQ, but with my look at the finish. There is always something I tell myself that no matter my time, I will finish with a smile. I failed to keep that goal in tact. I ran my best time and failed to smile at the finish. This is something that has been bothering me for over a week now. I failed to realize the beauty of the run, the spirit of the marathon. Yes, running for a particular time in a race is important, but it isn’t the end all be all of the race.
The 14 weeks of training was enjoyable, I was challenged, I became a better runner, and I learned more about myself as a human being. The race itself, I ran a new course, I ran well, I enjoyed the chase of a certain time. Everything was great, but at the end I failed to keep in mind what it is all about. I failed to smile and enjoy the journey I was fortunate to have experienced. Other marathons will be there for me to try to qualify for Boston, but that moment of crossing the finish line will not replicate itself. Yes there will be other LA Marathons, but there will not be that same exact moment of crushing a PR by 21 minutes on March 17, 2013.
So looking back to learn a lesson from last weeks race day, I need to remind myself SMILE at the finish. ALWAYS enjoy the finish as it is a culmination of the weeks of hard work and the journey experienced to get there. It is more than 26.2 miles on race day, for me it was 11 prior marathons and 1032.61 miles of training in the 14 weeks leading me up to the start line on a Sunday morning in March in Dodger Stadium. I don’t regret anything before the finish line, but I do regret not enjoying the moment I crossed it.