Physically, I feel great, now that I've had a couple of days to rest up from Hell Week last week at work. Mentally, I'm thinking I'm kind of in control of most of those faculties, despite a slight increase in what some have called "senior moments". It's not even that I'm tiring of running marathons, because I am not, even though the SVM will be #30 overall and the 11th since last December. Trouble is, this weekend's event is in San Jose. California. Not, sadly, Costa Rica.
With apologies to friends and others with whom I am acquainted who happily call the Bay Area's largest city "home"...I'm just not fond of the place. I've lived in California for long enough (since 1967) that I remember when San Jose was pretty much a bigger version of Fresno...or Phoenix, Junior. Since taking part in marathons in such inspiringly beautiful places as Budapest, Barcelona, Seattle and Salt Lake City, I've become somewhat of an eye-candy addict. Consider next year's schedule, so far. Trieste, Prague, and Athens.
The reason I signed up for SVM, honestly, was because it fit in my 12 in 12 schedule...as did another marathon, in the aforementioned Fresno. Fresno's farther away, and my travel budget has been, shall we say, "challenged" a bit, of late. So, San Jose, got the reluctant nod.
Having copped to all that...it's probably no surprise that I have been in serious need of inspiration. With just a handful of days to go til I line up on the starting line again, I will concede, I have found it.
Last weekend, like most October weekends, was chock-full of marathon opportunities. Denver, Toronto, Duke City (ABQ), Kansas City, the Baystate, Amsterdam...and right here in the Bay Area, with the Nike Women's Marathon, San Francisco, there was no shortage of choices. However, I had to work. Fortunately, as I follow/friend/tweet/Facebook/Flork/DailyMile /Just Finish hundreds of other runners online, there were dozens of people I "know" who were free to run. It was to them I turned for "spark" for my upcoming endevour.
Upon getting home Sunday evening I immediately began searching for post-race information. Found out that a few had posted new PR's...while a few others had narrowly missed out on their's. Read amazing stories about half marathoners who travelled far, not sure they were going to cut the mustard, who proudly pulled it out in the end. Also read of fellow running club members kicking butt (as they always seem to do!) and posting times I will not even allow my mind to entertain as remote possibilities. Read of people stunning themselves with unexpected BQ's. Also found written evidence of people "blowing up" at mile 20, but pressing on, crossing the finish line in tears...of pain...and joy. Understandably, inspirational.
I also found a few reports of runners who came up short, I hasten to say, THIS TIME, who did not finish, or achieve their lofty goals. To those who DNFed...believe me...I feel your pain. I did that, after travelling thousands of miles to run Budapest. It remains a painful thorn in my side today. I will, however, go back, and tame that course, one day. Instead of beating myself up with that "failure", I now relish the chance to return and set the record straight. To those with goals you did not meet, believe me, there are simply days when, like "sh#t happens", "marathons happen"...and they get to win. I've run in 29 of these things, never knowing until about mile 22-24 whether or not I was going to finish. There's always another marathon to run, if you're game.
I am ready now to lace up my Brooks Beasts this Sunday, spurred on by those of you who got out there and did it, regardless of the outcome, last weekend. Cheers.
San Jose, here I come. Just hope I know the way!