If we are being honest here, something that I really try to do in my blog, I have to admit that while I was devastated to have missed the full marathon at Disney this past weekend, I was also somewhat relieved to be spectating instead of participating.
I talked a good game, and talked myself into thinking that I wanted to run a marathon when a few friends were kicking around the idea last spring. I think at the time, I only signed us up as a challenge to myself... almost like if they can do it, I can surely do it.
And having done some serious running this year there was no doubt in my mind that I probably could have finished my training for the marathon and completed it, even if it meant crawling across the finish-line.
But we had a falling out with those friends. And because I still hadn't been entirely sold on the idea that I actually wanted to run this race, I convinced some other friends to sign up and run it with me. But October rolled around, and as much as I wanted to convince myself that I actually wanted to do the race, I was still teetering on having full out dread and panic.
Of course I was going to do it... but I realized that I didn't really want to. The only reason that I kept training and kept pushing myself was because I thought if I worked hard enough at it, I would convince myself that I really wanted to do this and it would make me happy.
But seriously... 26.2 miles is a long way to travel on foot. Sometimes I struggle to get into the zone for a 5 mile run... I know what 16 miles can feel like. And through all that positive self-talk, I still wasn't convinced. But I made commitments to other people, and commitments to myself... and I would move forward and finish what I started.
But then my injury got worse, and I was put into a bigger boot, and I had some shots, and even standing on my foot was completely verboten for 3 weeks in there... Logically speaking, I knew the Dr. would tell me that the marathon was out. But hearing confirm what I already knew made my have a near breakdown in the exam room.
And I was crying over not being able to do a race that I not only didn't want to do, but that I never really wanted to do in the first place. And I was so confused. So. Damn. Confused.
But then, because we had made a commitment to split hotel costs with our friends who were also running the race, we went to spectate the event instead. I knew it was going to be emotional. And I posted facebook about my sadness at not actually being able to participate, and I got similar responses.
There will be other Marathons.
You can always do it next year.
And while, yes, these people are right... I never really wanted to do the race in the first place. And so as I was watching many of my friends from near and far pass by us while we were spectating... and in between my own self-indulgent fits of turning away to sob uncontrollably... I realized that these marathoners are amazing athletes, who I admire and respect, but who I will probably never join the ranks of.
Not because I can't. But because I don't really want to.
Which brings me to my final moment of complete cognitive dissonance... Not 10 minutes after realizing all of these things about myself we met up with our friends who had just finished and saw how incredibly exhausted they were and congratulated them on their respective (and respectable) finished... and I thought to myself...
Hey Amy, there's always next year
... if you want to.