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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is It Ever Gonna Be Enough?

Have you heard that song "Gold Guns Girls" by Metric?  Well, in case you haven't, I've copied a youtube link for your enjoyment.

So, why am I sharing this with you?

Well, first of all, it's a GREAT song (I've done many a 400 meter repeat to this upbeat tune).  But, second of all, it's for this one line in the song that gets repeated multiple times:

Is it ever gonna be enough?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

I would be soon asking myself.

After qualifying for Boston at the Vermont City Marathon, I called my Coach.  As I'm sure you can imagine both he and I were very happy with the outcome.  I was about three hours removed from crossing the finish line when I heard this come out of my mouth:

"So, I figured I could sign up for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon in October and see if I can get my time down even more.  Then, I could be seeded higher at Boston and move up in the pack!"

My Coach didn't encourage or discourage this.  He gently suggested that, yes, we run a fall marathon, do Boston and then, perhaps, take the rest of 2011 off from marathoning and work on the short stuff.  He congratulated me once again on the marathon and told me to keep him posted on my recovery.

I bounced back pretty well from the marathon; in fact it was the least amount of soreness I've ever had post-race.  Perhaps it was the consistent training this time around?  Or maybe it was that I kept moving and didn't sit still for too long?  In any event, it was easy to put another 26.2'er on the calendar since I seemed primed and ready to go.

About six weeks after Vermont, I went to register online for Mohawk Hudson and, to my surprise, it was FULL!!!  An October race was already sold out in July.  What IS this world coming to???  I really wanted to run this one because I had heard it was a flat and fast course with an elevation drop of over 300 ft.  If that doesn't scream PR, well, then, I don't know what does.

(PR = Personal Record.  Educating the non-running public one blog post at a time...)

Thankfully, I had already chosen a backup race, just in case:  The Atlantic City Marathon on October 17th.  This one made sense because it was a doable distance to travel.  Plus, I was born in the great state of New Jersey.  In a way, it would be like going home again.  And, my Jersey cousins could come.

I told my Coach the news about Mohawk as well as my plan B.  We agreed to design our training for this race and had a plan in place (hey, that rhymes).  I started to train.

As my training got underway, lots of life events happened, particularly in the month of August.  First of all, I took a certified running coach course through the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America), which took up an entire weekend.  Secondly, I had to hop on a germy plane with my brother to Arizona for my mother's third wedding.  (That in and of itself deserves it's own blog post which, perhaps, I'll post at a later date.)  Then, there was the Red Sox game at Fenway.  And...and...and...

All of a sudden, I didn't feel so well.

Between life in general, my social activities/obligations and, oh yeah, training for a MARATHON, my body screamed, "oh no she didn't!".  I was grounded with walking pneumonia.

Turns out I'm a very healthy "sick" person as I never ran a fever and was still running through all this stuff.  Once we had a clear idea as to what was going on, Coach said not to run for at least three days.  My only job during this time was to rest, medicate and let my body heal.

A funny thing happened during this time.  I didn't panic.  Here I was, in the middle of a marathon training cycle, with pneumonia, not running, and it was okay somehow.  I had slowly regained my perspective.  It was then that I first asked myself that question:

Is It Ever Gonna Be Enough???

I had set my sights on qualifying for Boston well over two years ago.  This was a dream I had been chasing for quite a while.  The dream manifested into my "now" reality, which is what I'd been wanting.  I thought that if I could just get this, then I'd be happy.  Was I?  Well, yes, I was.  But, instead of "milking it", I immediately made plans to achieve another goal.  I wondered if I was really enjoying the process or whether all of this goal setting was becoming a means to an end.  When you set a goal, your life tends to move towards that.  You become focused on what it is you want to go after, and life does too.  In effect, you sort of get tunnel vision.

As I've said before, it's impossible to go through life without new desires being born within you and, of course, it's our natural inclination to expand.  But, like most things, there is a happy medium.  Somewhere between my exaltation of qualifying and lying on the couch watching reruns of the original "Hawaii Five-O" series, I realized I went off my beam a little bit.  And that's okay.  That's awareness.  

It was then that I decided that this moment was enough.  It had to be.  Maybe I'd shatter my marathon PR on October 17th.  Maybe it'll be the most fun that I've ever had running a race.  Who knows?  All I know is I don't have to do it TODAY.

One day at a time.  That's enough.

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