I made such a big deal about Long Beach. I posted about it for weeks and had people all over the country pulling for me. When I failed, it was really hard, thinking about all the people cheering for me; all the people I let down. However, out of that “failure” came such an unbelievable outpouring of support. I learned that my running was so much more than just something for me. I had inspired so many of my friends. I couldn’t let one race spoil my opinion of long distance running and lose faith in myself. I needed a race that wasn’t about a PR or BQ. I needed a race that was about the fun of running and what it has been about for me for a while: inspiring and helping my friends.
So I ran another marathon this weekend. That was my “secret.” It was my low-key, not-for-PR, all-about-someone-else race. I didn’t tell anyone (other than my close running friends) so I could get out of my own way and “just do it.”
And I think I found my calling.
I paced my friend, Kelly, in the Santa Barbara International Marathon, her very first marathon. Her main goal was to finish, of course, but she really wanted to finish under 4:30. We came in, holding hands, at 4:29!!! The entire race was perfect. The weather was perfect (overcast, then drizzly showers around mile 18, with the sun coming out just in time for the finish). The people were perfect. We laughed, we made friends and we ran 26.2 miles together.
I learned quite a lot from this experience. I will write up a full race report soon.