I really believe that, no matter how long it takes us to see it, or even if we never see it, we learn from every experience we have. This applies to school, work, love, relationships, sporting events - we learn something from every moment of life. Of course, the monumentally great or crappy moments really stand out.
As things go, I've had many monumental moments (of both the great and crappy variety). Everything from love to friends to the law to my job to my self-image have been tested, evaluated and re-evaluated - especially recently. I've had some moments I never thought would come, like the time I was so overwhelmed with life that I let my water get shut off by accident. Or the time I had the balls to tell a guy I wasn't going to see him if he wouldn't make up his mind about me.
Some times, the most important decisions are those that seem to make us hurt the most. But usually, some of that initial pain saves us from a much deeper, more sustained hurt.
Like my decision on Sunday to drop out of the marathon at mile 14. It hurt my legs, my pride, and my ego. I cried, of course. I pouted. I got pissed. But, if I had continued running for another 12.2 miles? Who knows.
I am evaluating how I feel about my race schedule for the year. I'm evaluating how I feel about training . . . at all. I've fallen out of my routine so completely, even though I'm training more consistently. And something is causing that. My general desire to race and train for races is once again low. It's not that I don't want to train. It's not that I don't want to race. There's something about falling this far out of the routine that makes it hard.
I have mentioned that I have to maintain such a high level of training, compared to the average
athelte, because at any given time my health could interfere, that I some times feel doomed before I even begin. Most people just have to worry about their own decisions and mistakes affecting training, but I have to worry about overlseeping, heart palpitations, dizzy spells and the like, plus the common cold and flu. Lately, so many of my own deicisions have "happened" that, once you combine it with the crap outside of my control, I'm pretty much out of pocket for most of the season.
So that leads me to the question I was discussing with 'Nuk the other day. How do I feel about racing? About training? I want to do it, but there's something that's just not quite . . . . there. I'm slightly off, so to speak.
I've decided that I'm going to back down my distances a bit. Allow myself to maintain consistency, get my schedule a little more regular, and see how I feel - both physically and mentally. Because I've been making great strides at weekly club sessions. I can keep up in more ways than I ever imagined. But keeping up and doing well at a one-hour workout is not the same as doing well at a 6-hour race. Let's just say I've learned a lot from this race . . . more than I expected to learn from another DNF.
I'm sure there is more soul-searching to follow . . . shocker huh?