In the last decade, since reinventing myself as a kind-of-athlete, I have undertaken some big challenges. That first half marathon. That first marathon. A half Ironman. Ironman. And oh that swim. The first time is always the hardest. A jumble of nerves, self doubt, and a little fear. After that, there is a little deposit in the memory bank that reminds you: you can do this. You’ve done it before. Oh don’t get me wrong, there are still nerves & self-doubt - my familiar pre-race house guests - but the second time is easier. Except sometimes, it turns out, it isn’t.
My first race of 2018 was in February when I set out to tackle my first 50K. I made it not quite halfway when I was pulled, having missed an aid station cut-off by 4 minutes. I was devastated. I felt shame. This foolish undertaking of a 50K by someone like me. I cried. A lot.
|Scenes from a training run on-course at Deception Pass|
This weekend is my last race of 2018 and as you might have figured out by now, it’s my second attempt at a 50K. And this time doesn’t feel easier than the first time. I’m peeking in that memory bank and all I see is evidence that this is beyond me. Beyond my fitness. Beyond my capabilities. Beyond my crunchy, beleaguered knees. Another foolish undertaking. I am trying to work on my mental game but man, I am having to dig deep.
Note to self.