i have gotten really good at wallowing in self pity. first it was missing my BQ. then it was an injury. then it was illness on top of injury. and now, with less than a month to go until i won't be running boston, i'm back to wallowing that i didn't BQ. its just weensy wallowing here and there. but its wallowing nonetheless.
mostly i wallow when i see emails going back and forth about boston plans, restaurants, etc. i tell my friends that if they are going to include me on the messages, they need to at least preface it with: get your tissues and a glass of wine, cause i joked that hearing the fun boston plans were like rubbing salt in the wound. a wound that has gotten fresher now that april 21st looms closer and closer and i still have yet to pick up the phone and cancel the damn hotel. cause the cancellation fee is just like pouring big rock salt on the wound. and the flight too. haven't cancelled that yet. i may as well cut a lemon in half and just rub the salt in with that.
but in the midst of the back and forth emails i get a 'tough love' message from coach - a little reminder that that it took him 17 marathons before he qualified. and i knew this. but i need to be reminded of it now and then. i have a tendency to put coach on a pedestal. i mean, the guy goes mountain biking the day after a hilly marathon. he paces people at half marathons a mere week after running boston. it borders on freak of nature. so i love the fact that it took him 17 tries - it brings the pedestal down just a bit, makes him more human. it keeps my disappointment over missing it in just two tries in check.
after the tough love message came another from my friend who told me what a friend of hers said when he asked her how i did in birmingham: she told him i got a PR, but not a BQ. his response was "she has not knelt at the altar of the marathon gods long enough" - it had taken him 8 or 9 tries.
i have not knelt at the altar of the marathon gods long enough.
i mulled the brilliant statement over. my god. its genius. i mean sure - there are the freaks of nature out there who qualify on their first marathon; no kneeling required. i ran with one of these freaks of nature one day on a big dog run. i was so happy that a new girl had joined the group and because we were running together i think, thank god there is someone here as slow as me. so we run and chat about what the other is training for - i say birmingham, she says boston. a few more sentences into the conversation, i learn she qualified at her first marathon. and then the conversation is over as she too pulls away to eventually catch up with the group. she is so way faster than me. and there i am. alone, bringing up the rear and sucking wind. wondering how the hell someone qualifies at marathon #1. she had to be the exception to the rule. she had to be.
unlike freak of nature girl, i think most people do a lot of kneeling at the altar. and while freak of nature girl just made me feel bad about myself that day, the runners i most admire - the ones who paid their dues, and knelt long and hard are the ones that make me feel better. i love to hear how many tries it took someone to get to boston (unless it took you one try, and then of course, i hate you) it puts two tries into perspective, and serves as the proverbial: "snap out of it" slap across the face - in a good, get over it, tough love kind of way.
its not like i am walking around in a funk anymore. my moments of wallowing are very few and far between. i crawled out of the vacuum of self pity i was in post-marathon and while dealing with knee shit a while ago. today was my last PT appointment. i'm out of the woods, good to go. i'm running, i've started looking up races and i like my bike again. it's all good. that said, come april 21st, i know i'll wallow a little bit. hell, i'll wallow when i finally suck it up, pay all the fees and cancel everything. i mean, i hate missing out on fun. especially if its running fun. running fun with friends. i hate that i missed the opportunity to go and share the whole experience with them. and having to pay penalty fees to miss it? ugh. salt on the wound. with lemon squeezed over it. i wonder if that counts towards some dues.
but i'll remind myself as i sit glued to coachs' every split on the live tracking on the 21st that it took him 17 tries to get there. i've only tried twice. i need to do some more kneeling. i wonder though, how best to appease the marathon gods? a shrine? are there special candles i can light? wonder if there is some sort of offering that might bring the number of tries down to four, six at the most.