2014: 1 Big Failed Goal for Coach Nicole
NYE is a time to set new resolutions, review your successes and failures, and reflect. As I think about my 2015 goal, I reflect on 2014 and my big overall goal. My 2014 January 23 Facebook Post was this exactly:
Stepping out of Comfort Zones. What a fantastic Mantra for 2014.
I have talked with so many people this week about trying something new, different, scary, and AWESOME. I’ve challenged this to so many clients, friends, family and more – yet haven’t shared mine yet!
2014 I will qualify for the Boston Marathon with a goal time of 3:30 (at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon). This is about 15 minutes over my current PR and will take a lot of commitment in training, nutrition, and injury prevention, but it’s the year! So let’s hear yours! Time to commit!
SO after this, I started working on my base mileage. I also started looking for a coach because I learned that I couldn’t be an unbiased coach to myself. Ultimately I chose Dave Jesse. Dave was exactly the coach I need (I can be sometimes difficult to be coached…stubborn much?). I would map out my plan for the week/month/duration and Dave would offer changes and suggestions that I didn’t think about. He also offered the ongoing support, guidance, and partner that every runner needs. My 20+ week training was spectacular and I couldn’t wait to get to Boston!!
Spoiler alert: I did not achieve this goal. I made my first official attempt for my Boston qualifying time at the 2014 Lakefront
Marathon, and my race was far from perfect even though my training seemed to be 100% on par the entire time. It has taken some time to be able to write about this, especially because I am still healing physically from the race. Here is a run-down of the race:
Mile 0.0 – Mile 14ish: I was exactly pace of 7:58 minute miles. I couldn’t WAIT to reach the finish line at 3 hours and 30 minutes. Heck! I may even get there faster…
Mile 14: A sharp pain began in my left IT band.
Mile 14: I ran on. Stopping was not an option and I still had a chance to run a great race. The pain continued so I slowed down to a 9:00 pace.
Mile 17: Surprise cheerleaders to lift my spirits: 2 of my best friends, Rachel & Brandon were driving down Lake Drive with Rachel hanging out of the roof, blasting some club jams. Man, those two were amazing spirit lifters.
Mile 17.5: The “other Dave” was also running lakefront and caught up to me by this point. We ran together for a mile or so and Dave was feeling great and took off. He ran so well that day! The time spent running with him was relieving and refreshing and ready.
Mile 19-20: Realized that speeding up again was far from an option as the pain grew. First cry.
Mile 20: Spot the cheerleaders Rachel and Brandon again. Man, I really needed to see them. That was perfect! Mile 20.5, I see through blurry eyes, my boyfriend Nikos. A burst of energy comes in and I keep on trekking.
Mile 22: Man the pain is not going away despite my speed slowing down. I’m pretty frustrated but every time I try to push the pace, the pain comes back more intense. So I settle into a “comfortable” pace. At this point, I see Nikos again and ask him to run with me for a little. Boyfriend of the year: he had on jeans yet still ran with me until about mile 25.5. He babbled on about random things as went in and out of the “marathon zone” where you might not actually know where you are.
Mile 26.2: Crossed that damn finish line
Finisher’s tent: Any marathoner will tell you that you get some CRAZY emotions upon crossing a finish line. That’s an understatement. I almost always cry, but it’s usually tears of relief, accomplishment and joy. This time, not so much. In fact not only did I cry DURING the race (miles 19-20 and miles 22-25), I sobbed for at least 10 minutes in the arms of my coach Dave Jesse. No, not just a couple tears, but a full out, buggary, snot-filled, chest-heaving sob all over Dave’s donkey racing bib.
I thought about the countless miles I had run actually not countless: 784.3 to be exact during my 20 week training, the number of hills I chased, the number of people that were cheering and waiting for great BQ news, and more.
I cleaned up the snot (a little) and went and met my parents, my sister Laura, Brandon, Rachel, and Nikos and cried a little more. (If you didn’t know, I’m actually a big crier once you get me started). We met up with some other runners and then ended up going to eat and celebrate. Because at the end of the race, I still finished a marathon, lived to tell about it, and was very appreciative of my friends and family that came to cheer me on.
What happened? I wish I knew. Dave and I spent countless time reviewing my plan, going over miles, shoes, any hints of injury, etc. Unfortunately we couldn’t figure out exactly what happened, but we do know that many other runners that day experienced very similar problems around mile 14. So perhaps it was the uneven roads or steep decline on the side of the road. Or perhaps it was a misstep, or perhaps it was an injury that hadn’t show its signs yet and decided to that day. Who knows, but the fact is it happens.
So the race — it fricken sucked. Dave’s exact words in the finishers’ area were, “Today be mad, be upset, be pissed, cry more, mourn it. But you only have until midnight.”
So that’s exactly what I did. I don’t run to qualify for Boston or to run a certain time. Did I fail to accomplish the goal? Yes. But I will try 50 more times if I have to. I run because of the goal setting, the accountability, the health rewards, the friendships formed, the discipline, the focus, and with & for all of you. It’s a passion, a love, an accomplishment and more importantly: a lifestyle.
Much love and happy running,