the race recap that never was.

alternate titles:

  • body image and other things.
  • it’s about to get really real.

three weeks ago i took part in the 51st annual calgary marathon – the 5km distance. you’d think after my excitement from the run for women and that i was getting a shiny medal, that i would have chatted more about it.

truth is, after having such a fantastic first race back, i went into the calgary marathon nervous and shaky. the race was at noon and it was hot and the course had zero shade and, did i mention i was nervous?

where the week before i had zero time goals, i now had a pace to hold myself to. i had expectations, which, may i add, are the worst. no matter the pep talks or the running buddies, i couldn’t get out of my head and enjoy.

i started so strong, then it all went to hell. i walked much more than i wanted and finished over a minute slower than the week before.

i finished and i got my medal and i felt bad about the whole experience.

i was in such a funk for the rest of the day, shrugging off my participation and accomplishment like it was nothing.

i didn’t think it could get much worse. that is until the race photos started to pile in.

i remember seeing the course photographers and having fun, smiling and enjoying myself and being a ham while feeling so strong and fit (in the first 3km, that is). i looked so cute, i thought.

instead, i was hit with a stark reality. while i may look happy in some, others are downright dreadful. and strong and fit is not how i would describe the girl in any of the photos.

while sitting at my computer my head began to rush: do i really look like that? have i let myself go again? how did this happen and why did i let it? why was my mind lying to me of what i thought i was to what i had become again?

all i saw was armpit fat and double chins (you will now notice those, too).

for reference here is one of the photos that led me to said mini breakdown:

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and while i might not like it, thank you east village for free race photos. because $25 to commemorate this bad dream is not something i care to do.

here’s some stats:

  • overall, i was 805th out of 2,3349 runners.
  • i was the 413th woman to cross the finish line out of 1,419.
  • i placed 64th out of 140 in my division (female 25-29).

proud – that’s the proper feeling; i know. and while i can properly identify it, i cannot feel it.

i’m still trying.

instead, i am full of negative, defeating self-talk.

and the real question is: why do we do this? why do we let one photo or one minute derail us so violently?

and while i can’t focus on the positives of my race, i can reflect on the positives of the day:

  • how happy i was to meet Becky in person finally, and that she stuck around until i got there for a big hug.
  • how great it was to meet Jen and Brie and put real people to the blogs i read.
  • how overjoyed i was to meet Melissa, someone who felt the same nerves i had about racing. and that she was so welcoming to me running along side her and intruding on her friend race time.
  • and for Kaella, who was so welcoming and accepting of me being a shadow to her and Melissa on the course. and for pacing me until my mind took over my legs and i just couldn’t keep up any more, and for being so amazingly supportive of it all.

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  • for sister for all of her support and encouragement and for telling me to go get ice cream.
  • and for Jess for coming to yoga with me that night and then taking me for ice cream.

has this shied me away from running? actually the opposite – probably because i hate being bad at things and i need to end on a high note. i’m actually interested in training and actually seeing what i can accomplish.

i still can’t let myself think too much about the calgary marathon, because it doesn’t end well.

for now, i’m just concentrating on this: my first-ever race medal.

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have you experienced this before, be it at a race or just in general? what helps?

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