Post Race Thoughts from the Eugene Marathon

Hello, from Portland, Oregon! I love this city - next to Austin, it’s one of my favorite places in the entire United States…and considering it’s storming back home and it’s sunny here, I’m going to soak up every ounce of this weather on the patio today

So many of you have reached out with kind words about the marathon in Eugene that I felt I should take some time to flush out my feelings and emotions post-race. I think that the primary assumption from most of you is that I’m disappointed or depressed that my attempt at a re-BQ didn’t happen. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for a better result. Of course, I want to toe the line in Boston! 

Photo: Dan Hagelberg

Photo: Dan Hagelberg

But, ultimately, I think Sunday was about so much more than re-qualifying. And I guess this is where this post takes a vulnerable turn. 

For me, going into CIM, it was my one-and-done marathon. I had blown up pretty bad in Vancouver and really adjusted my training going into another marathon. I was focused; I was ready. For me, if I wouldn’t have hit the qualifier, I was done. I was also at peace with that decision. There were a lot of life things in the process and I was ready to take a bit of a break from a year+ of hard training and focus on my business, my relationship, and the future plans we had made for ourselves. 

Qualifying was a great high, even if it was short-lived. In the months that followed, I found myself floating aimlessly, trying to convince myself that I wanted another chance at the marathon. The stories and headlines that kept coming out were incredibly hurtful and stressful and definitely took a physical/mental/emotional toll on me. I felt that I had apologized and took ownership of my mistake, but the message was largely lost. Blogs and articles repeatedly linked to my site and people flooded my inbox and pages with nasty comments and personal attacks. I never responded or lashed out - after all, it’s people’s right to have their own opinions and by being a public figure, I open myself up to the criticism. But do know, behind the screen, I am a real person who made a mistake. I’m sorry. 

I trained harder than I ever have for Eugene. I hit more workouts than I ever have; I ran faster paces than I ever have before. I learned a lot about what I’m capable of. But, it’s that mental game, man. It’s the stuff that people don’t talk about enough. Can you be fit? Yes! Can you be ready? Yes! But, if you can’t wrap your head around a goal — really dig in and want it with your whole heart — then the marathon won’t just hand it over. 

I struggled a lot with my mental game going into Eugene. Why did I want this? Why was this important to me? Would I be okay with any other result than a BQ?

The honest answer to the last question? Yes.

Photo: Dan Hagelberg

Photo: Dan Hagelberg

On race day, I just didn’t have it. No excuses. Nothing to blame it on but my own two legs. Sometimes it’s just not there. And that’s okay. I was never really on pace from the gun. At 16, I made the decision to back off and relax. After all, it was a gorgeous day on a beautiful course. It’s not every day that you get to run an entire marathon with your fiancé! There could have been any number of emotions going through my head at that point but I didn't want to dwell. I just wanted to enjoy it. And I still ran 3:36 - a damn good marathon time. 

That’s a wrap for me on Boston 2020. I’m not upset or disappointed that the season ended this way. In fact, I feel blessed that I had another injury-free training cycle and got to run countless miles with some of the best training partners. I got to watch my good friend Bre crush her 1:45 half marathon goal, running just steps behind me during the race. 

As for the rest of 2019? I’m focusing on a few projects that I’m excited about that had fallen by the wayside during training. I get to enjoy some extended travel plans. Lazy Saturday mornings! And, oh yeah, that little party we’re calling a wedding!

I’m not done racing the marathon by any stretch but for now, I love where life’s headed!

Post Race Thoughts from the Eugene Marathon